John Cusack  Actor Amanda Peet  Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor  Actor Thandie Newton  Actor Oliver Platt  Actor


MPAA Rating: PG13

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  • Overview
  • Format Details
  • Edtitorial Reviews
  • Cast & Production Credits

Theatrical Release Date: 2009 07 10 (USA) / 2009 11 13 (USA)

UPC: 043396292215

Studio: Sony Pictures

MPAA Rating: PG13   Contains:[Violence, Profanity]

Summary: Disaster movie maven Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) crafts this apocalyptic sci-fi thriller following the prophecy stated by the ancient Mayan calendar, which says that the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. When a global cataclysm thrusts the world into chaos, divorced writer and father Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) joins the race to ensure that humankind is not completely wiped out. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, and Oliver Platt round out the cast of this end-of-the-world thriller co-scripted by the director and his 10,000 B.C. writer/composer, Harald Kloser. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Category: Thriller

Features: Interactive Mayan Calendar
Multiple Featurettes on Bringing the Epic to Life
Digital Copy of the Film
Deleted Scenes
Alternate Ending
Picture-in-Picture: Roland's Vision, Commentary, MovieIQ

Adam Lambert Music Video


Format: Blu-ray

Release Date: 03/02/2010

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 2.40:1

Audio: DHMA

Runtime: 158 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Language(s) English,French

Subtitles: English,French

Jason Buchanan

A hulking spectacle of surreal destruction, Roland Emmerich's 2012 is a theme-park ride masquerading as a motion picture -- the only things missing are an exclamation mark in the title and multiplex seat-jostlers to give us a good jolt when the action gets especially intense. Were Irwin Allen still alive today, he'd no doubt marvel at Emmerich's impressive ability to dispatch more people in ten seconds of screen time than Jason Voorhees did in the entire original Friday the 13th film series (albeit much less creatively, of course). You can almost imagine a bulky old clamshell VHS case for 2012 on the shelf of your local video store, its title rendered in a cold, bold giant font over images of a globe cracking in half, and small, sweaty action headshots of all the stars lining the bottom of the box. Like his predecessor in mayhem, Emmerich knows what buttons to push in order to get a rise out of us. Yet despite -- or perhaps because of -- the fact that 2012 presents the ne plus ultra of bummer scenarios, this trip to the end of the world can't quite help but feel like an amalgamation of every disaster script ever written.

The end of the world gets under way when an Indian scientist receives evidence of the largest solar eruption in the history of humankind, and that eruption launches a new breed of neutrinos directly into the planet's core. These powerful neutrinos are acting like millions of little microwaves, heating up the planet until the crust begins to crack and all hell breaks loose. As genius scientist Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) keeps President Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover) abreast of developments, Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), a divorced, down-on-his-luck author, heads into Yellowstone National Park on a camping trip with his son, Noah (Liam James), and daughter, Lilly (Morgan Lily). Before long the ground is splitting open all around, sending Jackson on a mad dash to save his family as the U.S. government offers salvation to the highest bidders. Thanks to the fanaticism of a conspiracy-theory radio show host (Woody Harrelson), Jackson is able to get his hands on a map detailing the location of several arks that have been constructed to ensure the survival of the human race. But those arks are halfway across the world, and as the earth continues to crumble and the poles begin to shift, reaching China in time to make the final boarding call is going to be no simple task.

Let's save space and just be honest. If you paid good money to see 2012, odds are you're not looking for high human drama -- you just want to live out your fantasy of watching the world fall apart without the risk of grievous bodily harm and all the other awkward complications that go with experiencing the apocalypse firsthand. In that respect, Emmerich and his immensely talented team of special-effects artists have succeeded amicably; the apocalypse itself becomes something like the ultimate movie villain as our harried cast of survivors dodge one sensory-shattering catastrophe after another, and everyone does a commendable job of projecting sheer terror when the moment calls for it. The prospect of making a "fun" disaster movie for a post-9/11 society is something of a thankless job, but Emmerich isn't concerned with re-opening old wounds, and the early scenes of California crumbling are thoroughly cartoonish in their shameless excess. To be fair, he and co-screenwriter Harald Kloser do inject a sliver of social commentary in the final 15 minutes of the film, but by that point it comes off as somewhat disingenuous -- a stealthy means of freeing up the previous 143 for sheer end-of-the-world overload.

The main problems with 2012 are bloat and repetition; in their compulsion to connect every dot in the story, Emmerich and Kloser put off the inevitable for far too long, and by the third time we witness an airplane zooming down the runway and narrowly averting disaster, our stomachs stay firmly planted in our torsos rather than jutting up into our throats. But when the pacing begins to falter, it's the film's talented cast that keeps us flailing on the hook. Though the characters are nearly all cliché -- the power-hungry government guy, the heroic everyman, and the benevolent scientist, just to name a few -- Cusack, Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, and Zlatko Buric manage to make them engaging and enjoyable. 2012 is junk-food cinema of the highest order: it satisfies your craving for something ridiculous and unhealthy, and makes no claims of having any nutritional value whatsoever. It may not rot your teeth, but there is the risk that upon exiting the theater you might have a few less ounces of grey matter than when you entered. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Roland Emmerich  Director 
Roland Emmerich  Executive Producer 
Roland Emmerich  Screenwriter 
Ute Emmerich  Executive Producer 
Mark Gordon  Producer 
Harald Kloser  Composer (Music Score) 
Harald Kloser  Producer 
Harald Kloser  Screenwriter 
Larry Franco  Producer 
Michael Wimer  Executive Producer 
Thomas Wander  Composer (Music Score) 
John Cusack  Actor 
Amanda Peet  Actor 
Chiwetel Ejiofor  Actor 
Thandie Newton  Actor 
Oliver Platt  Actor 
Tom McCarthy  Actor 
Woody Harrelson  Actor 
Danny Glover  Actor 
Liam James  Actor 
Morgan Lily  Actor 
Zlatko Burik  Actor 
Beatrice Rosen  Actor 
Alexandre Haussmann  Actor 
Philippe Haussmann  Actor 
Johann Urb  Actor 
John Billingsley [act]  Actor 
Chin Han  Actor 
Osric Chau  Actor 
Chang Tseng  Actor 
Lisa Lu  Actor 
Blu Mankuma  Actor 
George Segal  Actor 
Stephen McHattie  Actor 
Patrick Bauchau  Actor 
Jimi Mistry  Actor 
Ryan McDonald  Actor 
Merrilyn Gann  Actor 
Henry O  Actor 
Patrick Gilmore  Actor 
Dean Marshall  Actor 
Ronald Selmour  Actor 
Viv Leacock  Actor 
Chris Boyd  Actor 
Donna Yamamoto  Actor 
Doron Bell Jr.  Actor 
David Orth  Actor 
Lyndall Grant  Actor 
Jason Diablo  Actor 
Ty Olsson  Actor 
Zinaid Memisevic  Actor 
Vincent Cheng  Actor 
Igor Morozov  Actor 
B.J. Harrison  Actor 
Dominic Zamprogna  Actor 
Karin Konoval  Actor 
Mary Gillis  Actor 
Rick Tae  Actor 
Parm Soor  Actor 
Gerard Plunkett  Actor 
Paul Tryl  Actor 
Andrei Kovski  Actor 
Val Cole  Actor 
Eve Harlow  Actor 
Sean Tyson  Actor 
Leonard Tenisci  Actor 
Michael Buffer  Actor 
Daren Herbert  Actor 
Craig Stanghetta  Actor 
Mateen Devji  Actor 
Qayam Devji  Actor 
Jody Thompson  Actor 
Tanya Champoux  Actor 
Frank C. Turner  Actor 
Kinua McWatt  Actor 
Laara Sadiq  Actor 
Gillian Barber  Actor 
Candus Churchill  Actor 
Beverley Elliott  Actor 
Agam Darshi  Actor 
Raj Lal  Actor 
Pesi Daruwalla  Actor 
Jacob Blair  Actor 
Jay Williams  Actor 
Scott Miller  Actor 
Anna Mae Routledge  Actor 
John Stewart  Actor 
Ryan Cook  Actor 
Brandon Haas  Actor 
Eddie Hassell  Actor 
Betty Phillips  Actor 
Georgina Hegedos  Actor 
Luis Javier  Actor 
Dean Redman  Actor 
Gordon Lai  Actor 
Leo Chiang  Actor 
Elizabeth Richard  Actor 
Mark Docherty  Actor 
Mark Oliver  Actor 
Kyle Riefsnyder  Actor 
John Mee  Actor 
Andrew Moxham  Actor 
Alexandra Castillo  Actor 
George Trochta  Actor 
Farouk A. Afify  Actor 
Shaun Wilson  Actor 
Leigh Burrows  Actor 
Alex Zahara  Actor 
Thomas Parkinson  Actor 
Jase-Anthony Griffith  Actor 

Country: USA