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Julia Roberts & Ethan Hawke star in Leave the World Behind (2023) | Netflix Review

A tense depiction of societies collapse, the destruction of technology and the human instinct to survive. Leave the World Behind (2023) is a stressful thriller that tempts you with details on every corner, inching you closer to the answers whilst leaving you in the abyss. 

With a strong cast and incredible camera work, this film is a feast for the eyes. Every scene is shot with a careful eye and attention to detail, using all camera angles and elements to indulge audiences into the mystery, I found the direction and stylised approach to this film to be one of its primary factors. It was visually a very creative film and was supported by the actors performances throughout. 

With an influx of disaster movies being realised and cinema being flooded with technology failures, this film had the potential to be too familiar and predictable but Leave the World Behind (2023) did the opposite. It kept my attention throughout and encouraged me to need the answers, I couldn’t look away from this film, I simply had to know how and why. Sadly though, by the end we didn’t really get many answers. The whole film is an enigma and I think that was the intention, we aren’t supposed to know why or how. Although this approach is entertaining it was a little frustrating to be felt with no resolution, the ending was ironic and a little funny but overall the ending was flat. 

I was expecting the finale to be grand and poetic, instead we were given a chance to reflect on ourselves. Watching as Rose finally finds out what happens to Ross and Rachel, the audience gets to see themselves in her. How would we react if this happened? If the world collapsed what would mean the most to you? It is an interesting question and one i’d never thought to ask myself before. 

Overall, Leave the World Behind (2023) is a complex thriller with a family story at the centre, with strong character led performances and an eery plot in the foreground, this film packed a punch from the beginning. Although the story felt predictable it still managed to keep my attention throughout, I understood what was happening but I still wanted definite answers. This film will leave you on a cliff hanger and it isn’t pleasant but the film is definitely one to watch. 


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