Rated 3.0

Nicolas Cage plays a widowed single dad and MIT professor of astrophysics—yes, let that sink in—whose young son comes upon a 50-year-old time capsule containing coded, provably accurate predictions of catastrophe. Even more upsetting than the truly harrowing mass-transit disasters Cage witnesses firsthand is his sense that this code of doom was meant specifically for him to see. Oh, and his other sense that the whole planet might be in for it. Director Alex Proyas (most notably of The Crow) and a handful of screenwriters crank up the disaster-horror-hybrid dread with cheap shock tactics and some magically ominous combination of lens filters and post-production processing, then top it all off with a light froth of gibberish, both scientific and religious. Factor in devoted performances from Cage and pouting beauty Rose Byrne as his accomplice, plus some perilously neglected children, and the result is … well, downright cha-hEE-zy at times, but also rather shamefully delicious.