Knowing (B) is a goofy, preposterous, and entertaining sci-fi thriller that's nowhere near as bad as most critics said it was. It's also not the 4-star masterpiece that Roger Ebert hailed it as either. Stylishly directed (on a smaller than normal budget for the genre) by Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City), it's got a lot of great ideas, some nasty scenes of CGI-enhanced destruction, and a real doozy of an ending. It's far from perfect, but when it gets going, Knowing is a tense, intricate, and fairly heady concoction of end-of-the-world paranoia and religious-based scientific conjecture. Nicolas Cage stars as an M.I.T. professor who drinks too much and has a son to look after since the death of his wife. The son of a pastor, Cage's character doesn't believe in God, and views life through a scientific lens. However, when a time capsule is unearthed at his son's elementary school, and a shocking list of numbers is pulled from it, everything starts to get wacky. The numbers appear to correspond to various deadly tragedies over the last 50 years. And wouldn't you know it, but the last three tragedies are set to occur rapidly, with the final omen being a rather large one. Add in some mysterious and shadowy figures who appear at random times, some silky-smooth black rocks that may or may not be some sort of key, and some vividly depicted moments of destruction (a plane crash sequence shot in one, bravura take with Cage running through the burning wreckage is almost too intensely detailed), and Knowing builds to a wild finale that's surprisingly downbeat. Recycling some themes and motifs from his best film, Dark City, Proyas is most definitely a gifted movie-maker. His previous effort, I, Robot, was decent summer sci-fi, but Knowing is closer in spirit to Dark City, and while it's not as good, Proyas reminds you that it's nice to have some ideas and thought mixed into all of the action and pyrotechnics. It's not a great movie, but it's good enough, somewhat thought-provoking, and worth checking out.