[Screen It]

 

"2012"
(2009) (John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Extreme Extreme Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Extreme Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None Extreme Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Suspense: Various people must contend with the approaching apocalyptic end of the world.
PLOT:
Jackson Curtis (JOHN CUSACK) is a barely published Los Angeles author who's separated from his wife, Kate (AMANDA PEET), and has essentially been replaced in the eyes of their kids -- 7-year-old Lilly (MORGAN LILY) and her older brother Noah (LIAM JAMES) -- by Kate's breast enhancement surgeon boyfriend, Gordon Silberman (THOMAS McCARTHY).

To make ends meet, Jackson is a limo driver for the rich, such as Russian billionaire Yuri Karpov (ZLATKO BURIC), his two bratty sons, and the man's trophy girlfriend, Tamara (BEATRICE ROSEN), driving them to the airport where they'll be flown off by Russian pilot Sasha (JOHANN URB).

When his own car won't start, Jackson uses the limo to take his kids camping in Yellowstone where they end up trespassing on newly prohibited government controlled land. That results in them being taken into custody by the U.S. military where they meet geologist Adrian Helmsley (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR).

Having earlier discovered that neutrons from a massive solar flare three years earlier are super-heating the Earth's core and thus destroying its crust, Adrian now works for White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser (OLIVER PLATT) who's helped arrange a continuity of the species plan for President Thomas Wilson (DANNY GLOVER) and other world leaders.

All of which means the world is coming to an end, something already predicted by doomsayer radio deejay Charlie Frost (WOODY HARRELSON) who Jackson also meets, informing him of the top-secret location where enormous survival arks are being constructed by the likes of Chinese laborer Tenzin (CHIN HAN).

He's secretly planning on getting his monk brother, Nima (OSRIC CHAU), and rest of the family onboard one of them, and President Wilson's adult daughter, Laura (THANDIE NEWTON), is obviously guaranteed a seat. But it's probably not going to work out for Adrian's dad, Harry (BLU MANKUMA) -- who performs as a lounge singer on cruise ships along with Tony Delgatto (GEORGE SEGAL) -- or billions of other people.

As the crust deteriorates faster than expected, resulting in massive earthquakes, continental shifts and enormous tsunamis, Adrian and other government officials race to put their survival plan into motion, all while Jackson tries to save his family from the pending calamity.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into disaster movies and/or are fans of anyone in the cast, they might be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense disaster sequences and some language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHN CUSACK plays a barely published novelist who now works as a limo driver for Yuri and isn't happy that his separation from Kate has led to estrangement from his kids and her now dating Gordon. When he discovers the world truly is ending, he races to gather his family and get them to safety. He uses profanity, some of it briefly strong, and briefly drinks beer.
  • AMANDA PEET plays his estranged wife who's now dating Gordon and isn't happy with Jackson's past or current behavior and interaction with their kids. She changes her tune, however, once the calamites start piling up and he ends up saving all of them.
  • CHIWETEL EJIOFOR plays a geologist who's the first to alert the U.S. government about the pending disaster and then is assigned to monitor its progress. He ultimately ends up clashing with Carl about the latter's brutal assessment of what needs to be done to ensure the survival of the human species. DANNY GLOVER plays the President of the United States who must come up with the best plan regarding all of that.
  • THANDIE NEWTON plays his adult daughter who isn't happy to learn that her work associate was murdered to keep him from letting the cat out of the bag in terms of the pending apocalypse.
  • OLIVER PLATT plays the White House Chief of Staff whose task is to keep both the U.S. Government and the human species operating during and after the calamity. Accordingly, he believes he must make ruthless decisions regarding who will and won't survive and thus ends up clashing with Adrian.
  • THOMAS McCARTHY plays Kate's boyfriend, a breast enhancement surgeon who ends up accompanying her and her family as they try to avoid dying in the growing calamity. He uses some profanity.
  • WOODY HARRELSON plays a seemingly crazed radio deejay who broadcasts about the pending apocalypse. He uses some profanity and briefly drinks.
  • ZLATKO BURIC plays a Russian billionaire who's bought an ultra-expensive seat on one of the arks, has a trophy girlfriend in Tamera (played by BEATRICE ROSEN) who had her breasts done for him, and is only looking out for his survival and that of his two boys.
  • LIAM JAMES plays Jackson and Kate's son who isn't happy with his dad and favors Gordon as his new father figure.
  • MORGAN LILY plays his 7-year-old sister who's frightened by most of what occurs.
  • JOHANN URB plays Yuri's Russian pilot who helps fly them to safety. It's later stated that he had a fling with Tamara.
  • CHIN HAN plays a Chinese laborer who's been working in secret on the ark project and has been planning to sneak his monk brother (played by OSRIC CHAU) and other family members onboard, but only reluctantly extends that offer to Jackson and the others.
  • BLU MANKUMA plays Adrian's cruise ship lounge singer dad who falls off the wagon following a 25-year stint on it, but only after hearing the end is near.
  • GEORGE SEGAL plays his performance partner who also drinks.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this disaster movie that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word (another is mouthed), while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is present (along with some playful groping), a classic painting shows nudity, and there's brief talk about breast enhancement surgery.

    Violence consists of people dying by various means related to natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.), falling long distances (purposeful and accidental), and there's a murder via a car explosion. Overall, billions of deaths occur off-camera.

    Some of that has bloody results, but clearly not as much as could have occurred all things considered. Those scenes, various moments of potential peril and the general thought and visual representation of the end of the world might be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary to viewers.

    There's some potentially imitative behavior, bad attitudes are present, and some characters drink. Tense family material is also present, as are thematic issues.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, several scenes feature flashing lights, particularly toward the end of the film inside one of the flooded arks (sometimes nearing partial strobe intensity).

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of camera movement (occasionally fairly bouncy) at different points in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have champagne at a reception, including Carl.
  • Charlie and Jackson have beer, with Charlie having another, but Jackson takes that from him before leaving.
  • People have drinks on a cruise ship.
  • Tony has a drink.
  • After hearing that the world is coming to an end, Harry has a drink (a double), with Tony being surprised since that means it's his first in 25 years of being on the wagon.
  • Harry drinks again.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a TV news report of mass suicides including that showing a body falling from a long distance, and then various dead bodies on the ground (no blood).
  • There's talk that 7-year-old Lilly still wets the bed.
  • We see a dead and somewhat decomposed deer (with the sound of flies buzzing about) near a drained lake.
  • We see several brief views of an injured or dead man who's somewhat bloody, along with a small pool of blood on the ground next to him.
  • We see a few people with slightly bloody wounds.
  • Tamara reacts to the bad smell onboard the ark and realizes that's from the wild animals located above her (but nothing related is seen).
  • Tenzin's leg is bloody after being wounded (seen several times).
  • Carl has a few slightly bloody scrapes on his face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A car explodes and flips while traveling through a tunnel in Paris (we later learn this was a murder).
  • Jackson ignores U.S. Government no trespassing signs, climbs over a tall fence with his kids, and thus puts them in potential harm's way while exploring a drained lake, dead animal and crossing past a yellow taped area.
  • Yuri's sons have a bad/condescending attitude toward Jackson, their limo driver. In response, he purposefully drops some luggage on one boy's foot.
  • Gordon refers to two older women (in a car in the way of their escape) as "old bats."
  • Carl admits that the government killed those they feared were going to go public with news of the pending apocalypse (and did so in order to avoid mass panic and anarchy).
  • We hear that Tamara had a fling with Sasha while she was dating Yuri.
  • When push comes to shove, Yuri takes only his sons to the ark and leaves everyone else behind.
  • In order to protect their limited resources, Carl refuses to allow others from a damaged ark onto the good ones.
  • It's possible some viewers might be offended by what could be viewed as an attack on Catholic icons (the Jesus the Redeemer statue in Rio topples, the Sistine Chapel and then St. Peter's Basilica collapse from the destructive natural forces) while ones related to other religions are not directly seen.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • As Harry and Tony board a cruise ship, the sea shifts a bit, thus causing the gangway to shift (no one is hurt).
  • We hear that Earth's crust is destabilizing.
  • A huge fissure suddenly separates a grocery store, leaving Kate and Gordon on opposite sides.
  • A sudden earthquake jolt hits Kate's house, sending her and the kids scurrying for cover as the bad quake continues. Jackson arrives and yells at all of them to come with him, so they rush out to his limo and he speeds down the street that rips and splits open in a dramatic fashion, almost as if chasing them (as houses, vehicles and trees, etc. are damaged or destroyed and he drives through or into things, such as Gordon's sports car). They end up stuck behind a car with two old ladies (that ends up crashing into a raised section of street), while the limo continues on its escape route, along which greater destruction occurs (including a truck crashing into a gas station, resulting in a huge explosion). During this, they nearly drive/slide into a huge fissure (made more dangerous due to a door of the limo being gone, thus meaning Kate and the kids could fall out). As this continues, they barely drive under a bridge as it collapses, and then drive through a building as it does the same.
  • With Gordon marginally being qualified as a pilot, he barely lifts off with Jackson and his family, all as the runway breaks open and falls away into a huge fissure that seems to be chasing them. Once airborne, they fly through and barely above all sorts of massive city destruction. During that, we see a car hit a person (viewed from a distance), a subway train flying out through the air and then exploding upon impact with the ground, people hanging from the side of a sheared-away office building, and Gordon's plane flying between that and another building as both collapse toward each other. We then see a distant aerial view of huge tracts of Los Angeles now angled out of the ground and sliding into the ocean.
  • Jackson races to locate Charlie to find out the location of the arks. While atop a mountain, they spot the sudden flight of many birds, followed by views of the distant land undulating. Jackson then races down the mountain in Charlie's RV (with Lilly in tow) as volcanic eruptions start in the valleys, followed by a massive, nuclear bomb style eruption that blows Charlie off his feet. That results in fireballs and massive burning pieces of Earth flying through the air and slamming into the ground. One of them hits Charlie, while Jackson tries to drive the RV through them, but one hits the back of the vehicle, shearing it away and causing the damaged back end to be on fire. Jackson continues driving back to the runway (including sending the RV airborne over a large fissure) where Kate, Gordon and Noah anxiously wait. Lilly gets into the plane, but Jackson races to find Charlie's ark map in the RV as a fissure opens up below that. He ends up dangling above the deep and lava-filled fissure (both inside the RV that falls away, and then while holding on just with his hands). He then crawls out of that, runs back to the plane and they barely lift off as fireballs land all around them and a massive volcanic debris cloud briefly engulfs them in flight.
  • We sees TV news coverage of panic around the globe.
  • A volcanic eruption cloud races across the land, hitting and destroying an airport, all as Sasha and Gordon try to get a huge Russian plane off the runway as that crumbles away below them. They get airborne but plummet due to not enough airspeed, and Sasha has to handle something for a moment and thus leaves Gordon to fly the plane as it heads directly toward various buildings. He barely flies between them, but the plane ends up scraping the Eiffel Tower replica, tearing off the landing gear.
  • We see Nima's grandmother holding down a chicken to a block where she intends to behead it, including holding the hatchet to its neck. We then hear but don't see the blow.
  • Those on Sasha's plane see that Hawaii is completely covered in lava, a bad development since they need to land there to refuel.
  • President Wilson and others are covered in grey dust (which may remind some of a similar sight following the 9/11 attacks).
  • As a tidal wave approaches, a cruise ship starts to list, sending those inside sliding to one side. The wave then hits, turning the ship completely over (and presumably killing everyone onboard).
  • A massive tidal wave hits Washington, D.C., including carrying an aircraft carrier that crashes down on President Wilson and many others as the wave destroys the White House.
  • Sasha's massive plane runs out of the fuel, and those onboard prepare for an emergency water landing, but they then realize the Earth has shifted enough during their flight that they're now over China. They then make an emergency landing on a glacier, with Jackson, his family, Gordon and Yuri and his sons driving a car out of the back hatch as the plane touches down. They must then avoid other cars that come tumbling out, as the plane slides toward a ravine and barely stops at the edge. It then slowly tips over the edge, falls a long way, and explodes upon impact far below (presumably killing the pilot).
  • A massive tsunami sweeps over many people, including a family that Adrian knows.
  • Adrian and the rest realize they don't have hours, but just 28 minutes before the massive tidal wave hits the arks.
  • Nima's grandfather nearly falls backwards off a steep edge, with Jackson grabbing him just in time.
  • Tamara calls for her dog and it barely gets to her and she barely gets inside the ark before the massive door closes (and nearly crushes her).
  • One of the arks is in danger from the approaching massive tidal wave due to a large door being stuck open.
  • Jackson, Gordon and Tenzin end up dangling above some large door gears, with Tenzin's leg being injured, while Gordon slips down into the gears and presumably is killed, and Jackson and Tenzin then barely avoid being crushed by something large that's closing.
  • The massive tidal wave hits the various arks, with one ending up partially flooded due to the massive door that's stuck open. As Jackson and others try to get to safety, various hatches close, thus separating many of them as the waters continue to rise in their compartments. During this, the ark has no motor control and thus is swept away by the wave, heading toward a potentially dangerous collision with a mountain.
  • Jackson swims underwater to try to free a jammed door on the flooded ark, with Noah then joining him, all as the ark is out of control and floating toward an imminent, bad collision with a mountain.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Army soldiers carry machine guns while confronting Jackson and his kids.
  • Adrian states that the government will probably shoot him for telling his dad the truth about what's happening, but Harry says nobody's going to shoot him.
  • Chinese guards aim machine guns at Jackson and the others.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "That is a f*cking..." "Bullsh*t," "Oh sh*t," "The whole G*ddamn world is going to sh*t," "Give me your damn jacket," "Sick," "What the hell was that?" "Get your stupid ass to Yellowstone," "Who the hell is we?" "You better move fast kid, the end is near," "Sucks" (written), "(You little/Cheap) Bastards," "You shut up," "Kill the bastard," "Idiot," "One hell of a great life," "Are you out of your mind?" "The guy's a nut job," "We're gonna need a bigger plane," "What the hell /are you talking about/are you doing/was that?" "Sit down and buckle up," "Have you completely lost your mind?" and "Open the G*ddamn door."
  • Some of the stunts and other action might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • A boxer has tattoos.
  • Tamara gives "the finger" to Yuri for previously leaving her to die.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden pouring of ice into a bucket is intended as a jump scene early in the film.
  • A car explodes and flips while traveling through a tunnel in Paris (we later learn this was a murder).
  • A sudden earthquake jolt might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous, suspenseful and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A performed song has the lyric, "A hell of a trip."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word (with another one mouthed), 6 "s" words, 1 slang term for breasts ("boobs"), 11 hells, 2 asses, 2 damns, 6 uses of "G-damn," 3 each of "My God," "Oh God" and "Oh my God," 2 uses of "God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sake," "Holy Mother of God," "Jesus," "Jesus Christ" and "Oh for Christ's sakes."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Laura shows a little cleavage.
  • With Jackson wanting to show his kids a special place in Yellowstone for him and Kate in the past, Noah sarcastically states he doesn't want to know "where you and mom had sex."
  • While hugging her close from behind in the grocery store, Gordon playfully tells Kate, "Why don't we make a baby?" She replies that they're not making a baby in the supermarket and then playfully tells him, "Hands off the merchandise" (meaning her body). He then playfully replies that women pay him thousands to handle their "boobs" (as a breast enhancement surgeon) and that she's getting such groping for free.
  • Tamara shows some cleavage.
  • We see two shirtless male boxers in the ring.
  • Tamara holds up a sexy bustier in front of her clothed chest.
  • Tamara chats with Kate and says that it was Yuri who wanted her to get her breasts done.
  • We see some miscellaneous cleavage.
  • From a distance, we see nudity in the paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, including that of "The Creation of Adam" that shows male full frontal nudity.
  • We hear that Tamara had a fling with Sasha while she was dating Yuri.
  • Adrian and Laura briefly kiss.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We learn that Jackson and Kate are separated and living apart, with her upset that he's not involved enough with their kids, including son Noah who calls Jackson by his first name rather than as "dad."
  • When Jackson sees that Gordon gave Noah a cell phone, Jackson says that's something they need to discuss as a family, with Noah sarcastically replying, "What family?"
  • Adrian and Harry are teary over the phone when they realize they'll never see each other again due to the approaching calamity.
  • Kate worries about Lilly and Jackson as they're late to return to a waiting airplane and then watching them barely avoid being killed by the approaching calamity.
  • Carl admits that he's leaving his 80-something mother behind due to her age, easy confusion, and so that she can meet her maker on her own terms. He also briefly comments on not inviting his ex-wife.
  • President Wilson briefly talks about his wife's death in the past.
  • President Wilson calls Laura to inform her that he's not coming along on the ark.
  • One of Yuri's sons says that his parents are divorced as well.
  • Tony calls his estranged son, first briefly getting the young granddaughter he's never met, but an explosion interrupts the father/son talk before they can converse.
  • A man throws his son up to a huge closing door on an ark, but ends up falling a long distance to his presumed death (that boy and his brother see their father fall away).
  • Kate worries about both Jackson and then Noah after they head underwater to try to save the day elsewhere.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Those who believe in end of the world predictions, such as the one scheduled for 12/21/2012.
  • How the governments of the world would react should such a calamity be a foregone conclusion.
  • Adrian commenting that nature will choose what will survive on Earth following the calamity.
  • In order to protect their limited resources, Carl refuses to allow others from a damaged ark onto the good ones.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see TV footage of rioting, including a windshield being smashed.
  • We see a large explosion on a mountain (that's from construction blasting).
  • We see a TV news report of mass suicides showing a body falling from a long distance, and then various dead bodies on the ground (no blood).
  • Jackson accidentally breaks a lamp while hurrying out of bed.
  • A car explodes and flips while traveling through a tunnel in Paris (we later learn this was a murder).
  • There's some crudely drawn animation showing Charlie's depiction of the apocalypse (played for comedy), including a person being hit by a lava flow and a T-Rex from the past biting someone (no blood, all very cartoonish).
  • A boxer punches his distracted opponent in the face, sending him to the canvas.
  • Yuri's sons have a bad/condescending attitude toward Jackson, their limo driver. In response, he purposefully drops some luggage on one boy's foot.
  • A sudden earthquake jolt hits Kate's house, sending her and the kids scurrying for cover as the bad quake continues. Jackson arrives and yells at all of them to come with him, so they rush out to his limo and he speeds down the street that rips and splits open in a dramatic fashion, almost as if chasing them (as houses, vehicles and trees, etc. are damaged or destroyed and he drives through or into things, such as Gordon's sports car). They end up stuck behind a car with two old ladies (that ends up crashing into a raised section of street), while the limo continues on its escape route, along which greater destruction occurs (including a truck crashing into a gas station, resulting in a huge explosion). During this, they nearly drive/slide into a huge fissure (made more dangerous due to a door of the limo being gone, thus meaning Kate and the kids could fall out). As this continues, they barely drive under a bridge as it collapses, and then drive through a building as it does the same.
  • With Gordon marginally being qualified as a pilot, he barely lifts off with Jackson and his family, all as the runway breaks open and falls away into a huge fissure that seems to be chasing them. Once airborne, they fly through and barely above all sorts of massive city destruction. During that, we see a car hit a person (viewed from a distance), a subway train flying out through the air and then exploding upon impact with the ground, people hanging from the side of a sheared away office building, and Gordon's plane flying between that and another building as both collapse toward each other. We then see a distant aerial view of huge tracts of Los Angeles now angled out of the ground and sliding into the ocean (presumably killing thousands if not millions of people).
  • Jackson drives down a mountain in Charlie's RV (with Lilly in tow) as volcanic eruptions start in the valleys, followed by a massive, nuclear bomb style eruption that blows Charlie off his feet. That results in fireballs and massive burning pieces of Earth flying through the air and slamming into the ground. One of them hits Charlie, while Jackson tries to drive the RV through them, but one hits the back of the vehicle, shearing it away and causing the damaged back end to be on fire.
  • A volcanic eruption cloud races across the land, hitting and destroying an airport, all as Sasha and Gordon try to get a huge Russian plane off the runway as that crumbles away below them. Once in flight, the plane ends up scraping the Eiffel Tower replica, tearing off the landing gear.
  • We see Nima's grandmother holding down a chicken to a block where she intends to behead it, including holding the hatchet to its neck. We then hear but don't see the blow.
  • While not seen, it's implied that billions of people worldwide die in the calamity.
  • The Sistine Chapel ceiling collapses on those inside the building, while the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica's then collapses down on those below and beside it.
  • As a tidal wave approaches, a cruise ship starts to list, sending those inside sliding to one side. The wave then hits, turning the ship completely over (and presumably killing everyone onboard).
  • A massive tidal wave hits Washington, D.C., including carrying an aircraft carrier that crashes down on President Wilson and many others as the wave destroys the White House.
  • A plane slides toward a ravine and barely stops at the edge. It then slowly tips over the edge, falls a long way, and explodes upon impact far below (presumably killing the pilot).
  • A massive tsunami sweeps over many people, including a family that Adrian knows.
  • Yuri punches a guard in the face.
  • Throngs of people crowd the edge of a platform near the arks, with some falling over the edge and plummeting a long distance.
  • Jackson, Gordon and Tenzin end up dangling above some large door gears, with Tenzin's leg being injured, while Gordon slips down into the gears and presumably is killed, and Jackson and Tenzin then barely avoid being crushed by something large that's closing.
  • A massive wave washes a monastery from the top of a mountain.
  • A man throws his son up to a huge closing door on an ark, but ends up falling a long distance to his presumed death.
  • A woman presumably drowns as floodwaters rise to the top of the compartment in which she's trapped.
  • Carried by the tidal wave, an ark slams into a mountain, causing some damage and tossing around those inside.



  • Reviewed November 10, 2009 / Posted November 13, 2009

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