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‘Leave the World Behind’ Review: Julia Roberts Plays a Doomsday Karen in Shyamalan-Like Thriller

Peter Debruge Chief Film Critic Like “Testament” — the 1983 made-for-TV movie that imagined the fallout, both nuclear and psychological, after an atomic bomb is dropped on American soil — “Leave the World Behind” depicts a plausible doomsday scenario from the perspective of a handful of ordinary characters. Not military experts, not scientists, but two families obliged to shelter under the same roof out in the East Hamptons while something scary unfolds a few hours away, off-screen, in New York.

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‘The Horror of Dolores Roach’ Is a Sweeney Todd Riff That Lacks Bite: TV Review
Alison Herman TV Critic Nonfiction podcasts have proven to be a rich vein for the IP-starved TV industry to mine, from true crime (“Dirty John”) to unauthorized biography (“The Dropout”). Scripted podcasts have been a less fruitful source of material, with the first season of Sam Esmail’s star-studded “Homecoming” serving as the sole exception to date. Even then, luring Julia Roberts to the small screen likely had more to do with the show’s success than the story’s medium of origin. “The Horror of Dolores Roach,” a new series produced by Blumhouse Television for Amazon Prime Video, seems unlikely to reverse this trend. “Dolores Roach” began as a one-woman play called “Empanada Loca,” but found a broader audience in audio form. Released under the auspices of Gimlet Media, the studio recently absorbed into parent company Spotify after drastic cuts, the retitled podcast riffed on the urban legend of Sweeney Todd, the mythical barber made famous by Stephen Sondheim. (Disclosure: I previously worked at Gimlet’s sister studio The Ringer, also owned by Spotify.) “Dolores Roach” changed the antihero’s name, gender and nationality —  but kept the cannibalism and twisted love story that still define the character.