Left Behind (2014)
For Ages 12 and Over
“Left Behind” is an apocalyptic action-thriller movie starring Nicolas Cage that is based on the New York Times bestselling novel that brings biblical prophecy to life in modern times.
The most important event in the history of mankind is happening right now. In the blink of an eye, the biblical Rapture strikes the world. Millions of people disappear without a trace. All that remains are their clothes and belongings, and in an instant terror and chaos spread around the world. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn. Planes fall from the sky. Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. There is no one to help or provide answers. In a moment, the entire planet is plunged into darkness.
The Steele family is caught on the razor’s edge of that darkness. Airline pilot Ray Steele struggles to calm and ultimately save the lives of the passengers who remain on his flight, as the world below loses its ability to help his plane and all others to safety. Running out of fuel, his equipment failing, his crew escalating into panic, Ray must guide the plane with the help of GWN reporter Cameron “Buck” Williams, who takes over as co-pilot in the face of the crisis. For Buck Williams, being trapped at 30,000 feet with a plane full of terrified passengers means a struggle to understand the incomprehensible.
On the ground, Ray’s daughter Chloe Steele struggles to find her young brother and mother, both of whom may have disappeared in the Biblical event. Forcing herself through the chaos, Chloe must navigate a world filled with terror and despair.
“Left Behind” is a gripping and dramatic movie that will reel you in! It is well directed and features a strong script based on the book by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. A previous film based on the book and starring Kirk Cameron arrived in theaters in 2001. This movie stars Nicolas Cage and Chad Michael Murray, as well as Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan and Lea Thompson. Each actor hits the right note and gives an excellent performance.
College student Chloe Steele (Thomson) heads home to surprise her mother and father, but her dad, Ray (Cage), is about to fly from New York’s JFK Airport to London and he’s not changing his plans. He leaves his wedding ring in his car and Chloe is concerned when she sees him laughing and talking with a flight attendant named Hattie (Whelan). Chloe meets a handsome young man named Cameron “Buck” Williams (Murray) at the airport; he is a big name on the GWN news channel. He takes a liking to her and appreciates her spunk. When Chloe is given two tickets to a concert to give to her father by her dad’s friend, she realizes that her dad’s plans include another woman. She gives the tickets to new friend Buck, who is boarding the plane her father is piloting. When Buck gives the tickets to Ray, he is quite embarrassed.
This movie moves quickly; all lean and no fat! Suddenly, in a flash, people disappear and their clothes drop to the floor. Chloe is with her young brother and suddenly she is holding his clothes in her hands as he vanishes. Her mother Irene (Thompson), a Christian, had warned Chloe to be ready but now she is overwhelmed with the possibility of what just happened. Did God take his believers to Heaven? Panic sets in as planes without pilots, cars without drivers, and maternity wards without babies prompt world-wide hysterics. The movie portrays the drama and panic very well.
It finally dawns on Ray and others what has happened, especially when he searches through a missing passenger’s “to do” list and finds “Bible study” as one of her items. When their airport is closed, despite being low on fuel, they have to turn around and head home. This tension-filled drama hits home and hits powerfully, and will challenge viewers to think: If this is really going to happen as the Bible says it will, what must I do to be ready? The film’s themes include forgiving others and it concludes with Mark 13:32: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man.”
“Left Behind” (2014) has earned five Doves from The Dove Foundation, our best rating. It is entertaining, suspenseful, and will motivate viewers to examine their own lives.