The New #1 Movie on Netflix Is Such an Intense Watch from Beginning to End

It knocked 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' to the number two spot

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Leave the World Behind Cast CAT2
Courtesy NETFLIX

It’s only been a few days since the new thriller Leave the World Behind (starring Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke) premiered on Netflix. And it didn’t take long for the book-turned-movie-adaptation to take the number one spot on the streamer’s top ten movies list, knocking The Super Mario Bros. Movie down to number two. 

Based on the best-selling novel written by Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind follows a family who rents out a home in Long Island to enjoy some time away from the city. But their getaway soon takes a strange turn when two strangers (claiming to be the house owners) knock on the front door and announce there’s been a blackout across New York City—and they need to stay the night.

From start to finish, Leave the World Behind is a gripping watch that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Just ask PureWow’s VP of News and Entertainment, Philip Mutz, who had this to say about the new thriller: “This is one of the most intense films of the year. Roberts and [Mahershala] Ali do such a great job of creating tension so thick you can cut it with a knife.”

He continued, “Without giving anything away, the ending is certain to be divisive. I personally found it infuriating but I can easily see a world where fans of the film love the final moment.” Consider us locked in.

Leave the World Behind Julia Roberts Mahershala Ali CAT
JoJo Whilden/NETFLIX

But what makes the movie an absolute must-watch? It would have to be the talented ensemble cast. While praising the Pretty Woman alum’s onscreen presence, Mutz said, “Roberts gives an incredible, nuanced performance in a role that is a far (and fun) departure from her usual rom-com charm that we've come to know and love.”

And let’s not forget Kevin Bacon’s surprise cameo. “Viewers may be surprised to see Kevin Bacon's name in the opening credits, particularly since the first hour or so of the film only features a ten-second glimpse of the A-list star. But his big scene, when it finally arrives, is definitely worth the wait,” Mutz added.

Leave the World Behind Lead Characters CAT
JoJo Whilden/NETFLIX

Leave the World Behind is now streaming on Netflix.

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karelle mckay headshot e1678464959710

Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...