Leave the World Behind: A Review

Leave the World Behind

Based on Rumaan Alam’s acclaimed novel, Sam Esmail’s “Leave the World Behind” offers a tense and atmospheric take on the end of the world. While the film’s vague apocalypse and lack of resolution may leave some viewers frustrated, the strong performances and sense of unease make it a worthwhile watch.


The performances are uniformly excellent. Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke deliver nuanced portrayals of a couple grappling with uncertainty and fear, while Kevin Bacon and Myha’la Herrold are equally compelling as the mysterious strangers who arrive at their doorstep.

Esmail’s direction is masterfully suspenseful, building tension through slow-burn sequences and subtle hints of danger. The film’s rural setting and ominous score contribute to the overall atmosphere of unease.

The film raises interesting questions about privilege, trust, and the human condition in the face of crisis. The ambiguity surrounding the strangers’ motives and the nature of the apocalypse allows viewers to draw their own conclusions and engage in meaningful discussion.


The film’s vague apocalypse and ambiguous ending may leave some viewers feeling frustrated. While some may appreciate the open-ended nature of the narrative, others may find it unsatisfying.

The film deviates from the novel in some key ways. While some of these changes work well, others may feel jarring to fans of the book.

The film’s pace can be slow at times. This may not be a problem for viewers who appreciate slow-burn suspense, but others may find it tedious.


Leave the World Behind is a thought-provoking and suspenseful film that deserves to be seen. While it may not be for everyone, its strong performances, atmospheric direction, and thought-provoking themes make it a worthwhile watch for fans of the genre.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars