Leave The World Behind | Review by: Benjamin Garrett


A good mystery has you digging for answers - analyzing every little detail and theorizing about countless possible outcomes for the questions being raised. Leave the World Behind builds an engaging and thought provoking mystery that’ll instantly pull you in, but its answers may have you walking away underwhelmed. 

This film comes from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, and shares a lot thematically with the hit series. He’s even stated that it takes place in the same fictional universe. This apocalyptic thriller has a lot to say about current geo-political relations and our world’s reliance on connected technology. The commentary is all highly relevant, but ultimately adds nothing new to this existing discourse. There are also numerous red herrings that serve no purpose other than building a further sense of intrigue. These disappointing bait-and-switch tactics are something the film could’ve done without. 

Thankfully, this movie is gorgeously and creatively shot, with some of the best camera work of the year. Esmail and cinematographer Tod Campbell went above and beyond, with inspired visual flair that constantly wows. The camera’s placement and movement both become integral in how the story is told. It’s all meticulously calculated in a way that enhances every moment and serves to highlight the film’s cautionary themes. 

The small group of characters are interestingly developed, and portrayed wonderfully by this impressive collection of talent. Each has a distinct personality that contrasts with the others, creating an often hostile dynamic of mistrust and skepticism. I really enjoyed watching the group interact as a whole, and then seeing them branch off into pairs for one-on-one conversations. 

Leave the World Behind sets up an intriguing mystery and creates an ominous sense of dread, but as pieces of its puzzle fall into place, the answers become a bit less interesting than the questions being raised. Despite its flaws, the movie works well thanks to an all-star cast and exceptional direction from Sam Esmail. 


Review by: Benjamin Garrett

#review #toronto 

Popular Posts