Don’t Be Left Behind in Seeing 'Left Behind'

Written by Edwin L. Carpenter on . Posted in Local

leftbehind"Left Behind" (2014) is a gripping and dramatic apocalyptic movie that is a must-see film! It is crisply directed by Vic Armstrong, featuring a strong script based on the book by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. A previous film based on the book starring Kirk Cameron appeared in theaters in 2001. The excellent actors in this movie all hit the right note. The new movie stars Nicolas Cage and Chad Michael Murray, in addition to Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan and Lea Thompson.

The synopsis states: The most important event in the history of mankind is happening right now. In the blink of an eye, the biblical Rapture strikes the world. Millions of people disappear without a trace. All that remains are their clothes and belongings, and in an instant terror and chaos spread around the world. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn. Planes fall from the sky. Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. There is no one to help or provide answers. In a moment, the entire planet is plunged into darkness.

Airline pilot Ray Steele (Cage) struggles to stay calm himself in order to save the lives of the passengers who remain on his plane. He faces one crisis after another including running out of fuel, his equipment faltering, and his crew begins to panic. Ray, with no outside help from any control tower, must guide the plane with the help of GWN reporter Cameron “Buck” Williams, who takes over as co-pilot in an emergency situation. The passengers are trapped at 30,000 feet with a need to land quickly.

The film opens with college student Chloe Steele (Thomson) heading home to surprise her mother and father, but her dad, Ray (Cage), is about to fly from New York's JFK Airport to London. He has no intention of changing his plans. He leaves his wedding ring in his car. Chloe is concerned when she sees him talking and laughing with a flight attendant named Hattie (Whelan). Chloe soon meets a handsome young man named Cameron "Buck" Williams (Murray) at the airport. Buck is a big time reporter on the GWN news channel. He takes a liking to her and appreciates her spunk. Chloe is given two tickets to a concert to give to her father, given by her dad's friend, and she realizes that her dad's plans include another woman. She gives the tickets to new friend Buck, who is boarding the same plane her father is piloting. Buck passes the tickets along to an embarrassed Ray, who doesn’t have much to say.

This fast-paced movie speeds up soon afterward. Suddenly, in a flash, people disappear and their clothes drop to the floor. Chloe is with her young brother and the next thing she knows she is holding his clothes in her hands as he vanishes right in front of her. Her mother Irene (Thompson), a Christian, had warned Chloe to be ready but now she is overwhelmed with the possibility of the Rapture. Did what Chloe’s mother had said would happen, actually just happen? Did God take his believers to Heaven? World-wide hysterics follow as panic sets in as planes without pilots, cars without drivers, and maternity wards without babies become impossible events to explain. The movie excellently portrays the drama and panic.

It finally dawns on Ray and others what has happened after he searches through a missing passenger's belongings and finds “Bible study" listed as one of her “to do” items. On the ground, Ray’s daughter Chloe struggles to find her young brother and mother but begins to realize they are now past finding. Forcing herself through the chaos in the streets, Chloe must navigate a world now filled with terror and despair.

The airport Ray would have landed in is closed and, despite being low on fuel, they have to turn around and head home. This tension-filled drama hits home and smacks the viewer right between their eyes. Ray learns he cannot land unless Chloe can somehow, in a big hurry, prepare a small landing strip for him. This movie will challenge viewers everywhere to ask: If this is really going to happen as the Bible says it will, what must I do to be ready? The film's themes are forgiving others and being at peace with God. It concludes with Mark 13:32: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man."

"Left Behind" (2014) is tame in the language department and it is powerful and entertaining, suspenseful, and will prompt viewers to examine what’s in their hearts. Don’t miss this movie! The film opens Oct. 3, 2014.

Watch the trailer...

Author Information
Edwin L. Carpenter
Edwin L. Carpenter is a pastor and long-time film reviewer for He has a bachelors degree in Writing from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was raised in Brighton, Mich., by Christian grandparents and has a twin brother, Bill, who is also an ordained minister. Ed and his wife Jackie have one child, Daniel, who is newly married to Kristen and loves sports.

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