Knowing is a supernatural (or sci-fi) thriller, starring Nicolas Cage as a a widowed MIT professor who lectures on topics like randomness vs. determinism. It begins 50 years ago, when a socially isolated schoolgirl (Lucinda) gets the idea to have her new school bury a time capsule; her contribution is a series of digits dictated to her by ghostly whispers. After she the time capsule is buried, the little girl disappears, only to be found later in the darkened school (why didn't they turn on the lights?) in a closet with her fingers bloody. In the present time, when time capsule is opened, the professor's son happens to get Lucinda's letter, he sees a mysterious man.
It only gets interesting when the professor happens to see the letter his son opened and starts playing around with the numbers. He happens to lock on to 9112996, a sequence he interprets as 9/11 and 2,996 people dead. He finds fifty more disaster events, with the exact number of reported deaths in the message as in his web searches. His university colleague scoffs, calling it spooky, and suggesting Cage has lost his judgment to grief over his wife's death.
- The reception he gets from his colleague is, while fictional, rather typical of experts rejecting new scientific ideas. Rather than giving the idea independent review, he only points out that some of the number sequences remain uninterpreted. He does not check the 50 that Cage did interpret.
Cage, it turns out, is estranged from his pastor father, and rebuffs a surprise visit from his sister, who has the gall to offer to pray for him. Ah, but this genre of movie has to have all sorts of strange things happening to pique your interest.
The next day, as Cage is late picking up his kid from school, he's on a highway when a commuter jet crashes right near his car, stuck in stopped traffic. His colleague says, that night, "Right now my scientific mind is telling me to have no more to do with this."