I Robot

  • Directors: Alex Proyas
  • Producers: John Davis, Topher Dow, Wyck Godfrey, Laurence Mark, Will Smith
  • Writers: Novel, Isaac Asimov, Screenplay, Jeff Vintar, Akiva Goldsman, Hillary Seitz
  • Genres: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Alan Tudyk, Shia LaBeouf

In the year 2035, robots are commonplace, doing all forms of jobs from factory work to mail delivery. On the day before the release of the new Nestor Class 5 (NS-5) Chicago Homicide Detective Del Spooner receives a call that his old friend Doctor Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), inventor of the Three Laws of Robotics and co-founder of U.S. Robotics (USR), had been found dead. Surveillance footage initially suggest Lanning’s death is a suicide. However, Spooner, who has an intense distrust of robots, believes Lanning was murdered. With the help of Doctor Susan Calvin, he searches Lanning’s office where he finds an NS-5 and captures it after it fails to obey Doctor Calvin’s commands. During interrogation, the robot, who calls himself Sonny (Alan Tudyk), tells Spooner that he was built by Doctor Lanning himself and insists, when accused by Spooner, that he didn’t kill Lanning, visibly angered. Sonny also tells Spooner that he is capable of sleep and having dreams, but before Spooner can get any more information, USR CEO Lawrence Robertson (Bruce Greenwood) arrives with his lawyers and takes custody of Sonny.

After Spooner’s Commanding Officer John Bergin (Chi McBride) insists that the death was a suicide and that Spooner is getting nowhere in his investigation, Spooner decides to search Lanning’s home. As Spooner searches the house, a demolition robot with a command to demolish the house the next morning activates and destroys the house with Spooner inside. He manages to get out, but is unable to convince Doctor Calvin of his suspicions. On his way home, Spooner is approached by two USR trucks and attacked by the NS-5s inside, causing an accident. Spooner fends off an NS-5 with his cybernetic left arm, but when the police arrive, the NS-5 destroys itself while other robots clean up the remains of the accident. Spooner is unable to convince Bergin of the truth and is relieved of duty.

After escaping Robertson’s office with Sonny’s help, Spooner decide to use nanites designed to decommission robots to destroy VIKI. Sonny is sent to get them, since his dense alloy can withstand the force field protecting the nanites. Meanwhile, Calvin’s attempt to open the hatch to VIKI’s mainframe is thwarted by more NS-5s. When Sonny arrives, Spooner orders Sonny to give him the nanites and rescue Doctor Calvin. Spooner successfully destroys VIKI, returning the NS-5s to normal. Concluding that Doctor Lanning ordered Sonny to kill him after designing Sonny as a safeguard against the coming rebellion, Spooner dismisses the charges against Sonny under the pretense that murder can only happen between two humans.

Knowing

  • Directors: Alex Proyas
  • Producers: Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch
  • Writers: Story, Ryne Douglas Pearson, Screenplay, Ryne Douglas Pearson, Alex Proyas, Stuart Hazeldine, Juliet Snowden, Stiles White
  • Genres: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Rose Byrne

In 1959, at William Dawes Elementary School in Lexington, Massachusetts, a time capsule containing the students’ drawings of their ideas of the future is buried and set to be ceremoniously opened 50 years later. As opposed to the drawings of the other children, a girl named Lucinda Embry contributes a page full of seemingly random digits which she continued to write until her teacher took her paper away. That night, Lucinda is found in a school closet, where her fingers are bloodied and she complains about hearing voices. On the door she scratched the final numbers that she never got to put on her paper.

In 2009, the time capsule is opened and the drawings are given to the current students. A boy named Caleb receives Lucinda’s envelope. His father John Koestler, a widower and professor of astrophysics at MIT takes notice in the paper, and further examination makes him realize that part of these digits form dates and death tolls of every major disaster over the past fifty years, in chronological order, and suggests three disasters yet to come. Meanwhile, Caleb begins receiving visits from mysterious figures in overcoats (listed in the credits as “The Strangers”), and during his encounters he hears their overlapping telepathic whispers.

At Lucinda’s mobile home, John finds the children with the four Strangers as a glowing vessel descends from the sky. The Strangers dispossess themselves of their human appearance, revealing themselves to be glowing, translucent figures surrounded by wisps of light. The Strangers invite those who can hear their whispers to leave Earth with them. After convincing Caleb and Abby to go with The Strangers, John collapses and sobs as the vessel departs. From the vantage point of space, other ships are seen taking off from all around Earth. John travels to Boston to be with his sister and parents. While he had previously been an atheist, John tells his estranged father, a Christian minister, that he now believes that the family, including his late wife, will be together in the afterlife as he had also told Caleb. John and his family embrace as the solar flare strikes Earth and incinerates all life on the planet. Elsewhere, Caleb and Abby are dropped off in an otherworldly field, and the film ends as the two make their way towards a prominent solitary tree in the distance.