Left Behind



Mix of apocalyptic book series and the Bible.
  • Review Date: May 4, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2001
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

What parents need to know


Characters in peril, some killed, disappearance of millions of people.


References to adultery.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking and smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has a great deal of violence, including a murder that may be shocking to some people. The disappearance of millions of people and apocalyptic theme is genuinely disturbing, and may be very upsetting to some audiences. There is no bad language, but there are mild references to an extramarital affair.

What's the story?

Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains) plays Buck Williams, a television news correspondent with a big story. An Israeli scientist has discovered a way to feed the world with a special grain that is plentiful, hardy, and inexpensive. He wants to make it available to everyone but some powerful and wealthy people do not want that to happen. Buck takes an airplane flight piloted by Rayford Steele (Bradford Johnson). Flight attendant Hattie Durham (Chelsea Noble), a friend of Buck's and Rayford's mistress, is also on board. Suddenly, dozens of passengers simply disappear, leaving their clothes behind, while down below, millions of people, as many as a third of all the people on earth, have vanished. Rayford rushes home and finds that the only one left is his daughter, Chloe (Janaya Stephens). His wife and son are gone, leaving only their clothes behind. Buck and Rayford try to find out what has happened. They get some answers from a minister, who tells them that the people who are gone are the true believers. They are with God, and the rest are left behind. A minister named Nicolae Carpathia (Gordon Currie) appears to be the pawn of powerful industrialists who want to take advantage of the hysteria to control the food supply. But Nicolae has other plans.

Is it any good?


LEFT BEHIND tries hard to succeed as parable and as thriller. It is based not just on the first in a series of best-selling books, but also on the Biblical Book of Revelations, and is made by people who care as much about teaching their views of the Word of God as they do about making an exciting movie. They do an impressive job. The movie's script, acting, and production values are not up to the standards of mainstream Hollywood theatrical productions, but it is filmed with a lot of sincerity. Many families, especially those who have a hard time finding movies they are comfortable sharing with their children, will find this to be a worthwhile thriller for older children and a starting point for some important conversations.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about this movie's roots in traditional Christian doctrine and about their own views of faith, God, and heaven. They should also talk about those characters who are deceived by others, and what makes that possible. Why do Buck and Hattie see Nicolae so differently?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 2, 2001
DVD release date:October 31, 2000
Cast:Brad Johnson, Janaya Stephens, Kirk Cameron
Director:Victor Sarin
Studio:Cloud Ten Pictures
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of an infant year old Written byChristianKight January 18, 2009
Adult Written bymabel2009 February 23, 2009

makes u think!

awesome! kirk cameron at his best!
Kid, 11 years old August 23, 2009

Perfect for at least 8 or so

ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT :-)!! I am a Huge Left Behind Fan and the very Apocalyptic movie is great!! Five stars! *****
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models


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