Knowing is a 2009 science fiction/disaster movie starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Alex Proyas.The film begins in 1959 with a girl named Lucinda Embry who is shown repeating seemingly random numbers. At the elementary school where she goes, her class makes a time capsule filled with various drawings and letters to the people of the future. Lucinda's contribution, however, is a piece of paper that simply has numbers written on it.Fifty years later, the elementary school class of Dr. John Koestler's son, Caleb, opens up the capsule. Caleb finds Lucinda's piece of paper, taking it home with him, puzzled by the numbers. John begins obsessing over it, soon discovering the numbers are not random, but, rather, are the exact dates and death tolls and coordinates of every major disaster in the past fifty years. These prove to be accurate for everything from hotel fires to 9/11. However, not all of these are for past events as there are a handful of predictions that haven't happened yet.
Meaningful Name: Lucinda Embry bears remarkable similarity to the words 'lucid ember', another early allusion to the Earth burning to a crisp.
Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers made the movie sound like a story about a man trying to find out whether the future was fixed or if he could save people from the predicted disasters. Instead we got a lot of running around just to meet an alien Noah.
Oh Crap: As John and Diana would discover, EE means Everyone Else.
The Oner: The entire airplane crash sequence is shot in one take.
Our Angels/Aliens/(Whatever They Are) Are Different: it's not clear whether the "whisperer people" are angels, aliens or both. They have spaceships like aliens, and in one scene the wispy light around their bodies looks like wings, like angels. (Also the movie hints the final event is the second coming of Christ.) Whatever they are, they act creepy, mysterious, and threatening. They speak in whispers as their child given name implies, shoot light out of their mouths and tell of future events.
Why would aliens tell a young girl every disaster there will be when the world is going to end in 50 years anyway? Also what the heck were the numbers that Caleb was writing all about? There couldn't have been that many disasters in 24 fricken hours!
The point was to show that the aliens were forcing many other kids to write the numbers throughout history and all over the world. This way the first girl at the start of the movie is not the only one with the numbers. And thus several people would learn about the numbers, realize that everyone will die and parents will be OK with aliens taking the kids on the spaceships. This troper is making a large assumption about this based on the fact that we see several space ships leaving at the end.
Double plot hole since the aliens could easily kidnap the kids against the parents will at any time they want. And they freaking do at the end.
Was Cage's character the only person on earth to ever figure out the purpose of the numbers? Because otherwise someone else would have told the media and easily proven that the numbers were true and become a famous billionaire. Did all of the other ships at the end come for kids who were kidnapped because their parents did not notice?
Why don't the aliens just tell humans in a normal way that shit will go down on the last day and to be ready instead of giving the numbers which only super geniuses could figure out?
Because they're aliens. Chances are they don't understand how humans communicate on a large scale. Hell, chances are large scale communication may be against the conventions of polite behavior for them. They're alien. They don't think like us. Also, there is the possibility of phenomenal cosmic power, itty bitty living space: they might not be able to communicate in a way we see as normal, and as far as they know, that was normal.
Yet if they knew how humans note dates and coordinates well enough so that they could induce CHILDREN to write them down, they can't have been that ignorant of human society or psychology. And there's no explanation of why such a technologically-advanced species couldn't learn to friggin' speak English, or at least make devices that could translate their thoughts for them!
Why did they not start picking up people until the last day, why not start gathering people 50 years ago?
Causality. If they'd interfered before the flare, it would alter our history. Even the parts that hadn't happened, yet. Again, they're aliens. Rules of biology, legality and communication are vague.
Why do aliens care at all about the humans?
Why would they not?
Everybody needs a hobby. For some [entities], it's wildlife preservation. Cosmic Horror Story, remember?
Why do the aliens only grab some people, specifically kids who can "hear them"? Nick Cage asks why he is not allowed to go with his son and not be burnt alive but was told that he could not basically "just because".
Because Children Are Innocent. The adults had their chance and they messed everything up. Which is a logical fallacy, but again... aliens.
How did adults mess things up? Did we forget to build a sun shield at some time in history? Was that what we should have been doing instead of building things like the internet?
Why did the aliens have to drive to the center of a forest for pickup? They are aliens, they can land anywhere. And they already have the kid in their possession and who cares if people see the aliens?
Well... why not? They're trying to be nice about all this, and mass hysteria wasn't part of their planned effect, but honestly, the answer is why not? If they did decide to land in the middle of civilization, you could just as easily ask why they didn't go in the woods.
Why do the aliens give black rocks to the kid? There are black rocks at the pick up point, but the aliens drag the kid to the point, the kid does not go to the point himself.
Imagine a guy with crazy hair holding an invisible ball with standard meme letters: ALIENS. That black rock may have been perfectly clear instructions... to them. They tried to explain the details of the appointment, but the tall human was going to make the kids miss their ride. He wanted to put them in a subterranean burn hole. What choice did they have, really?
What was the point of giving Lucinda the vision in the first place? If she was one of the chosen ones to be saved, why did the Strangers drive her so insane that she eventually killed herself?
Unfortunate side effect. The paper needed to be in the capsule. That was the whole of her purpose beside having a grandchild. The fact the imported information knocked her out of her mind was an accident.
Red Herring: Played straight every time Nicolas Cage wants to stop a disaster from happening.
It appears John's car was destroyed in the plane crash but later he is shown driving the same car.
While stuck in traffic, Nicolas Cage works out that he's on the exact co-ordinates of the next disaster. He gets out of his car and walks to where the hold-up is; a stalled LPG tanker. Just when you're wondering how he's ever going to survive when the tanker explodes,a passenger airliner falls out of the sky behind him.
Also, as detailed above, the design of the Whisper People is deliberately sinister. Their similarity in appearance to The Strangers from Dark City (also directed by Alex Proyas) cannot possibly be a coincidence.
The numbers say that people will die in New York and the movie mentions how people in New York are scared about a possible terrorist attack. Cage goes to the place where the attack will take place and sees a weird looking guy and chases him thinking he is a terrorist. Turn out the guy was stealing disks and then the train immediately malfunctions and kills people like the numbers predicted.
Poor Communication Kills: The only reason there's a plot at all is that the aliens/angels/whatever the hell they are were unable or unwilling to just tell everyone what was going to happen in plain English. Hell, even plain Latin or plain Ancient Egyptian would have been a sight more helpful than what the protagonist had to work with. Makes one wonder about their motives, really...
Room Full of Crazy: Lucinda's whole house, but particularly what John finds when he lifts up the bed.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog/You Cannot Fight Fate: One of the biggest criticisms against the movie was that all of Nicolas Cage's actions amount to zilch in the end. For all the good knowing the future did, he could have banged the hot leading lady and smoked a cigarette as the aliens took the kids and the world fried.