John Cusack and Woody Harrelson

John Cusack and Woody Harrelson (Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Inc.)

Director and co-writer Roland Emmerich, who amped up global warming to threaten Earth in "The Day After Tomorrow," calls upon an ancient prophecy to lay waste to much of the planet in this visually spectacular thriller. John Cusack enters the disaster-movie genre to play a writer struggling to save his ex-wife (Amanda Peet) and children from cataclysms that result from trouble at Earth's core.

Danny Glover portrays the U.S. president in a cast that also includes Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and Oliver Platt – but the true stars are the picture's special-effects team. DVD extras: "making-of" documentary; audio commentary by Emmerich and co-writer Harald Kloser; deleted scenes; alternate ending; music video. *** (PG-13: P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

Buy '2012' on DVD.