There was a lot of anticipation around Leave The World Behind. Not least because it stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, and Myha'la.
Directed by Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) and with a trailer that gave nothing away, it was shaping up to be the big disaster movie of the year for Netflix.
So, did it live up to the hype? The answer is a heady mix of both yes and no. On the surface, it is undoubtedly entertaining, but there are one or two elements that just grated.
But before we get to that, let's find out what Leave The World Behind is all about.
What Is Leave The World Behind About?
Amanda and Clay Sandford have taken their children Rose and Archie for a weekend getaway in a luxurious rental home outside of the city.
The house is gorgeous, and other than a few niggles (wifi struggles, tv doesn't play right), they are having a great time.
Oh, except for the giant ship that comes straight towards them at lands on the beach!!
Then the owner, George Scott and his daughter Ruth, show up in the middle of the night and ask to stay in the house. With no ID or any way to prove who they are or that they actually own the home, Amanda is reluctant, but Clay welcomes them in.
It transpires that all is not alright with the world, and the Scott's needed to get out of the city while they still could.
It soon becomes apparent that this is an apocalyptic thriller and that Scott knows more than he is saying.
So can the two families work together to really find out just what is going on?
Leave The World Behind Official Trailer
Is Leave The World Behind Worth Watching?
Is this movie enjoyable? Yes. Did Director Sam Esmail create a thought-provoking and engaging thriller? Yes. Is it perfect? No.
Good bits first. The cast is amazing, and the setting is perfect. There's enough scope in both the house and the surroundings for plenty of mystery and plot twists to keep you guessing.
The bad bits. Ruth Scott is an incredibly annoying character. She is the manifestation of every indulgent and entitled person you've ever met. And maybe you're not actually supposed to like her initially. Or maybe she's there to represent disenfranchised youth just like Amanda Standford represents quite a lot of middle-aged women.
There has to be a clash of characters before the necessary mutual understanding, and we get it in bucket loads with Ruth and Amanda. Both are there to tell us, through somewhat simplistic messaging, that whatever problems you think you have, they are nothing compared to surviving an impending apocalypse.
Daughter Rose's obsession with watching the final episode of Friends also gets trotted out quite extensively as a cyber attack prevents her from streaming it. Again, another nod to how myopic our lives can be when we're never faced with real problems.
As for the viewers who complained about the final scene and ending of the movie or those who moaned that nothing was explained. I have some news for you. Everything gets explained; you just have to really watch the film and follow it.
So despite its flaws, of which there are a few, Leave The World Behind is still a decent flick if you just want to be entertained. It's perfectly ok to leave an ambiguous ending to let the viewer work out what might happen.
Heck, they might even make a sequel and tie everything up in a neat bow. But for now, take it for what it is. A decent movie with a great and relatable set of characters thrown into an unknown world.
Leave The World Behind Movie Cast
Julia Roberts as Amanda Sandford
Mahershala Ali (Green Book) as G.H. Scott
Ethan Hawke as Clay Sandford
Myha'la as Ruth Scott
Farrah Mackenzie as Rose Sandford
Charlie Evans as Archie Sandford
Kevin Bacon as Danny
Vanessa Aspillaga as Salvadora
Is The Movie Based On A Book?
Yes, the movie is based on a 2020 novel by Rumaan Alam.
For the most part, the film is a pretty fateful adaptation, except for that ending.
In case you're interested, in the book, Rose does go to the neighbor's house, but instead of sitting watching TV, Alam writes about Rose gathering supplies to bring back to George's house.
Whether it all works out for them in the end is an unknown.
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