Left Behind: The Movie (2001)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Poor production values, slow pacing, and an implausible story makes Left Behind a movie only for the faithful.

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Movie Info

In the Holy Bible, the Book of Revelations speaks of an event called "The Rapture," in which it is believed God will call those who have been saved to Heaven, while those who have not repented their sins will remain on Earth. Authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins have written a series of novels based upon the premise of how the Rapture would affect ordinary people in the modern world, and Left Behind is the first feature film to be adapted from their work. Rayford Steele (Brad Johnson) is an airline pilot whose relationship with his wife has gone sour; she responds by devoting more of her time and energy to the church, while he ponders having an affair with an attractive flight attendant, Hattie Durham (Chelsea Noble). In the midst of a flight to London, a number of their passengers mysteriously disappear, and chaos takes hold as a number of vehicles on the ground and in the air are suddenly unmanned. Meanwhile, Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron), a television journalist, is pondering the rash of sudden disappearances as he works on a report about Dr. Chaim Rosenzweig (Colin Fox), an Israeli scientist who has devised a formula that would make any soil on earth easy to cultivate. However, Cameron wonders if there's more to Rosenzweig than he first imagined when he discovers the doctor is in cahoots with two multi-millionaires who plan to broker the invention to promote their own agenda of international domination. Produced by Cloud Ten Productions, a Christian filmmaking concern, Left Behind was released with an unusual marketing strategy -- the film was made available on home video in October 2000, with a theatrical release scheduled to follow in February 2001.
Rating:
PG-13 (for violence)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Faith & Spirituality
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

T.D. Jakes
as Pastor Billings
Gordon Currie
as Nicolae
Daniel Pilon
as Jonathan
Tony Curtis Blondell
as Security Guard No. 2
Brad Johnson
as Rayford
Neil Crone
as Ken Ritz
Thomas Hauff
as Steve Plank
Krista Bridges
as Ivy Gold
Rebecca St. James
as Buck's Assistant
Philip Akin
as Alan Tompkins
Chelsea Noble
as Hattie
Bob Carlisle
as GNN Reporter
Colin Fox
as Chaim
Robert Levine
as Old Man
Rufus Crawford
as Security Guard No. 1
Sten Eirik
as Flattop/Carl
Marion Bennett
as Young Girl on Plane
Stacie Fox
as Young Mother on Road
Steve Behal
as Zombie Man
Raven Dauda
as Gloria
Alan Rosenthal
as Soldier No. 1
Marvin Ishmael
as Fitzhugh
David Blacker
as Big Man on Plane
Katherine Trowell
as Woman in Green Blouse
Regan Moore
as Passenger
Chris Gillett
as Eric Miller
Thea Andrews
as Media Relations Officer
Terry Samuels
as General
Tufford Kennedy
as Husband on Plane
Christine Donato
as Wife/Mother
Fran Elliot
as Elderly Woman
Lillian Lewis
as Old Drunk Lady
Peter Loung
as Washroom Attendant
Sherry Hilliard
as News Anchor
Clay Crosse
as U.N. Security Guard No. 1
Josh Penner
as U.N. Security Guard No. 2
Marty Penner
as U.N. Security Guard No. 3
Toby Penner
as U.N. Security Guard No. 4
Ava van Heerden
as Very Attractive Baby
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Critic Reviews for Left Behind: The Movie

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (14)

In the end, or maybe in the beginning, it won't merely be the unfaithful on the screen who will feel left behind.

March 2, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Might be extremely effective while preaching to the converted, but it's no great shakes as secular entertainment.

Full Review… | February 7, 2001
Variety
Top Critic

An exceedingly poorly made motion picture.

Full Review… | February 5, 2001
ReelViews
Top Critic

Nearly unendurable.

February 5, 2001
Film.com
Top Critic

A competently made film hampered by wooden performances and a script that has a few too many 'Gee whiz' moments of dialogue.

February 2, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

For all its intimations of fire and brimstone, the film isn't remotely frightening, and the high-school-level acting doesn't help.

February 2, 2001
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Left Behind: The Movie

½

"Left Behind" is a film adaptation of the amazing Christian book series. This imagining of the Rapture and the second-coming of Christ vividly brings the Biblical prophecies into a real-world perspective. And it does it much better than the 2014 attempt. The fact that they tell an actual story puts this far above the universally panned Nicholas Cage reboot. In that version, they literally wrote the antagonist out of the story! You could watch the two movies back to back and think that they were completely different stories. And you would decide that this one is much better, so just skip the reboot. The acting and special effects in a low-budget Christian film will never live up to that of a mainstream theatrical release, but this film is certainly better than a made-for-tv movie. Kirk Cameron is the only actor of any notoriety amongst this bunch, but they all hold their own with actors from "real" movies. The writers pour on the Christian testimony pretty strong at one point, but the entire story revolves around it so it didn't seem out of place. A bit overdramatic, but not out of place. In spite of its low-budget, independent feel, I have no issue recommending "Left Behind" if you are interested in getting a glimpse of how the Rapture may unfold some day.

Jonny Priano
Jonny Priano

Not terrible, but obviously very flawed and the acting isn't the greatest.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

½

I haven't ever read any of the Left Behind books, but I've heard a lot about them. I got to watch the movie, and it's not the best religious-type movie I've ever seen, but it's not bad. Kirk Cameron stars as one of the people who have been 'left behind' after the revelation. A lot of people start mysteriously disappearing and a bunch of people are trying to figure out why. The people who have been left behind have to find a way to find out what has happened and then try to change themselves in order to have a chance to make it after the 7 year tribulation without getting involved in the anti-christ's plan to take over the world. I thought "Left Behind" was a good movie. The only thing I didn't like about it was that I thought it ended all of a sudden without getting enough of the story in. Other than that, this movie has a lot of meaning to it and I recommend anybody to watch it, especially if you've been reading the series of books. If you don't get a chance to see the movie now, it's supposed to be coming to theatres sometime in early 2001. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000.

Jason Owens
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

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