You are currently viewing 13 Movies Like ‘Leave the World Behind’ For Thriller Lovers

13 Movies Like ‘Leave the World Behind’ For Thriller Lovers

Few people will admit their love for drama and chaos when asked, and even fewer enjoy having such energies play out in their daily lives. Instead, they get their fix through entertainment, be it through binging reality TV shows or streaming Netflix’s entire catalogue of thrillers to get their hearts racing. Leave the World Behind is one of the more recent additions to the streamer’s roster, though it’s taken some viewers more than one watch to fully grasp the Sam Esmail-directed release, which was based on a 2020 novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam.

Leave the World Behind takes place during a family vacation in New York when two strangers kill the mood with their news of a blackout. As looming threats become more intense, two families come together to make a survival plan while coming to terms with the possibility of death. Denzel Washington was initially set to star alongside Julia Roberts but was ultimately replaced by Mahershala Ali, who shines in his role as G. H. Scott. Elsewhere, Myha’la delivers great work in the role of Ruth while old favorites like Ethan Hawke and Kevin Bacon help unravel Netflix’s mystery too. Read on to see our other thriller recommendations for fans of the Obama-EP’d project, and let us know if you’ll be rewatching Leave the World Behind in the comments.

13. Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

IMDb: 6.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

Don’t Worry Darling‘s chaotic premiere had the Olivia Wilde-directed film in the headlines for weeks, from rumors of drama between her and lead actress Florence Pugh to the debate about Harry Styles allegedly spitting on Chris Pine at a cast event. When all was said and done, though, the chilling content of the movie outweighed all the drama and gave viewers plenty to talk about with its unexpected technologically twisted ending. If Beale Street Could Talk actress Kiki Layne gives a particularly powerful performance as a woman ostracized for her mental instability, though she claims that most of her scenes were cut from the final project.

12. Extinction (2018)

IMDb: 5.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%

Like Leave the World Behind, Extinction is a Netflix Original thriller film that focuses on family dynamics in times of trauma. Michael Peña plays Peter, a man facing recurring nightmares about a mysterious, destructive force attacking his loved ones. As extraterrestrials begin wreaking havoc on Earth, family man Peter is faced with the difficult task of keeping his wife and their two daughters safe.

11. 13 Minutes (2021)

IMDb: 4.7/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

Experiencing the wrath of a tornado firsthand is a huge fear for most people, but if you’re curious about what goes through people’s minds amid such a crisis, 13 Minutes is the perfect movie for your next night in. The emotional story comes from the minds of Travis Farncombe and Lindsay Gossling, who paint a picture of sheer chaos in a small American town, where residents have less than half an hour to find shelter with their loved ones while overcoming differences with others around them. At the time of publication, 13 Minutes is available on numerous subscription services, including FuboTV, Paramount+ and Showtime.

10. It Comes at Night (2017)

IMDb: 6.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 44%

A24 has become a standout production house in the horror genre over the last decade, largely thanks to the success of gruesome stories like Hereditary, Midsommar and Pearl. Back in 2017, they unleashed It Comes at Night, which takes place in the wake of a mysterious apocalypse that’s left behind few survivors. Amid the turmoil, two families of different races are forced to reluctantly form an alliance and share a home, but it doesn’t take long for one side to realize that the evil they’re up against might be coming from within their residence.

9. Society of the Snow (2023)

IMDb: 7.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

Society of the Snow is one of the newer releases on this list, landing on Netflix in mid-December 2023. The Spanish-language story is based on true events in 1972 when a Uruguayan flight tragically crashed in the remote heart of the Andes mountains. Rather than turn their back on one another during their 72 days facing the elements, the survivors (who happened to be members of a men’s rugby team) became each other’s best hopes in a time of great terror.

8. How It Ends (2018)

IMDb: 5.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 17%

Don’t let the mediocre reviews fool you, How It Ends has a kickass cast that anyone who enjoyed Leave the World Behind will likely appreciate. Industry legend Forest Whitaker and The Vampire Diaries actress Kat Graham both star in the apocalyptic thriller, where a man desperately tries to reach his pregnant wife who’s thousands of kilometers away as the world around him quickly crumbles. David M. Rosenthal directed the 2018 arrival, which also has Theo James, Grace Dove and Nicole Ari Parker in the cast.

7. Awake (2021)

IMDb: 4.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 27%

At this point, it’s evident that Netflix is seriously in their bag when it comes to nail-biting thrillers. Gina Rodriguez and Ariana Greenblatt play a mother-daughter duo surrounded by global hysteria after a worldwide catastrophe. All electronics are wiped out as a result of the incident, and people everywhere are left unable to sleep, which only adds to all the chaos already in play. When Jill (Rodriguez), a former soldier observes that her daughter might have the key to their survival, she’s faced with the tough decision between protecting her family and putting everything at risk to save mankind.

6. Left Behind (2014)

IMDb: 3.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%

With such low ratings (the critic score on Rotten Tomatoes is 0%), Left Behind might end up being more of a laughable watch than one full of suspense and drama like Leave the World Behind. It’s currently available to stream for free on Tubi, leaving you no reason not to check out the low-ranking Nicolas Cage flick. One Tree Hill heartthrob Chad Michael Murray appears as well, along with Jordin Sparks and Quinton Aaron. The movie explores how humans might react if millions were to suddenly disappear without reason, leaving behind their belongings; if you wind up enjoying Left Behind, a sequel came out in 2023.

5. 57 Seconds (2023)

IMDb: 5.4/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%

Even at 86 years old, Morgan Freeman continues to make a killing as an actor and narrator. Last year he joined Josh Hutcherson in Rusty Cundieff’s 57 Seconds, which takes an extra-techy approach to the end-of-the-world story trope. “A tech blogger unleashes the power of a time-altering device to rewrite the past and seek revenge against the ruthless corporate empire that destroyed his family,” the synopsis explains. “However, his actions soon trigger a terrifying chain of events, propelling him into a pulse-pounding battle for survival where every second counts.”

4. Bird Box (2018)

IMDb: 6.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 58%

When Bird Box made its grand debut on Netflix in 2018, it quickly broke the internet thanks to Sandra Bullock’s brave journey in the shoes of Malorie Hayes. The mother of two takes a blindfolded journey with her young ones in tow to seek out refugee from a terrifying force that kills anyone who witnesses it. Trevante Rhodes and Lil Rel Howery appear in the streamer’s Original release, as do Sarah Paulson and Machine Gun Kelly.

3. The Silencing (2020)

IMDb: 6.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

The Silencing is a movie that’s sure to have you hanging off the edge of your seat from start to finish. Robin Pront’s direction guides actors Annabelle Wallis, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Zach McClarnon through an intense story about a father/reformed hunter and female sheriff who find themselves in a daunting and deadly game of cat and mouse. Filmed in Ontario, Canada, The Silencing shows just how far one father is willing to go to catch the killer who might’ve kidnapped his daughter five years ago.

2. Snowpiercer (2013)

IMDb: 7.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%

Leave the World Behind is a more modern story, but if you like to be pulled into the future while watching a film, we suggest 2013’s Snowpiercer (or the 2020 TV series of the same name). In the Bong Joon-ho production, Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton and Kang ho Song spend their days riding around Earth on a luxury train amid the second Ice Age. Those with the most money are obviously more comfortable on their ride, while the poorest survivors reside in the squishy and uncomfortable caboose. In hopes of improving their situation, they stage a plan to take over the engine room, but it won’t be easy. You can currently catch Snowpiercer for free on Tubi, or with a subscription to Peacock Premium.

1. Don’t Look Up (2021)

IMDb: 7.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

Our final option for your streaming consideration is another star-studded Netflix Original – Don’t Look Up. Arriving on the streamer in late 2021, the controversial movie explores the general apathy toward the collapsing state of the world at a government level through the eyes of two low-level astronomers (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence). Icon Meryl Streep plays the first-ever woman POTUS, and Jonah Hill provides comic relief as her dopey assistant. Familiar faces like Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi make cameos too, along with Tyler Perry and Rob Morgan.

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