Knowing – 4K UHD Review

Knowing (or as it was stylized, KNOW1NG) is a 2009 science fiction mystery thriller film that was directed by Alex Proyas and stars Nicolas Cage. The project was originally attached to a number of directors under Columbia Pictures, but was placed in turnaround and eventually picked up by Escape Artists. Production was finally backed by Summit Entertainment. Knowing was filmed in Docklands Studios Melbourne, Australia, using various locations to represent the film’s Boston-area setting.

The film starts off in 1959 as Lucinda Embry hears whispers while staring at the Sun. When her idea to make a time capsule is chosen by the school, each student is taken to draw a picture of what they believe that the future will look like. Lucinda writes a page of seemingly random numbers for her entry into the capsule, which is to be opened in fifty years. Lucinda’s teacher calls for the students to finish, but she continues until her teacher takes the page from her desk. Lucinda goes missing after the capsule is dedicated, and is later found hiding in a utility closet, scratching numbers into the door with her fingernails bleeding.

The film was originally released on March 20, 2009 in the United States. The DVD and Blu-ray media were released on July 7, 2009. The film ended up grossing $186.5 million at the worldwide box office, plus $27.6 million with home video sales against a production budget of $50 million. It was met with mixed reviews from film critics, with praise for its acting performances, visual style and atmosphere, but received heavy criticism over some implausibilities.

The Film Itself (4/5):

I was rather taken back at the amount of hate and discontent that Knowing has gotten over the years.  While going into this film with the knowledge of its existence and not having seen it previously, I was looking forward to finally checking it out.  The story, while semi-science-fiction, is more thriller and suspense than anything.  The film takes the wonder and curiosity that we’ve seen in films from Steven Spielberg and wraps it up in the crazy antics of M. Night Shyamalan and offers a pretty decent story that managed to keep my wife and I’s attention from beginning to end.  The various disasters that occur throughout the film as Nic Cage’s character works to follow the numbers that were written down half-a-century ago kept us on the edge of our seat as we didn’t really expect what was going to happen next.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Watching through the 4K UHD release of Knowing, I was completely taken back by the fact that this is not a “real 4K” release.  Being that it is an upscaled release, this particular version of the film really made brilliant use of the HDR.  The overall clarity of the image was simply stunning, and offered a significantly more lifelike experience than I had seen on other 4K UHD releases.  The flow of the computer generated graphics throughout this movie flowed very well and allowed for everything to really feel as it was really happening to the characters within the story.  The scenes that do feature lower than your standard levels of lighting had just enough ambient lighting to allow for my wife and I to be able to see and understand what was happening without having to pay extra attention to the screen.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Packaged with an all newly remastered Dolby Atmos audio track, the 4K UHD release of Knowing absolutely knocks it out of the park in terms of immersion.  Making a powerful presence in the surround, elevation and bass aspects, this release absolutely does a fantastic job at putting its viewers right in the middle of the action.  In fact, one of the sequences that played out beautifully through my home theater system was the one that included the commercial airliner.  The considerable amount of impact that this particular sequence had in relation to the story made my wife and I both fear for the overall foundation of our home.  Dialogue is clean and clear, and all of the speaking parts throughout are able to be heard and understood without having to manually adjust the volume levels at all.

The Packaging (3/5):

The 4K UHD release of Knowing comes packaged in your standard two-disc 4K UHD amaray case.  Within that case is the standard 4K UHD copy of the film as well as the standard Blu-ray copy of the film.  Neither of the discs feature any artwork that’s related to the film whatsoever outside of the standard release text and the generic blue or black background respectively.  There is a digital copy redemption pamphlet included within this release as well as an embossed slipcover that features the same piece of artwork that’s made available on the case art.


Special Features (4.5/5):

Knowing on 4K UHD is the first of its kind in terms of special features.  Including something more than the optional audio commentary to accompany the film, the folks over at Summit Entertainment actually included some content on the UHD disc.  The content that’s been provided offers a really nice look into the story and offering some expansion upon it as well as some of the work that went into making this film available to audiences.  Included with this release is:

  • Feature Audio Commentary With Director Alex Proyas
  • Knowing All: The Making Of A Futuristic Thriller
  • Visions Of The Apocalypse
  • 5 Things Worth Knowing About Knowing (4K UHD Only)

Technical Specs:


Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)


Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1


English: Dolby Atmos

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (Blu-ray Only)

French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1


English SDH, Spanish


Original Film: 121 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I absolutely enjoyed Knowing.  Having only really seen the Blu-ray constantly sitting on the shelves of my local pawn shop, I figured that when this opportunity came knocking on my door, I wanted to check it out.  With this story, we’re given a nicely put together, suspenseful storyline that keeps you guessing as the one true god works to solve the mysteries that surround the numbers that were written on that piece of paper fifty years prior.  The visual and audible presentation of the 4K UHD release were absolutely beautiful, despite it being considered a “fake 4k” release.  If you’re considering grabbing this for your collection, I would absolutely recommend grabbing it.  Knowing will be available on 4K UHD beginning on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.