Vol. 17, No. 06 – Dec 13 – Dec 26, 2023 – Movie Review

Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
Leave the World Behind – Netflix & Theaters

3 out of 4 palm trees
Breeze rating from 1 to 4 palm trees, 4 being best.

In “Leave the World Behind” Amanda (Julia Roberts) and Clay (Ethan Hawke) Sanford were living a busy working life in New York City, so decided to take an unplanned vacation up north on the coast with their two children Archie (Charles Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie). They booked a vacation rental with the title “Leave the World Behind” that appeared the perfect location, though something seemed off when while they were at the beach later that day a huge oil tanker that was out of control ran up on the beach though no ports were anywhere near. The other troubling matter was that not only was the home WiFi not working, neither were any cell phones or tablets.

Back at the house the Sanford family shared a quiet night and after the kids had gone to bed Amanda and Clay shared some wine and time playing Jenga, when they heard a knock on the door. This immediately concerned Amanda due to the remote location of the rental, but Clay answered the door to find a finely dress man and young woman who apologized for the intrusion and shared it was their home. The man introduced himself as G.H. Scott (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la Herrold) and said that they went to spend time in the city, but that there was a blackout and chose to return to their house.

The Scotts said that they needed to stay at their home, but would refund the Sanfords their money and that there was an apartment downstairs they could stay the night until morning when they could find out what was going on in the city. Amanda did not want to agree to them being in the house together, but Clay was more easy going and compassionate about the Scotts situation so agreed to work out everything in the morning. Amanda only agreed to let the Scotts stay because of Clay and felt the G.H was withholding information, though he said he shared all he knew.

Due to the television, internet and phones still being down, the next day they decided to venture out to see if anyone had any information. G.H. headed to the closest neighbors home, Clay left for town and Amanda stayed back at the house with everyone else. This is when they began to discover something very serious had happened. Clay got lost without GPS and was chased back to the house by a huge drone dropping thousands of flyers with Arabic text which Archie was able to decipher said “Death to America”.

When G.H. arrived at the neighbors house, there was metal debris, luggage and other forms of wreckage on the front lawn and throughout the house which was right on the coast. Out back he discovered plane wreckage and dead bodies on the beach, and hearing another plane approaching, rushed back to the house for cover as another plane crashed onto the coastline. He returned to the house covered in water and wet sand, but had difficulty explaining what happened as his wife was on a return flight and concerned her plane had suffered the same fate.

Though in different locations, they then all heard several sonic booms and then an ear-piercing sound coming from everywhere that made them drop to their knees in pain that lasted for a while. Other strange things were happening with the wildlife including hundreds of deer surrounding the house and flamingos landing in the pool. With each new situation, G.H. seemed to grow more uneasy, as if he knew something about what was happening, some of which he shared with his daughter but was not sharing with the Sanfords. G.H. later shared that in his line of work as an analyst he dealt with clients in the defense industry and had been privy to some hypothetical scenarios on destroying a country and believed unfortunately that this was what had begun.

Runtime: 2h 20m

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