Left Behind (2014)
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +2

Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, Lea Thompson, and Jordin Sparks. Written by Jerry B. Jenkins. Directed by Vic Armstrong.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Left Behind is an apocalyptic action-thriller that deals with strained family relationships in a world that seems to be spinning out of control. It openly depicts the importance of family commitment, accountability, and compassion. It is these themes illuminated throughout the film that serve as a way for families to begin conversations about the way our values affect our choices and potential consequences they may lead to.

The movie is written and produced by Paul Lalonde & John Patus, and directed by veteran filmmaker, Vic Armstrong (Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, War of the Worlds), widely renowned for directing action sequences. It is a remake of the 2000 film starring Kirk Cameron.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Several secular reviewers saw this film before me and found it, shall we say, lacking. I, on the other hand, found it well-made, well-acted and intense. It made me question why the secular press was so hostile to the film. Was it a prejudice against the subject matter? They seem to embrace countless other film and TV projects focused on the end times. Why the belligerence toward Left Behind? Could it be that most entertainment dealing with a form of Armageddon is manufactured without much regard for biblical prophecy?

The beginning of this picture does a great job of introducing us to the characters. Indeed, it could be said that the production is as much about appreciating family as it is about the Rapture. One reviewer assessed Nicolas Cage as looking tired throughout. I found the performance steady and authoritative, like Dean Martinís airline pilot in Airport (many years ago). And the special effects are definitely a step up from the 2000 version with Kirk Cameron. This Left Behind may not be the best film of all time, but I donít think it deserves the antagonism Iíve read in other reviews.

There is one area that does raise an eyebrow for this Christ-follower. The film suggests that people will be given a second chance to find their pathway to eternityís Heaven. Is that theology, found in the Left Behind book series, accurate? This being a film review, not a sermon, and me being a film critic, not a theologian, I will leave it to your pastors to discuss with you the Rapture and what occurs afterwards.

Itís a good film, one that doesnít preach, but does remind moviegoers that there is a time when life will end on earth, one way or another, for each of us. And, it subtly asks us if we are preparing for it?

Iíll close with a request for the next well-intentioned-End-Times-filmmaker. Please, donít focus on the deserted piles of clothes. The left behind clothing just doesnít work, visually. Maybe when those who are taken-up disappear, the clothes stay behind, I donít know. But the image of piles of garments without bodies is comical and gets in the way of the theme and the tone of the story and the message.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Stony Lake Entertainment

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: The action is intense, sometimes unnerving, as we see people acting badly while panicking.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: One lady on the plane uses cocaine to steady her nerves. It becomes obvious that she is addicted to drugs and the addiction is having a negative effect on her body and life.
Other: None
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience:

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