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


Alex Garland


Alex Garland (written for the screen by), Jeff VanderMeer (based on the novel by)
518 ( 168)
16 wins & 61 nominations. See more awards »





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 ... Shelley
Kristen McGarrity ... Lena Double


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


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 »

Did You Know?


Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Benedict Wong were all in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Portman was in Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013), Thompson was in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), and Wong was in Doctor Strange (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018), which means all have appeared in films with Thor and Loki, though Wong has shared no scenes with them. All these MCU films mentioned also feature beings from other realms. See more »


There is no reason Kane would get terminally sick upon return if he isn't the real Kane (as suggested by glowing eyes in last scene). See more »


[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 »


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 »

User Reviews

The Visuals and Sound will Take Your Breath Away
28 February 2018 | by Jared_AndrewsSee all my reviews

Alex Garland loudly and impressively announced his presence in the directing world in 2015 with his debut film, Ex Machina. His follow up doesn't disappoint, as he once again showcases a talent for boldly bringing sci-fi to the big screen in a thoughtful and visually awing way.

With that said... this movie isn't as clean as Ex Machina. It's clunky in its delivery of the film's message, which is foggy. I'm still not certain what this movie is about.

Is it about the different ways that we self-destruct? What we do to hurt ourselves without even necessarily being aware of it? Or is it about life and change? What at first seems like destruction or annihilation is actually just an alteration or even an evolution.

Again, the answer is unclear. But the good news is that didn't bother me. I enjoyed the heck out of this movie!

Does every scene work? No. Are certain plot lines about main characters' relationship issues necessary? No. But none of the flaws mattered much to me because I found the rest of the movie to be so magnetic. The visuals and music attached to this magical, dreamlike place-the shimmer-sucked me in and left me in awe for extended sequences.

Certain scenes, especially moments in the movie's second half, are so captivating that the flaws and underdeveloped aspects that make up the rest of the movie seem irrelevant.

The movie takes your breath away in different ways. Sometimes it's terrifying. Other times it's spectacularly beautifully original. Other times it's befuddling. I enjoyed it all.

That's why I look past the story's weaknesses. I've opted to focus on the mesmerizing depiction of the area/the shimmer. Bringing that to the big screen feels like a spectacular feat of filmmaking.

The performances from the actors are all fine. Nothing wowing, which is a bit disappointing considering how the loaded the cast is. Tessa Thompson is an absolute comet. Natalie Portman is well-respected for good reason. Oscar Isaac crushes every movie he's in. He does an admirable job in Annihilation. All the actors do.

I certainly prefer charismatic, sparkling eyes Isaac, but he flexes his versatility here by playing a spacey, confused dude. An odd moment worth mentioning: Oscar Isaac vacillates in and out of a southern accent in one scene. It's jarring and inexplicable.

But most viewers probably won't notice that. There's a chance that I imagined the whole thing. This movie can mess with your mind (in a fun way). I consider this a must-see for sci-fi fans and anyone in the mood for an otherworldly experience but doesn't want to use hallucinogenic drugs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

23 February 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Annihilation See more »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,071,584, 25 February 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby Surround 7.1 | Dolby Atmos | DTS (DTS: X)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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