Forgotten Nicolas Cage Flop Will Make You Question Your Faith

By Robert Scucci | Updated

Nicolas Cage Left Behind

Nicolas Cage has always been an actor with incredible range, as he has at least one (if not several) certified bangers in every genre you could possibly think of. Unfortunately, “range” is a term that can also be applied to critical reception, and 2014’s Left Behind is definitely one of those films that weighs down the average of Cage’s otherwise impeccable filmography. And I’m not talking about the abysmal 19 percent audience score that Nicolas Cage’s Left Behind currently has on Rotten Tomatoes, but rather the zero percent critical score that this clunker will never recover from.

Nicolas Cage In Left Behind

Nicolas Cage Left Behind

Left Behind is an incredibly misguided Christian apocalyptic thriller that sees Nicolas Cage at the beginning of end times. His Rayford Steele character is a pilot trapped in an unhappy marriage, so he decides to take a flying job on his birthday instead of staying home even though his daughter, Chloe (Cassi Thompson), has plans to visit him to celebrate the occasion. Both Chloe and Rayford are at odds with Irene (Lea Thompson), the family matriarch, because of her newfound obsession with religion that’s deeply rooted in the idea that an apocalypse is imminent.

Naked At The Pearly Gates

Left Behind Cassi Thompson

Being the consummate professional that he is, Nicolas Cage does everything he can to make Left Behind an effective thriller, but neither he nor his Rayford Steele character can save the film, or the world that’s been wiped of half its population in a flash as if Thanos himself snapped his fingers to cleanse the world of its non-believers. We quickly learn that God has taken his believers to Heaven, and the sinners who have been left behind will be left to their own devices as natural disasters wipe out the rest of humanity on Earth.

Shortly after his plane takes off, half of the passengers disappear, leaving only their clothes behind, which makes you wonder if everybody shows up to the pearly gates naked as they’re let into the kingdom of Heaven.

Chaos In The Cockpit

Left Behind 2014

Naturally, Nicolas Cage’s character is left behind during his flight because he was committing adultery with one of his flight attendants because of his unhappy marriage. Chloe, who spends most of the first act letting everybody she runs into know that she doesn’t believe in God, is stuck at ground-level as looters run amok, not fully aware of what’s going on.

As Rayford searches for answers from his very limited vantage point, he has to deal with a plane full of hysterical skeptics and non-believers who are acting so out of pocket that they think rushing into the cockpit is a good idea even though his co-pilot was one of the people who vanished.

I’m Tired, Boss

Nicolas Cage Left Behind

Running out of fuel, and without a reliable way to communicate with air traffic control, Rayford has to find a way to reach Chloe with the help of a journalist named Cameron “Buck” Williams (Chad Michael Murray). Buck, having only met Chloe before he boarded the plane, is madly in love with her and sits in the co-pilot seat while fumbling with his SAT phone that he conveniently happens to have on his person.

As Left Behind approaches its third act, there are plenty of opportunities for a Nicolas Cage freakout, but he remains eerily calm, as if to say, “I’m tired, boss.”

To put it bluntly, this movie is a far cry from Con Air.

View With Caution

Nicolas Cage Left Behind


I’ve never walked away from a Nicolas Cage film saying “never again,” but I now know that there’s a first time for everything thanks to Left Behind. If you want to see one of the best actors of our time trying his best but failing miserably, Left Behind is an interesting watch, but so bad in every conceivable way that you wish the real-life apocalypse would just get started already and put you out of your misery. If this sounds like a good time, you can stream Left Behind on Tubi for free.

But at the same time, it’s comforting to know that even the greats could occasionally swing and miss.