Katey Cravens

Written by Katey Cravens

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Amazon.co.uk

Are you a fan of thought-provoking cinema? If so, then you must have heard of the critically acclaimed movie “Leave No Trace.” Directed by Debra Granik, this film captivated audiences and critics alike with its powerful storytelling and stunning performances. Released in 2018, “Leave No Trace” takes viewers on a journey through the lives of a father and daughter living off the grid in the forests of Oregon. With its exploration of themes like solitude, resilience, and the struggle to find one’s place in the world, this movie leaves a lasting impact on anyone who watches it. In this article, we will dive deeper into the world of “Leave No Trace” and uncover 31 fascinating facts about the making, cast, and reception of this remarkable film.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Leave No Trace” is a captivating movie about a father and daughter living off the grid. It explores themes of resilience, belonging, and the human spirit, leaving viewers with a mix of emotions and a sense of hope.
  • The film’s powerful performances, beautiful landscapes, and thought-provoking storytelling make it a cinematic gem. It offers a compelling exploration of freedom, autonomy, and the complexities of human experiences.
Table of Contents

The movie Leave No Trace was released in 2018.

Directed by Debra Granik, this captivating drama film tells the story of a father and daughter who live off the grid in the forests of Oregon.

It is based on the novel “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock.

The movie is an adaptation of the novel, which explores themes of survival, resilience, and the bond between a parent and child.

The film received widespread critical acclaim.

Leave No Trace was praised for its powerful performances, compelling storytelling, and its intimate exploration of human connection.

Ben Foster delivers a standout performance as the father, Will.

Foster’s portrayal of a troubled war veteran navigating the challenges of society is both nuanced and emotionally gripping.

Thomasin McKenzie shines as the daughter, Tom.

McKenzie’s natural and heartfelt performance showcases her talent as a young actress.

The movie explores themes of belonging and finding one’s place in the world.

Will and Tom’s journey forces them to confront their desires for connection and their need to carve out their own path.

The movie was nominated for numerous awards.

Leave No Trace received nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Supporting Female at the Independent Spirit Awards.

The movie portrays the beautiful landscapes of Oregon.

The stunning visuals immerse the audience in the natural surroundings and highlight the characters’ bond with nature.

The story is driven by the complex relationship between Will and Tom.

Their bond is tested as they are faced with the choice of conforming to society’s expectations or continuing to live on their own terms.

The film’s screenplay is marked by its authenticity and emotional depth.

The dialogue is natural and reflective of the characters’ internal struggles, creating a powerful and immersive experience for the viewers.

The movie addresses the issue of PTSD and its impact on veterans.

Through Will’s character, the film sheds light on the challenges faced by those who have served in the military and their struggle to reintegrate into society.

Leave No Trace received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film left a lasting impression on the audience and garnered critical acclaim for its exceptional storytelling and performances.

The movie highlights the resilience and strength of the human spirit.

Will and Tom’s journey showcases their unwavering determination to live life on their own terms, despite the obstacles they face.

The atmospheric soundtrack enhances the emotional impact of the film.

The hauntingly beautiful music by composer Dickon Hinchliffe adds depth and intensity to the scenes, elevating the overall viewing experience.

The movie’s cinematography captures the essence of the natural world.

The sweeping shots of the forests and wilderness immerse the audience in the characters’ environment, creating a sense of awe and wonder.

The film’s title, “Leave No Trace,” alludes to the characters’ desire to remain unnoticed and unseen by society.

Will and Tom strive to leave behind minimal impact as they navigate the wild, echoing the theme of self-reliance and independence.

Leave No Trace is a thought-provoking and introspective film.

It challenges the audience to reflect on their own ideas of happiness, belonging, and the role society plays in our lives.

The movie was praised for its authentic portrayal of homelessness.

Through the characters of Will and Tom, the film sheds light on the often overlooked issue of homelessness in America.

The film’s pacing allows for contemplation and reflection.

Leave No Trace unfolds at a deliberate pace, allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in the characters’ emotional journey.

The relationship between Will and Tom is the heart of the film.

Their bond is portrayed with subtlety and depth, drawing the audience into their world and evoking a range of emotions.

The movie explores the dichotomy between societal norms and a more unconventional way of life.

Will and Tom’s journey challenges the audience to question the expectations placed upon individuals by society.

The movie showcases the beauty and simplicity of a life connected to nature.

Leave No Trace prompts viewers to appreciate the value of living in harmony with the natural world.

The film’s ending offers a sense of hope and possibility.

Without giving away any spoilers, the conclusion leaves room for interpretation and leaves a lasting impact on the audience.

Leave No Trace is a masterclass in understated performances.

The film’s actors deliver powerful and nuanced performances, drawing the audience in with their subtlety and authenticity.

The movie received accolades from both critics and audiences alike.

Leave No Trace’s universal acclaim is a testament to its resonating themes and impeccable execution.

The film’s ending is bittersweet, leaving viewers with a mix of emotions.

The conclusion encapsulates the complexity of human emotions and the sacrifices we make in pursuit of our own dreams.

Leave No Trace is a cinematic gem that deserves recognition.

The movie stands as a testament to the power of storytelling, showcasing the talent of the cast and crew involved.

The movie offers a compelling exploration of the human desire for freedom and autonomy.

Will and Tom’s journey is a powerful reminder of the lengths people will go to in order to live life on their own terms.

The film’s nuanced portrayal of Will’s PTSD resonated with audiences.

Leave No Trace humanizes the struggles faced by veterans and offers insight into the complexities of their experiences.

The movie’s screenplay leaves room for interpretation and reflection.

With its subtle and thought-provoking storytelling, Leave No Trace allows the audience to draw their own conclusions and contemplate the themes presented.

The film was praised for its authentic and respectful representation of the Pacific Northwest.

Leave No Trace showcases the unique beauty and atmosphere of the region, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the setting.


In conclusion, Leave No Trace is a gripping and thought-provoking movie that captivates audiences with its poignant storytelling and exceptional performances. Through its exploration of themes such as survival, family, and the complexities of societal norms, the film raises important questions about identity, freedom, and the choices we make in life. With its stunning cinematography, powerful storytelling, and superb acting, Leave No Trace is a must-watch for movie enthusiasts who appreciate emotionally resonant and thought-provoking films.


1. What is the plot of Leave No Trace?

Leave No Trace follows the story of a father and daughter, Will and Tom, who live off the grid in the forests of Oregon. Their quiet existence is disrupted when they are discovered and forced to reintegrate into society.

2. Is Leave No Trace based on a true story?

No, the movie is not based on a specific true story. However, it is inspired by real-life accounts of people living off the grid and highlights the challenges they face when confronted with societal expectations.

3. Who are the main actors in Leave No Trace?

The main characters, Will and Tom, are played by Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie, respectively. Both actors deliver powerful performances that bring depth and authenticity to their roles.

4. Was Leave No Trace critically acclaimed?

Yes, Leave No Trace received widespread critical acclaim. It currently holds an impressive 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising its storytelling, cinematography, and the performances of the cast.

5. Can I watch Leave No Trace with my family?

Leave No Trace is rated PG for thematic material including peril and some mild language. It is a thought-provoking film that can be enjoyed by mature audiences.

6. What are some similar movies to Leave No Trace?

If you enjoyed Leave No Trace, you might also like Into the Wild, Captain Fantastic, or Wild. These movies explore similar themes of living off the grid and the complexities of societal expectations.

7. Is Leave No Trace a slow-paced movie?

Leave No Trace has a deliberate pace that allows the audience to immerse themselves in the characters’ journey. While it may be considered slow-paced by some, it serves the purpose of building tension and emphasizing the characters’ emotional struggles.

8. Did Leave No Trace receive any awards?

Yes, Leave No Trace received several award nominations, including the Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature and Best Director. It also won the San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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