Tv & Film

Netflix's Leave The World Behind Sparks Controversy

Netflix's Leave The World Behind Sparks Controversy
Published 6 months ago on Dec 10, 2023

Netflix's latest venture into the apocalyptic thriller genre, "Leave The World Behind," has ignited a fervent debate among viewers over its unique cliffhanger ending. Starring A-listers Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, and Mahershala Ali, along with Myha'la Herrold, the film explores the struggles of two families on vacation facing a global catastrophe.

Originally framed as a series of cyberattacks across the U.S., the plot takes an unexpected turn, revealing a more sinister force at play. Even the island's wildlife, including deer, becomes a part of the enigma, surrounding the holiday home and fixating on its occupants. Based on Rumaan Alam's 2020 book of the same name, the film was directed by Sam Esmail and produced by Barack and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground.

With a runtime of 2 hours and 20 minutes, the film has garnered a "certified fresh" Rotten Tomatoes critics' score of 74%, accompanied by an audience rating of 83%. Since its release on Netflix, viewers have taken to social media platforms to express their admiration for the performances, cinematography, and overall tone of the film.

However, a notable portion of the audience has voiced dissatisfaction with what they perceive as a "random" and "awful" ending. Criticisms include claims of an "unsatisfying" conclusion, with some lamenting a perceived lack of payoff, deeming it a waste of time. The sentiments range from disappointment in the character likability to confusion and frustration over the unexpected cliffhanger.

Social media has become a platform for viewers to air their grievances, with comments like "Leave The World Behind just messed with my head, why would they end with the biggest cliffhanger" and "There’s two hours I will never get back. Horrible ending. Unlikeable characters. Netflix trash."

Amidst the outcry, some fans took to Twitter to defend the ending, asserting that viewers missed the underlying point and criticizing those who failed to grasp the intentional ambiguity. One user advised others to "take notes" and highlighted the deliberate choice for a deeper meaning.

In response to the controversy, Rumaan Alam, the author of the source material, found the ending "satisfying and rewarding." He emphasized the director's skill in infusing humor and self-reflection, acknowledging the audience's varied responses as a testament to the film's power.

While the debate continues over whether the ending is a stroke of brilliance or a disappointment, "Leave The World Behind" has undeniably sparked a dialogue, prompting viewers to ponder the intricate layers of the plot and the potential realities it may reflect. Whether perceived as a masterpiece or a misstep, the film's impact lingers, leaving an indelible mark on its audience.

Leave the World Behind:

Availability on Netflix:

Yes, "Leave the World Behind" is available to stream on Netflix as of November 22, 2023. It was released globally on the platform on that date.

Plot Summary:

"Leave the World Behind" is a psychological thriller based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam. It follows the story of a family's vacation at a luxurious rental home on Long Island that takes an ominous turn. When a blackout disrupts their stay, and two strangers appear at their door with disturbing news, they are forced to confront their own vulnerabilities and grapple with the possibility of a larger catastrophe.

Critical Reception:

"Leave the World Behind" has received mixed reviews from critics. Some have praised the film's suspenseful atmosphere and the performances of the cast, particularly Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali. Others have criticized the film's pacing and lack of explanation for the events that unfold.

Streaming Availability:

As mentioned above, "Leave the World Behind" is currently available to stream on Netflix worldwide. You can access it directly through the Netflix website or app.

Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:

Ultimately, whether or not you find "Leave the World Behind" to be a good movie is a matter of personal preference. I encourage you to watch the trailer and read some reviews to get a better sense of the film before deciding if it's something you would enjoy.

Leave the World Behind:


"Leave the World Behind" can hold various meanings depending on context. Here are some interpretations:

  • Literal: Physically leaving behind the world you know, whether through travel, relocation, or isolation.
  • Metaphorical: Letting go of past experiences, attachments, or expectations.
  • Symbolic: Representing a significant change or turning point in life.


  • Rating: 6.6/10
  • Number of ratings: 2,400
  • User reviews: Read mixed reviews, with some praising the suspense and performances, while others criticizing the pacing and lack of explanation.

Rotten Tomatoes:

  • Critic score: 68%
  • Audience score: 60%
  • Critical consensus: "Leave the World Behind" delivers solid performances and suspenseful atmosphere, although some viewers may find the film's lack of explanation frustrating.


Where to watch:

  • Netflix: Available to stream globally since November 22, 2023.
  • Other streaming platforms: Not available on other platforms as of December 6, 2023.


  • Reviews are mixed, praising the film's suspense and acting but also criticizing its pacing and ambiguity.
  • Individual enjoyment depends on personal preference, so exploring trailers and reviews is recommended before watching.

Director: Sam Esmail

  • Known for directing the critically acclaimed series "Mr. Robot."


  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the film, including cast, crew, plot summary, production details, and critical reception.
  • Offers a good starting point for learning more about "Leave the World Behind."

Additional resources:


  • Written news comments are in no way it does not reflect the opinions and thoughts of. Comments are binding on the person who wrote them.