I've been dying to see this movie since I saw the first trailer, which must have been 18 months ago. It was worth the wait. The science (if you want to call it that) is pure hokum. Excessive neutrinos from the sun are heating the earth's core? What? And the Mayan calendar isn't given much more attention. But watching John Cusack and his family making one death defying escape after another? Priceless. If you're looking for great acting don't come here. Mostly it's about reacting to cracks opening in the earth and buildings falling down. In the end, some of the characters do make some redemption for their save themselves at all cost behavior, but mostly it's people running and screaming and stuff falling on them. Danny Glover makes a good president. Very dignified. If you want to be a real spoilsport go to IMDB.com and read all the factual errors. I was thinking about some of them while watching the movie (would John Cusack's character really be able to out race a volcanic cloud that was moving almost as fast as their airplane when they took off?), but the special effects just make you forget about all of that.
So even though the movie has just about the highest death toll of any movie I've ever seen (6 billion people?) it was a lot of fun and pretty exciting.
I would not take a child younger than 10 to this movie. Some of the scenes are very intense and there are two major characters who are younger than 10 which I think would make it even more frightening to little kids.