At World’s End: A Review of ‘Knowing’

by | Jul 3, 2009 | Culture

knowingSummit Entertainment | Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury, Lara Robinson, Ben Mendelsohn | Rated PG-13

If the world were ending, where would your faith lie? That’s a question John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) wrestles with in the science fiction thriller Knowing. When his son becomes the recipient of a page of a strangely scrawled numbers unearthed from a time capsule, Koestler, an astrophysics professor (naturally), begins to decode what he believes is a blueprint for tragedies.

Koestler has already experienced tragedy. He masks the sorrow of his wife’s death with alcohol and has long since abandoned his faith and his minister father. The last remaining light of his life is his son and through that love, he’s forced to fight and come face to face with what he ultimately believes happens when we die.

Add in some creepy whispering shadows that only select children can hear and you have a bona fide thriller, suspenseful enough to make me question my decision to bring along my wife. Some Armageddon-style effects are also thrown in for good measure.

Knowing borrows heavily from earlier sci-fi and thriller flicks such as Signs, Deep Impact and The Number 23. Without giving too much away, the movie reveals a divine connection that could cause a great divide over Christians who see it. Ultimately, however, the side elements of the story are only a tool to showcase the faith journey of the main character. In the midst of crisis, does he return to a God he believed in before tragedy struck? Are there questions science can’t answer?

The movie doesn’t attempt to settle the debate but gets the pot stirring enough to provoke conversation. And that’s a good thing.

DeWayne Hamby is a New Man reviewer and the associate editor of Christian Retailing magazine. Check out his blog at dewaynehamby.blogspot.com.

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