CATEGORIES Reviews
Roland Emmerich has done it again. After destroying half the world in 'Independence Day' and 'The Day After Tomorrow,' the destruction-meister has set his sights on all of Mother Earth in what is probably one of the most anticipated films of the year.

'2012' cashes in on the Internet-stirred fears of an end-of-the-world prediction for Dec. 21, 2012, a prediction often attributed to the Mayans, whose calendar ended on that date. But leave it to Emmerich to figure out in what ways and how doomsday arrives (no spoilers, here). Suffice to say that this demolition derby is breathless.

Don't worry about a coherent plot line or nuanced characterizations. That's not why you're going to see this one. '2012' exists to stimulate your eyes, ears and brain with nonstop big-screen excitement. The critics know this and generally have given the film kudos for what it is: one big WOW. Check out reviews after the jump. Roland Emmerich has done it again. After destroying half the world in 'Independence Day' and 'The Day After Tomorrow,' the destruction-meister has set his sights on all of Mother Earth in what is probably one of the most anticipated films of the year.

'2012' cashes in on the Internet-stirred fears of an end-of-the-world prediction for Dec. 21, 2012, a prediction often attributed to the Mayans, whose calendar ended on that date. But leave it to Emmerich to figure out in what ways and how doomsday arrives (no spoilers, here). Suffice to say that this demolition derby is breathless.

Don't worry about a coherent plot line or nuanced characterizations. That's not why you're going to see this one. '2012' exists to stimulate your eyes, ears and brain with nonstop big-screen excitement. The critics know this and generally have given the film kudos for what it is: one big WOW. Read on.

Roger Ebert"This is fun. '2012' delivers what it promises, and since no sentient being will buy a ticket expecting anything else, it will be, for its audiences, one of the most satisfactory films of the year. It even has real actors in it. Like all the best disaster movies, it's funniest at its most hysterical. You think you've seen end-of-the-world movies? This one ends the world, stomps on it, grinds it up and spits it out."

The Hollywood Reporter: "If you rolled every disaster movie into one spectacular package, you would wind up with something close to '2012,' Roland Emmerich's latest apocalyptic fantasy. Eye-popping special effects ensure that this movie will be a smash hit, and while it's entertaining for most of its excessive running time, the cheesy script fails to live up to the grandeur of the physical production."

Entertainment Weekly: "Don't worry, be happy: The dog survives in '2012' even though billions of people don't. The unfortunate masses -- innocent as their four-legged fellow creatures but traditionally more expendable in disaster epics like this one -- die in ways it takes Armageddon-movie master Roland Emmerich and a mighty army of CG artists to devise ... God forgive me, but I enjoyed the nerve-racking silliness of this newest, loudest exercise in destruction."

'2012' Trailer


'2012' showtimes and tickets
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Disaster movies quiz
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The Los Angeles Times: As far as the new disaster film '2012' is concerned, the world will end with both a bang and a whimper, the bang of undeniably impressive special effects and the whimper of inept writing and characterization. You pays your money, you takes your chances. In fact, it's hard to say what leaves the more lasting impression, how realistically director Roland Emmerich has destroyed Los Angeles ... or how difficult a time the actors have bringing any life to the script by Emmerich and Harald Kloser.

The New York Times: It all looks fairly convincing and also familiar: if you don't repeatedly flash on Sept. 11, Mr. Emmerich will surely be disappointed. That gives the movie a cheap frisson, though the larger shivers are supplied by the onslaught of pricey special effects ... Alas, the clichés of the disaster narrative remain in place. To that ruinous end, the larger catastrophe in '2012' functions as both the trigger and backdrop for a soap opera about a fractured family, standing in for the rest of humanity, which heals as the world falls apart. That's the idea, anyway.

Screen International: "Roland Emmerich's apparently limitless appetite for gigantic effects-driven B-movies continues unabated with the disaster epic to end all disaster epics, a deliriously ludicrous, guilty pleasure of a blockbuster in which the end of the world is turned into a two-and-a-half-hour rollercoaster ride. Echoing virtually every disaster movie ever made ... '2012' is shamelessly derivative but no less diverting for it."

Variety: "The notion of playing God is implicit in the job of a film director, and rarely has the sense of a wrathful, vengeful deity at the helm, albeit a pagan one, been so comprehensively felt as in '2012.' For demolition maestro Roland Emmerich, 'Independence Day,' 'Godzilla' and 'The Day After Tomorrow' were mere appetizers for the lip-smacking smorgasbord of global annihilation laid out here."

San Francisco Chronicle: "The most grounded thing here is the acting -- (John) Cusack, (Chiwetel) Ejiofor, (Oliver) Platt, (Tom) McCarthy and (Woody) Harrelson are all better than a movie like this typically provides. But instead it's just another doomsday film, with new digital effects and stock scenes patched together from 'Jaws,' 'The Poseidon Adventure' and 'Armageddon.' And a long one at that. For too much of the 2 1/2-hour '2012,' the end is not near."

Get more '2012' reviews on RottenTomatoes.com