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The Essential Guide to Bristol
19 May 2009
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Knowing (15)

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byMatthew Turner30/03/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 120 mins

Hugely enjoyable, surprisingly dark thriller with a strong premise, great performances and terrific special effects.

What's it all about?
Directed by Alex Proyas, Knowing stars Nicolas Cage as Professor John Koestler, a single father whose son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury) attends the opening of a 50-year-old time capsule at his school and receives an envelope containing a series of numbers, rather than the pictures of the future that all the other 1959 kids drew. When he accidentally leaves a glass on the paper, John notices that some of the numbers correspond to the date of 9/11 and quickly works out that the numbers all refer to the exact dates and death tolls of catastrophic events, both past and future and in chronological order.

Attempting to track down the little girl who wrote the numbers, John encounters single mother Diana (Rose Byrne) and her daughter Abby (Lara Robinson), the daughter and granddaughter of the now deceased woman. But as the predictions continue to come true, a new and terrifying question arises: what happens when the numbers run out?

The Good
Knowing has a terrific premise that gains unexpected poignancy from the prevalent mood of doom and gloom lately. It's also surprisingly dark, with an audacious climax that won't work for everyone, but has to be admired for sheer chutzpah alone.

The disaster sequences (including a genuinely terrifying plane crash and a horrific subway accident) are jaw-droppingly good, thanks to state of the art special effects work and an attention to grisly detail (e.g. a liberal use of the colour red) that works well. That said, there are a couple of CGI fires that look like they were added as an afterthought.

The Great
Cage is well suited to this material and he handles himself well – he even has decent-looking hair for once. Similarly, Byrne is excellent as Diana and there's strong support from Canterbury and Robinson as the two kids.

Worth seeing?
Suspenseful, shocking and superbly acted, Knowing is a heart-pounding thriller that builds to a genuinely breathtaking climax. Highly recommended.

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Knowing (15)
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