NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy

The film starts with structural engineer John Allan Garrity (Gerard Butler) at work overlooking the plans for a building. He later goes home to his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) and their son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd), who has diabetes and walks around with an insulin pump. Although things are tense between John and Allison, they do their best to stay cool for Nathan.

The big story in the news is Clarke, a comet that is supposed to be passing over the Earth. The Garritys are hosting a party with friends and neighbors to watch Clarke go through the atmosphere. While John goes shopping for groceries, he gets a presidential alert on his phone that says he, plus Allison and Nathan, have been selected to relocate to a secret bunker. As he goes home, he sees military vans driving by.

John goes to tell Allison but finds the guests already there. They watch the news of a fragment of Clarke hitting the water. There is suddenly a slight tremor. When John goes outside, he is hit with a massive shockwave. He runs back into the house to hear the news that the fragment has hit the state of Florida, and a video shows the devastating impact and ensuing shockwave. The presidential alert then appears on the TV, repeating the message to everyone and instructing the Garritys to report to Robins Air Force Base for the flights to the bunkers. John gets Allison and Nathan to get their stuff and put it into one bag as they start to head out. Their neighbor Ed (Gary Weeks) warns John that Clarke is a giant cluster of fragments such as what hit Florida. As they start to drive away, another neighbor, Debra (Claire Bronson), begs with the Garritys to take her daughter Ellie (Madison Johnson), but the family has to regrettably leave them behind because John knows that the girl will be turned away.

The Garritys get close to the base but are held back by a long line of traffic, so they must abandon their car. Unfortunately, Nathan had grabbed his blanket and unknowingly dropped his medication on the floor of the car. A huge crowd has gathered demanding access onto the planes. After the family gains entrance into the base with wristbands, they realize they left the medicine in the car when they can’t find it in the bag. John goes out to grab it, but when Allison mentions Nathan’s condition to a soldier, the two are led to meet Major Breen (Merrin Dungey), who informs Allison that people with conditions such as diabetes are not allowed on the plane. Although Allison pleads with Breen to reconsider, there is nothing she can do. Thinking John already made it on the plane, Allison tries to get them to contact him, but to no avail.

When John gets back, he tries to hop on a plane after not assuming Allison and Nathan are on another plane. Another passenger notices John holding the medication, and he tells John the rule about people with conditions. He asks to be let off the plane, just as the crowd breaks through the gates and tries to storm the planes. Some have guns and fire at the base workers, causing one to drop a fuel pump. John gathers everyone to leave just as the fuel is ignited. Everyone starts running toward the gates just as the plane explodes, causing two more to blow up and kill many people. John makes it out in time and runs back to the car.

Allison and Nathan find that the car was broken into. She leaves a note for John telling him to meet them at her father’s house in Lexington, Kentucky. John finds the note and follows. Allison takes Nathan to a store that is being looted to get medicine for him. Gunmen soon storm the place and open fire on several people. Allison makes her way to the front until a man stands in front of her. She pleads for Nathan’s life and the man lets them go. She catches up with a woman named Judy (Hope Davis) and convinces her husband Ralph (David Denman) to drive them, but only as far as Knoxville, Tennessee.

John proceeds on foot through the city, where he comes across more looters and a view of more Clarke fragments passing through the sky. He stops by a rooftop party to try and get a reception to call Allison. They briefly talk before the call is dropped. Allison chats with Ralph and Judy, dropping that her family was selected but denied entrance. Ralph then appears to come up with a plan and pulls over to try and get Allison out. She fights him but is ultimately overpowered and has her wristband left behind as Ralph and Judy kidnap Nathan. Allison walks in despair for a while until a family in a minivan pulls over to take her to the airport, as she knows that’s where Ralph and Judy are headed.

John comes across a truck full of people heading toward Canada after the driver agrees to drop John off in Lexington. He meets a young man named Colin (Andrew Bachelor), who tells him that the planes in Canada are heading to the bunkers that are reportedly in Greenland, even though the locations were classified. Another passenger, Lucas (Joshua Mikel), antagonizes John after learning he got selected, thinking that only America-born citizens should have been selected (John is Scottish). He demands the wristband from John and starts to fight him, along with his buddy Micah (James Logan). The fight causes the truck to swerve off the side of the road, leading to a crash that kills Colin. John fights off Lucas and Micah until he drives Lucas’s hammer into his skull. He leaves, horrified.

Allison runs out of the van once they are stopped by traffic heading to the airport. Further up, Ralph and Judy have reached the base where they try to pass Nathan off as their son with the wristbands to gain entry. Nathan tells the soldier that he’s been kidnapped, and he goes with the soldier while the couple are taken into custody. He is brought into a medical camp right before Allison makes it there. A soldier helps her go through a few tents before she is reunited with Nathan.

The following morning, John walks into an empty neighborhood and breaks into a house for food and water. He turns on the TV and watches news of more devastating impacts around the world, as well as the news of the worst of Clarke to hit Europe the next day, estimating the deaths of 70% of plant and animal life plus more than 75 million deaths.. He steals a car and makes his way to the home of Allison’s father Dale (Scott Glenn). After a while, Allison calls the house to get picked up with Nathan down the road. After returning, Dale notices there is still issues between John and Allison. It is revealed that John cheated on her a while ago when their marriage was showing signs of slowing down. John expresses remorse for what he did. The family then watches more news and tries to accept the fact that they will most likely die in a day. John then remembers what Colin told him about the planes going to Greenland, and he resolves to try and make it there in time. They offer Dale a chance to go with them, but he chooses to stay in his home and accept his death.

The Garritys leave in Dale’s truck and head to Canada. They get as far as Upstate New York when they hear a radio report of molten debris incoming. Fireballs start raining down on cars and people. John leads Allison and Nathan to hide beneath an underpass. He even helps a man trapped in his car get to safety as they wait out the chaos.

After everything settles, the family continues their trip and makes it to the runway just as the plane starts to take off. John blocks the plane with his truck until the pilot (Holt McCallany) steps out to confront John. He tells the family that the plane is full, but John tells him to only take Nathan and Allison. However, Allison convinces the pilot to let all of them onboard.

The plane makes it to Greenland just as another fragment hits the coast and sends a shockwave that causes the plane to crash. Both pilots are dead, but the main one gestures to John that another plane is landing nearby, meaning the bunkers must be nearby. John leads his family and the other passengers toward the airbase and are all led underground as the last of Clarke is about to hit very soon. The Garritys embrace each other as the impact is felt.

Nine months later, other stations around the world (Sydney, New Delhi, Paris, etc) start to make contact with Greenland. The atmosphere has started to clear from the radiation, allowing the survivors to step out into what remains of the world. The Garritys join them as they rejoice at the sight of birds flying by.

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A comet called Clarke starts to make its way toward Earth. Originally thought to pass by, it starts to send fragments that cause devastating impacts around the world. Engineer John Garrity and his wife Allison, plus their son Nathan, are selected for emergency bunkers, but due to Nathan being diabetic, they are unable to board the planes. John is separated from Allison and Nathan after some chaos.

After Nathan is kidnapped by a couple trying to pass him off as their son for entry on the planes, Allison reunites with him and heads to her father Dale's home in Lexington, Kentucky. John learns from another survivor that planes are leaving from Canada to the shelters in Greenland. After John reunites with his family, they learn that the worst of Clarke's fragments will hit Europe the next day. John then resolves to go to Canada and leave on the planes to Greenland.

Following more trouble, the family makes it on their plane but crashes after a shockwave sends it down. They make it to the airbase and into the bunker just before Clarke makes its final impact. Nine months later, the atmosphere starts to clear up, and other nations make contact with Greenland, showing that there are more survivors than expected.