This is truly the mother of all disaster movies. The premise is that huge solar flares are affecting the Earth's core, which will cause the crust to radically shift. The movie begins several years earlier, when this is first discovered by an Indian scientist. An American scientist, Adrian Helmsley, who is visiting him conveys the information to Washington DC and they put a survival plan in motion. The movie alternates between Adrian and those who know what's going to happen to novelist Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) and his family. Jackson is taking his kids camping in Yellowstone Park when he sees that a lake he used to go to is dried up--and cordoned off by the Army. The Army takes him back to the campground, where he is parked next to radio conspiracy nut Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson). Frost heard from a friend what's happening and tells Curtis about this. Of course, Curtis thinks he's crazy. That is, until he's working on his day job driving a limo and overhears some of the same information from his client's son at the airport. He immediately rents out a small plane and then rushes to get his kids and his ex-wife. They make it just in time. Of course, they have to land a few times to refuel and also figure out where the government people are going. Are they really building spaceships to ride out the storm?
Although there are plenty of scenes of them barely escaping various disasters in the nick of time, the special effects are amazing and the destruction is relentless. Entire cities slide into the ocean or become engulfed by volcanoes. The only other movie I can compare it for sheer magnitude is George Pal's WHEN WORLD'S COLLIDE (1951).