Left Behind (2014 film)

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Left Behind
Left Behind - Teaser Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Vic Armstrong
Produced by Michael Walker
Paul LaLonde
Written by Paul LaLonde
John Patus
Based on Left Behind 
by Tim LaHaye
and Jerry B. Jenkins
Starring Nicolas Cage
Cassi Thomson
Chad Michael Murray
Music by Jack Lenz
Cinematography Jack N. Green
Edited by Vic Armstrong
Entertainment One
Stoney Lake Entertainment
Distributed by Freestyle Releasing
Release dates
  • October 3, 2014 (2014-10-03) (United States)
Running time 111 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $16 million[1]
Box office $12.8 million[2]

Left Behind is an American apocalyptic thriller film directed by Vic Armstrong and written by Paul LaLonde and John Patus.[3] The film is based on the novel of the same name written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, and is a reboot of Left Behind: The Movie. The film was released on October 3, 2014 and was panned by critics.


A group of survivors are left behind after millions of people suddenly vanish and the world is plunged into chaos and destruction. Among them is airline pilot Rayford Steele who tries to deal with his hysterical passengers. He also has to try to land his plane when airports are filled with wrecks, as he wonders about his family. Journalist and unbeliever Buck Williams struggles to understand this devastating event. Ray's daughter, Chloe, also an unbeliever, struggles to find her mother and brother. These people come to realize that the event was the Rapture where God saves his people before the seven years of Tribulation and all children and Christians are saved.[4]



On August 7, 2008, Cloud Ten Pictures announced that it had entered into a settlement agreement resolving the two lawsuits against it and Namesake Entertainment, which co-produced the films. The suit was filed by Tim LaHaye. The settlement ended a legal dispute over the Left Behind film rights that began in 2000.[8]

On October 1, 2010, Cloud Ten again restored the rights of the film.[9] Cloud Ten Pictures announced that they were rebooting the Left Behind film series. It was in the news that they planned on making the remake of the big-budgeted theatrically released film series based on the novel Left Behind.[10]

On October 31, 2011, it was reported that Paul LaLonde and John Patus, who worked on the 2005 World at War together, had written a screenplay for the reboot.[11] On October 19, 2012, it was reported in The Hollywood Reporter that stunt artist Vic Armstrong was set to direct the reboot film with the budget around $15 million.[3]


On October 19, 2012, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Nicolas Cage was in talks to join the cast as a lead actor.[5] He portrays the lead role of Rayford Steele in the film.[12] In December 2012, it was reported that Chad Michael Murray was in talks to join the cast, to play the role of journalist Cameron "Buck" Williams.[6][13] On January 3, 2013, Ashley Tisdale joined to play the role of Chloe Steele in the film.[14][15] In March 2013, Tia Mowry was in talks to join the cast of the film; later she joined.[16] It was announced on August 9 that Tisdale dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. At that time, it was also announced that Jordin Sparks had signed on to join the cast. Sparks’ character is named Shasta.[17] On August 13, Cassi Thomson joined the lead cast, replacing Tisdale as Chloe Steele.[7] On August 19, 2013, Olympic bobsledder and hurdler Lolo Jones was announced as a cast member, portraying an airport gate attendant.[18] On September 9, 2013, Lea Thompson was announced to portray Rayford Steele's wife, Irene.[19]

The character Nicolae Carpathia does not appear in the film.[20]


Principal photography began on August 9, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[21][22]


The film was theatrically released on October 3, 2014 in the United States via Stoney Lake Entertainment.[23]


Left Behind has been universally panned by critics and is one of the worst-reviewed films of 2014. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 2%, based on 56 reviews, with an average rating of 2.1/10. The site's consensus states: "Yea verily, like unto a plague of locusts, Left Behind hath begat a further scourge of devastation upon Nicolas Cage's once-proud filmography."[24] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 12 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".[25]

In a review for Entertainment Weekly, film critic Lindsey Bahr writes, "At best, Left Behind is shoddily made sensationalist propaganda—with atrocious acting—that barely registers as entertainment. At worst, it's profoundly moronic. Audiences, Christian or not, deserve better, and it's hard to imagine that the ham-fisted revelations in this schlock could serve any higher purpose."[26]

Christian magazine Christianity Today heavily criticized the film, saying, "Left Behind is not a Christian movie, whatever 'Christian Movie' could even possibly mean. In fact, most Christians within the world of the movie—whether the street-preacher lady at the airport or Rayford Steele's wife—are portrayed as insistent, crazy, delusional, or at the very least just really annoying. They want churches to book whole theaters and take their congregations, want it to be a Youth Group event, want magazines like this one to publish Discussion Questions at the end of their reviews—want the system to churn away, all the while netting them cash, without ever having to have cared a shred about actual Christian belief. They want to trick you into caring about the movie. Don't. We tried to give the film zero stars, but our tech system won't allow it."[27]

Richard Roeper gave the film a grade of D-, stating that "the writing is horrible, the direction is clunky, the special effects are not special [and] the acting is so wooden you could make a basketball court out of it."[28]

On her ½ star review of the film, Linda Barnard from the Toronto Star writes, "The tantalizing prospect that this could have been a camp set-up of the Snakes on a Plane or Sharknado ilk pops up as Left Behind starts to echo 1970s flight deck-driven disaster films—and the parodies that followed. No such luck. Armstrong appears humourlessly earnest about his task. Score one for Satan."[29]

Box Office[edit]

Left Behind played on 1,825 screens on its opening weekend, taking the number six position at the US Box Office with $6,300,147. It also debuted in Singapore and Russia on the same day, with the former grossing $101,585 from 13 screens and the later grossing $620,636 from 470 screens. The following week the movie opened in three additional countries: Lebanon ($63,585 opening week) on October 8, and Malaysia ($303,833 opening week) and Philippines ($259,303 opening week) on October 9. All three countries had the highest debuts in the top three, with the countries of Lebanon and Philippines had the film ranked second place on their Box Office Chart. As of October 17, the movie has grossed $11,927,217 domestically and $1,649,633 internationally for a worldwide total of $13,576,850.[2]


According to LaLonde, two sequels are planned, with Thomson, Murray, and Whelan all signed on to reprise their roles.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FACT SHEET". Left Behind Movie - Starring Nicolas Cage - In Theaters October 3, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Left Behind (2014)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Stunt Icon Vic Armstrong to Direct Nicolas Cage in 'Left Behind'". hollywoodreporter.com. October 19, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Story". http://www.leftbehindmovie.com/. Stoney Lake Entertainment. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Nicolas Cage in Talks to Star in 'Left Behind' Reboot". hollywoodreporter.com. October 19, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Chad Michael Murray In Talks For ‘Left Behind’". deadline.com. December 22, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Cassi Thomson Replaces Ashley Tisdale in Nicolas Cage Pic ‘Left Behind’". variety.com. August 13, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Cloud Ten Pictures announces settlement of legal disputes with Timothy LaHaye, co-author of Left Behind book series". christianfilmnews.com. August 7, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Cloud Ten Pictures to Remake Left Behind". christiancinema.com. October 13, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Cloud Ten Plans for Bigger, Better 'Left Behind'". christianpost.com. November 24, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Faith-Based 'Left Behind' Books Returning to Big Screen". hollywoodreporter.com. October 31, 2011. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Nicolas Cage in talks to star in ‘Left Behind’ reboot". variety.com. October 19, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Chad Michael Murray Will Be Left Behind". empireonline.com. December 22, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Ashley Tisdale joins Nicolas Cage movie 'Left Behind'". digitalspy.co.uk. June 4, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Ashley Tisdale Joins ‘Left Behind’". deadline.com. June 3, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Has Tia Mowry-Hardrict Landed Major Role In Blockbuster Film Franchise?". elev8.com. March 25, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Left Behind - Timeline Photos - Facebook". Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Lolo Jones lands role in ‘Left Behind’ movie starring Nicolas Cage". nbcsports.com. August 19, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Lea Thompson Role". hollywoodreporter.com. September 9, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  20. ^ http://www.leftbehindmovie.com/frequently-asked-questions/
  21. ^ "Filming in Louisiana: Nicolas Cage's 'Left Behind' prepping in B.R., plus full local production listings". nola.com. July 24, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Nicolas Cage to shoot movie in BR". theadvocate.com. August 2, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b McNary, Dave (March 28, 2014). "Nicolas Cage’s ‘Left Behind’ Set for Oct. 3 Release". variety.com. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Left Behind". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Left Behind Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  26. ^ Bahr, Lindsey (October 2, 2014). "Left Behind". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Left Behind". Christianity Today. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  28. ^ Roeper, Richard. "Left Behind". RichardRoeper.com. Retrieved October 3, 2014. 
  29. ^ Barnard, Linda (October 2, 2014). "Tusk, Kite and Left Behind". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 

External links[edit]