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Movie Review - Leave The World Behind

Review of Netflix movie with Julia Roberts

By Andrea Corwin Published 5 months ago 4 min read
Movie Review - Leave The World Behind
Photo by Jason Grant on Unsplash

This is my review of Leave The World Behind, a post-apopolyptic movie currently streaming on Netflix, which stars Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, and Mahershala Ali.


Julia Roberts is her usual perfection, playing a people-hating, high-octane businesswoman. Her character, Amanda, rents an immaculate, remote, modern house with huge windows for a weekend away. She wants some peace for herself and her family. Her husband, played by Ethan Hawke, and her teenage son and pre-teen daughter come reluctantly, and she demands they all have a good time. Of course, the kids are not into having a weekend away from their usual activities and friends.

The daughter, Rose (played by Farrah MacKenzie), is obsessed with the old T.V. show Friends. Archie, their son (played by Charlie Evans), is lost in his video games with headphones blocking out his family like many teens. He is like many older brothers portrayed, alternating between heckling, gently teasing, outright frightening, and protecting his younger sister.

The family goes to the beach, where Rose is transfixed by an offshore cargo ship, constantly checking its location visually. The vessel continues moving closer until the family flees the beach.

The network signals aren't working, so they can't call anyone, Rose can't watch her Friends episodes, and then strangers show up at the rental house. Amanda is immediately suspicious, but her husband Clay isn't bothered. Clay agrees, against Amanda's opinions, to allow the owners to stay in the basement.

The strangers are the owners of the fabulous rental house and returned there since power is out all over the region. G.H. Scott, played in excellence by Mahershala Ali, wouldn't have been able to climb the stairs to his city home. Amanda is skeptical that this man who just appeared out of nowhere could afford the home she has rented. She doesn't believe anything he tells her and interrogates him. Amanda tells them that she rented the house, and her children are upstairs sleeping; she isn't going to let strangers stay there with them; she signed a contract! G.H. says he will refund her or part of the money if she allows them to stay. His daughter is with him, and she is blunt and radical toward Amanda, calling her out on her "stuff" without actually saying it aloud. It is especially troubling that they are basement dwellers in her own house. Some racial undertones flow throughout the movie, some blatant, others more subtle like in real life.

An emergency alert takes up the entire T.V. screen with no network stations playing. Occasionally, there is a blip with a few words coming through, such as "disrupting animal migration." Rose sees hundreds of deer in the yard staring back at her. Other unusual events occur, some simply interesting or thought-provoking, and some that will make your heart race.

When Rose goes into the woods with her brother, they find a shed, and a bug in the woods bites him, but he doesn't tell anyone.

Amanda and G.H. have an incredible dance scene together, showcasing the best of Julia Roberts. She and Mahershala Ali groove to music most people will recognize, dancing individually yet in total synchronicity. She apologizes for being such an ass to him, and they realize they have found a friendship and mutual admiration within his secluded house despite the chaos unfolding.

The son becomes ill, and he tells his mom, Amanda, that a bug bit him; she panics, believing he needs immediate medical attention for Lyme Disease. G.H., the voice of reason, calms everyone. He declares he knows someone who will know what to do about the son's illness. Clay could have been more helpful throughout the drama and scary events, but that was not in his character. Amanda is the force in this family, the manager, the demander.

G.H.'s daughter does not want to be left alone in the house with Amanda and Rose, and she especially doesn't want to be separated from her father. He convinces her he will return quickly and then takes Clay and Archie to his friend Danny.

Danny Kevin Bacon is excellent as a "prepper" dude. He is stocked with supplies, weapons, food, medicine, and, most importantly, ADVICE. He is not as friendly as Clay expected.

There were leaflets written in a different language dropped from the sky, and Danny was sure what it was all about.

Danny had what they needed to assist Archie, but will he care enough to help?

One crash scene is fantastic – BAM, BAM, BAM. Amanda took the wheel of their blue Jeep and outmaneuvered other vehicles. The camera pans out later, and holy cow!

Something has HACKED the world. It is causing chaos with cities, machinery, communication, and computers, and the animals are taking back their wilderness. Although Amanda wanted to leave the world behind, it seems the world is leaving her and her family behind!

By NASA on Unsplash


I didn't find the movie scary.

In the beginning, I was counting – I saw things laid out in groups of five, then four; I was looking for this significance at first.

The cinematography was exceptional; some animals are truer to life than others. Two vehicle scenes are impressive: the one with Julia Roberts and another with Ethan Hawke.

Scary - it was not for me; it was more on the side of interesting yet not very mysterious either. I have read more frightening stories on Vocal. The acting was excellent; the movie's premise seemed redone with some new twists.

I have not read the book. I give the Netflix movie a 3.5 thumbs up only for the acting and cinematography.

The ending to me was a "ha ha ha."


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Andrea Corwin

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran5 months ago

    Oh I didn't know this movie was based on a book. I've heard mixed reviews about this movie and have been hesitant to add it to my TBW list. I don't mind if it's not scary, I've even watched A Serbian Film and it didn't even make me bat an eye, lol. But if it's the mind of movie that's mindbending, then I wouldn't mind watching it.

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