Left Behind 03: World at War (2005)


Left Behind: World at War is a 2005 American apocalyptic Christian thriller film and the third in the series of films based on the Left Behind book series.

It was directed by Craig R. Baxley and produced by Cloud Ten Pictures. The film premiered in churches on 21 October 2005, before its release on DVD and VHS on 25 October 2005.

It was based primarily on the last fifty pages of the novel Tribulation Force and is currently the concluding film in the Left Behind film series, as a new adaption of the first book was made and released on 03 October 2014.


Eighteen months after the events of the previous film, the world has fallen into chaos. In the collapsing ruins of the White House, US President Gerald Fitzhugh (Louis Gossett Jr.) videotapes a confession. He looks out the window as a shadowy figure arrives in the doorway.

One week earlier, the Tribulation Force, consisting of Rayford Steele (Brad Johnson), his daughter Chloe (Janaya Stephens), Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron), Bruce Barnes (Arnold Pinnock), and Chris Smith are in the process of stealing Bibles from a Global Community (GC) compound. Guards burst into the warehouse and kill Chris while the remaining Trib Force members escape. In Washington, D.C., the President and his Vice-President, John Mallory (Charles Martin Smith), are taking some time away from the White House. Mallory informs Fitzhugh of Nicolae’s plans and how he has found evidence that Nicolae is planning a biological attack on American soil. Before he can share the information, Mallory is killed in an ambush, but a militia group comes to the aid of the President.

Back at the Trib Force underground headquarters, Bruce Barnes performs a double wedding ceremony: Buck to Chloe, and Rayford to Amanda White, the newest member who once knew Rayford’s first wife before the vanishings. After the ceremony is over, Buck heads over to Los Angeles and Rayford flies to New Babylon. Nicolae meets with Fitzhugh who expresses his deepest concern over the news of Mallory’s death, and teams up with Carolyn Miller, who poses as Nicolae’s top aide at GC headquarters. Together, they find Nicolae’s secret plan of stealing Bibles and lacing them with anthrax before distributing them. The GC block their escape, and Fitzhugh kills one of the guards in the process.

Fitzhugh is recruited by Miller’s ragtag military team to help take out Nicolae, which he participates in. As Fitzhugh enters the GC building and asks to see the President (it is also revealed that one of the GC guards is really an insider, but is shot by another). Fitzhugh enters Nicolae’s office, but Nicolae is already aware of Fitzhugh’s assassination attempt and foils it. Fitzhugh tries to shoot Nicolae with three rounds, but he isn’t affected as they go through him and hit a guard instead. Using supernatural techniques, Nicolae throws Fitzhugh out of a 20-story window, landing on top of a car. Nicolae goes over to the window to see, in disgust, Fitzhugh getting up and walking away. Fitzhugh is not believed when he returns to the militia base to inform that the plan failed: Carolyn takes this the hardest.

The underground Trib Force HQ is hit the hardest as World War III approaches. Bruce and Chloe are infected with the virulent bacteria, but in the end it is Chloe who miraculously survives when red wine, used in the communion they just took part of, is revealed to be the antidote. Buck meets Fitzhugh in a destroyed White House, where he helps the President become a Christian. Fitzhugh then confronts Nicolae in a final showdown where he activates a personal transmitter (and dials Carolyn’s cell phone, where she hears the entire conversation), hoping to obliterate the entire GC headquarters, and himself, with a missile locked onto the transmitter’s location. Fitzhugh dies in the resulting explosion, wiping out the GC base.

Buck Williams gets a call in the elevator from Chloe as she tells him about the wine and Bruce’s death. Buck promises to come home from his trip soon as the elevator stops and the door opens to reveal an armed Carolyn. She lowers her weapon and Buck states that they need to talk, implying that they had met before. What is left of the Global Community Building burns down, police sirens wail in the background, and explosions are still going on. Nicolae Carpathia walks out from the flames looking very mad, completely unharmed.

Left Behind Series

You can find a full index of the Left Behind film series here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Craig R. Baxley.
  • Producer(s): Andre Van Heerden and Nicholas Tarbarrok.
  • Writer(s): Paul Lalonde, Peter Lalonde, and Andre van Heerden.
  • Music: Gary Chang.
  • Cinematography: David Connell.
  • Editor(s): Sonny Baskin.
  • Production: Cloud Ten Pictures.
  • Producer(s): Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
  • Release Date: 21 October 2005.
  • Running Time: 95 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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