6.9/10
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Annihilation (2018)

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A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don't apply.

Director:

Alex Garland

Writers:

Alex Garland (written for the screen by), Jeff VanderMeer (based on the novel by)
Popularity
95 ( 5)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Natalie Portman ... Lena
Benedict Wong ... Lomax
Sonoya Mizuno ... Humanoid & Katie (Med Student)
David Gyasi ... Daniel
Oscar Isaac ... Kane
John Schwab ... Paramedic
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Dr Ventress
Gina Rodriguez ... Anya Thorensen
Tuva Novotny ... Cass Sheppard
Tessa Thompson ... Josie Radek
Sammy Hayman ... Mayer
Josh Danford Josh Danford ... Shelley
Kristen McGarrity Kristen McGarrity ... Lena Double
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Storyline

A biologist's husband disappears. She puts her name forward for an expedition into an environmental disaster zone, but does not find what she's expecting. The expedition team is made up of the biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, a surveyor, and a linguist.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One way in. No way out. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 February 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Annihilation See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,071,584, 25 February 2018, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$32,732,301, 19 April 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was based on the first book in the "Southern Reach" trilogy. See more »

Goofs

This one is a character error and also a continuity error. During a scene outside the village house where in a previous scene a bear had attacked the group, Natalie Portman and one of the crew members are talking together. The crew member is supposed to have damaged arms from self inflicted wounds and thus wearing long sleeves all the time, but in this scene she has her arms revealed and they are clean of injury. In the next scene, the wounds are rendered and flowers are blooming out of them. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lomax: What did you eat? You had rations for two weeks. You were inside for nearly four months.
Lena: I don't remember eating.
Lomax: How long did you think you were inside?
Lena: Days. Maybe weeks.
Lomax: What happened to Josie Radek?
Lena: ...I don't know.
Lomax: What about Sheppard? Thorensen?
Lena: Dead.
Lomax: Ventress?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Month in Movies: March 2018 (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Sex Music
Artist Beak> (as BEAK>)
Written and Performed by Billy Fuller, Geoff Barrow and William Young
Licensed courtesy of Invada Records UK 2017
Published by Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strange, abstract, mesmeric
14 March 2018 | by ajwh-53593See all my reviews

I've thought about this film for days after seeing it. I don't even know what specifically I've been thinking about, all I can say is it left a big impression on me. I disagree with those who say it's intellectual. I don't think it is nor was it intended to be. It's visceral, primal, just like the world inside The Shimmer.

For me, films work on three hierarchical levels: at the very basic, they should be entertaining. All films should succeed here (but not all do, which is why we should rightly slam those that don't!). Then, there are films that are not only entertaining but also elicit an emotional response; they move us in some way. Finally, there are entertaining films that are moving but also have meaning; they resonate on a deeper, often metaphysical level. To my mind, Annihilation achieves all three.

Forget the plot holes. They exist in every film, otherwise they wouldn't be stories. Some of my favourite films have canyon-sized plot holes and inconsistencies. If you analyse any film you'll find them, and often you don't have to look very hard, e.g. Back to the Future. Do the plot holes and gaps in logic stop BTTF from being a great film? Not to my mind, because I'm invested in the movie. Plot holes only matter to me when they draw me away from the film; if it fails to entertain me.

Does the plot in Annihilation even really matter? The film is about the experience, the visuals and audio, the curiosity, the suspense. A world that could only be accessible to us in our imaginations is here brought to life on the screen. It asks a lot of questions but isn't interested in the answers. It's bold, brave, challenging. Some of it is spectacular, some of it less so. Naturally, that will split opinion, but we've become too accustomed to the ready-packaged "Happy Meal Movies" that the studios churn out for us. We're addicted to them like we're addicted to sugary fast food. We should welcome any film that attempts to wean us off that and broaden our palates.

This is a proper cinematic film, so what a shame it is that here in the UK (and many other countries) we were denied the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen. I can only imagine how even more beguiling and entrancing the experience would've been.

Turn off the lights, switch off your phones, and sit back and feed your imagination and sense of wonder. I know that's why I watch and love films. 8.5/10.


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