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When 17 people suddenly drop dead within a 10 block radius in Boston, geophysicist Dr. Josh Keyes (Aaron Eckhart) and French atomic weapons expert Dr. Sergei Leveque (Tchéky Karyo) are summoned by General Thomas Purcell (Richard Jenkins) to Washington D.C., to find out if the deaeths are due to a covert enemy electromagnetic weapon. When it's determined that this was not an act of war, the government breathes a sigh of releif and the scientists are dismissed. After working independently Keyes finds the solution to the problem lies deeper then they ever expected. For reasons unknown the Eath's core has stopped rotating causing the electromagnetic field to rapidly deteriorate. They find they must restart the core or face certain doom.