Left Behind ★½

Pity those poor souls still occupying their clothing when this lumbering excuse for faith-based drama finally grinds to a halt. The Biblical apocalypse best-sellers by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye get their latest adaptation, with airline pilot Ray Steele (Nicolas Cage) and reporter Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray) among those dealing with the sudden disappearance of those Raptured into heaven. The religious elements play only a cameo role, however, in a story that ultimately plays out as a straightforward disaster film, with Ray trying to land his troubled plane while his daughter (Cassi Thomson) copes with events on the ground. And it’s so ineptly put together—from the leaden performances to the ragged editing to the hilariously random behavior of the extras during the scenes of “mass hysteria”—that it leaves you with nothing but what should be an obvious question: If the story’s eschatology insists that its world is now doomed, why should we be rooting for our heroes to survive?