2012 Film Wiki
2012 2009 2669 poster

2012 is a 2009 American science-fiction, apocalyptic, disaster film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich. The film is about a global cataclysmic event that is bringing an end to the world in the year 2012 and tells the heroic struggle of the survivors. The film contains references to the Mayanism, the Mayan-Long Count calendar, and the 2012 phenomenon.

The film received mixed reviews from critics, praising the special effects and the dark tone compared to Emmerich's other work, while criticizing the 158-minute length and the overall screenplay. Despite this, it was a huge commercial and box office success and it is currently one of the highest grossing films of 2009.


In 2009, American geologist Adrian Helmsley visits astrophysicist Satnam Tsurutani in East India and learns that a new type of neutrino from a solar flare is heating the Earth's core. Returning to Washington, D.C., Adrian alerts White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser and President Thomas Wilson.

In 2010, over forty-six nations begin building nine arks in the Himalayas, in Tibet, and storing artifacts in secure locations. Nima, a Buddhist monk, is evacuated with his grandparents, and his brother Tenzin joins the ark project. Additional funding is secretly raised by selling tickets to the rich for €1 billion per person. By 2011, all national treasures are moved to the arks with the help of art expert and First Daughter, Laura Wilson.

In late 2012, struggling science-fiction writer Jackson Curtis is a chauffeur in Los Angeles for Russian billionaire Yuri Karpov. Jackson's former wife Kate and their children, Noah and Lilly, live with Kate's boyfriend, Gordon Silberman. Jackson takes Noah and Lilly camping in Yellowstone National Park. When they find Yellowstone Lake dried up and fenced off by the United States Army, they are caught and brought to Adrian. They later meet conspiracy theorist and radio personality Charlie Frost, who tells Jackson of Charles Hapgood's theory: that polar shift and the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar predict a 2012 phenomenon and the worldwide catastrophes, and that the world's governments silence anyone attempting to warn the public.

Despite his initial skepticism, Jackson heeds Charlie's warning after seeing indications that validate it. At the Santa Monica Airport, after dropping off Yuri's sons Alec and Oleg, who also warn of impending doom as they board a plane, he rents a plane and sets out to rescue his family. As the Pacific Coast suffers a horrific earthquake along the San Andreas Fault, Jackson and his family reach the airport and get the Cessna airborne. The group flies to Yellowstone and retrieve Charlie's map of the arks' location. The Yellowstone Caldera erupts, with Charlie staying behind to finish his broadcast; he is killed by debris. Realizing they need a larger plane to fly to Asia, the group lands at McCarran International Airport south of Downtown Las Vegas to search for one.

Adrian, Carl, and First Daughter Laura fly to the arks, while President Wilson remains in the White House to address the nation. Jackson finds the Karpovs, Yuri's girlfriend Tamara, and their pilot Sasha. Sasha and Gordon fly the families out in an Antonov An-500, as the volcanic ashes from the Caldera envelop the Las Vegas Valley. Billions die in disasters worldwide, including President Wilson. With the presidential line of succession gone, following the death of the Vice President and the disappearance of the Speaker of the House, Carl appoints himself acting commander-in-chief.

Upon reaching the Himalayas, the Antonov's engines malfunction. As the plane touches down on a glacier, the party uses a Bentley Flying Spur stored in the hold to escape, except Sasha, who continues to pilot and is killed when the jet goes over a cliff. The survivors are spotted by Chinese Air Force helicopters, which take only the three ark-ticket-bearing Karpovs, leaving Tamara and Jackson's family behind. The abandoned group later encounters Nima, who, with his own family, takes them to the arks, where they stowaway on Ark 4 with Tenzin's help.

With a megatsunami approaching, Carl orders the loading gates closed, though most people have not boarded. Adrian persuades the captain and the other surviving world leaders to allow passengers aboard the arks, but Yuri falls to his death as he pushes his sons onto Ark 4. The gate closes after survivors are on board, injuring Tenzin and crushing Gordon. Tenzin's impact driver used to access the ship gets lodged in the gate mechanism, preventing it from closing completely and disabling the ship's engines. As the tsunami strikes, the ark starts flooding as it is set adrift, heading for Mount Everest. Adrian rushes to clear the gears, but watertight doors close, trapping the stowaways and drowning Tamara. Noah and Jackson dislodge the tool. The crew regains control of the ark, while Jackson and Noah make it back safely.

Twenty-seven days later, the waters are receding. The arks approach the Cape of Good Hope, where the Drakensberg Mountains are the highest mountain range on Earth. Adrian and Laura begin a relationship, while Jackson and Kate reconcile.



Critical response[]

Critics gave 2012 mixed reviews, praising its special effects and tone but criticizing its length (158 minutes) and the screenwriting.

Box office[]

Despite mixed reviews, 2012 earned $166,112,167 in North America and $603,567,306 in other territories for a worldwide total of $769,679,473. Worldwide it is the 50th highest-grossing film, the fifth highest-grossing 2009 film and the fifth highest-grossing film distributed by Sony/Columbia, behind Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and Skyfall. It is also the second highest grossing film directed by Emmerich, behind Independence Day. On its worldwide opening weekend, it made $230.5 million, marking the fourth-largest opening of 2009 and the fourth-largest for Sony/Columbia.


  • Some cinemas started the film at 20:12 (8:12 pm).
  • The song in this film is "Time for Miracles" by Adam Lambert.
  • The soundtrack in this film is "Master of Shadows" by Two Steps from Hell.
  • Charlie Frost's animation about the end of the world heavily references the animated Internet meme, "The End of the World", which centers around the idea that humanity will kill itself as a whole before any natural disaster would ever have the time to destroy it.
  • The scene of the destruction of the Kabah was not included, because Harald Kloser doesn't want a fatwa to be issued for this film
  • This film was banned in North Korea because the year 2012 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-Sung.