Leave the World Behind Parents Guide

Leave the World Behind is a gripping 2023 American psychological thriller, penned, directed, and produced by Sam Esmail. Adapted from Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel of the same name, this cinematic creation features a stellar cast, including Julia Roberts (also credited as a producer), Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, and Kevin Bacon.

The film made its debut at the AFI Fest on October 25, 2023, generating buzz and anticipation. For those eager to experience the suspense, “Leave the World Behind” hits select theaters on November 22, 2023, with a Netflix streaming release slated for December 8, 2023. Mark your calendars for a riveting cinematic journey into the depths of psychological thriller excellence.

Leave the World Behind Movie Details

GenreMystery & Thriller, Drama
Original LanguageEnglish
DirectorSam Esmail
ProducersSam Esmail, Marisa Yeres Gill, Lisa Roberts Gillan, Chad Hamilton, Julia Roberts
WriterSam Esmail
Release Date (Theaters)Nov 22, 2023 (Limited)
Release Date (Streaming)Dec 8, 2023
Runtime2 hours 20 minutes

What Leave the World Behind story is All About

In this expanded and reimagined version of the apocalyptic thriller, tension, and suspense escalate as the world around Amanda (Julia Roberts) and Clay (Ethan Hawke) crumbles into chaos. The luxurious vacation home becomes the battleground for survival as the two families, thrust together by the harrowing circumstances, navigate a world plunged into uncertainty.

As the cyberattack unfolds, the intricacies of the attack become more sinister, revealing a nefarious plot that goes beyond mere chaos. G.H. (Mahershala Ali) and Ruth (Myha’la) bring not only news of the impending disaster but also a complex web of intrigue and mystery that ties their fates together. Unraveling the layers of the cyberattack becomes a race against time, and the lines between ally and adversary blur in the face of an imminent catastrophe.

Amanda and Clay, initially seeking solace in their temporary haven, find themselves questioning the reality of their situation. Julia Roberts delivers a gripping performance as Amanda, a mother torn between protecting her family and uncovering the truth behind the cyberattack. Ethan Hawke’s portrayal of Clay evolves as he grapples with the responsibility of leading the makeshift alliance in this battle for survival.

The children, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie), add a poignant layer to the narrative as they bear witness to the collapse of the world they once knew. Their innocence contrasts sharply with the grim reality outside the walls of the vacation home, emphasizing the stakes at hand and the fragility of their existence.

Mahershala Ali’s character, G.H., emerges as a mysterious and enigmatic figure, carrying a dark past that intertwines with the unfolding catastrophe. His pursuit of refuge is not just a matter of physical survival but also a quest for redemption and closure. The dynamic between G.H. and Julia Roberts’ Amanda becomes a focal point, as trust becomes a scarce commodity in a world dominated by uncertainty.

As the story unfolds, the luxury of the vacation home becomes a stark juxtaposition to the harsh realities of the outside world. Esmail’s direction weaves a narrative that delves into the psychological toll of survival, exploring themes of trust, morality, and the lengths individuals are willing to go to protect their loved ones.

The film’s climax builds to a heart-pounding crescendo, with revelations about the true nature of the cyberattack and the interconnected fates of the characters. The apocalyptic landscape serves as a backdrop to the ultimate test of the human spirit, challenging the characters to confront not only external threats but the internal demons that surface in the face of impending doom.

In this reimagined apocalyptic thriller, Sam Esmail crafts a gripping narrative that goes beyond the conventional boundaries of the genre, delivering a thought-provoking exploration of humanity’s resilience and the choices we make when confronted with the end of the world.

Leave the World Behind Parents Guide

Why is Leave the World Behind rated R?

The MPAA assigned an R rating due to language, some sexual content, drug use, and brief bloody images.

Overall Content:

“Leave the World Behind” is a riveting psychological thriller that has been rated R by the MPAA due to its intense content. This rating encompasses language, sexual content, drug use, and brief but impactful instances of violence.


Throughout the film, viewers can expect a consistent presence of strong language, including profanity and explicit dialogue. The characters express themselves with raw and intense language, contributing to the overall edgy atmosphere of the movie.

Sexual Content:

The movie contains scenes with sexual content, both implied and explicit. Expect moments of nudity, sexual references, and intimate situations that contribute to the film’s mature rating. The portrayal of relationships and human connections adds complexity to the characters and the unfolding narrative.


“Leave the World Behind” features intense and suspenseful scenes, including moments of violence that are brief but impactful. Viewers should be prepared for scenes with bloody images, contributing to the film’s classification as an R-rated thriller.

Drug Use:

Drug use is depicted in the film, with characters consuming substances as part of the narrative. This element contributes to the mature rating and is portrayed within the context of the characters’ responses to the escalating crisis.


The movie explores profound themes related to the collapse of society and the psychological toll of survival in an apocalyptic setting. The narrative delves into the characters’ moral dilemmas, adding depth and complexity to the overall storyline.

Frightening Scenes:

“Leave the World Behind” contains intense and potentially frightening scenes, given the apocalyptic nature of the plot, the looming cyberattack, and the characters’ struggles for survival. The film’s atmosphere is deliberately designed to evoke suspense and tension.

Overall Tone:

The overall tone of the movie is tense and suspenseful, maintaining a gripping atmosphere throughout. The psychological elements heighten the emotional impact, making it a thought-provoking and immersive experience.

Who is in the Cast of Leave the World Behind

Here, is the complete list of Leave the World Behind cast and characters

  • Vanessa Aspillaga as Salvador as Charlie Evans
  • Mahkah Wright as Beach kid
  • Josh Drennen as Crow
  • Madison Jessica Bennett as Kid Beachgoer
  • Erica Cho as Jocelyn
  • Alexis Rae Forlenza as Danny’s Daughter
  • Heather Lee as Female Lifeguard
  • Saif Mohsen as Frontie
  • Stephanie Groves as Beach goer
  • Ethan Hawke
  • Julia Roberts
  • Kevin Bacon
  • Mahershala Ali
  • Myha’la Herrold
  • Farrah Mackenzie
  • Farrah Mackenzie
  • Pavel Frolov as Plane Crash Victim #1
  • Kevin Kenny as Plane Crash Victim #3

Parental Discretion Advised:

Due to the R rating and the mature themes, parental discretion is strongly advised. The film may not be suitable for younger audiences, and parents are encouraged to consider the specific content and themes before deciding whether it aligns with their family’s viewing preferences.

It is recommended that parents review the film themselves to better gauge its appropriateness for their children, taking into account individual sensitivities and preferences. “Leave the World Behind” offers a compelling and intense cinematic experience that may be more suitable for mature audiences.