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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

Slow Burn Anxiety: Leave The World Behind (2023) Review

No spoilers! Leave The World Behind (2023) recently debuted on Netflix and has become the talk of the town. I had to pause the film early on and bring Alan over to explain to me how some shots were done. The cinematography is fascinating and certainly meant to inspire anxiety. 

Leave The World Behind is based on the 2020 novel by Rumaan Alam. The film adaptation stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la Herrold and Kevin Bacon. Performances are great. 


Personally, I think this film could have been shorter! But I think that about most films. And I get the point, it’s using the slow pace as a mechanic, but still. I will also warn that if you are actively anxious about the state of the world (I know we all are but I mean in a debilitating way) this might not be the one for you. 

It unlocks certain scenarios in your brain that will stick with you. The story plays with major themes and anxieties facing the United States today, but in an abstract enough way that it feels intentionally vague and threatening.

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