- 1 hr 55 min
Annihilation is a visually stunning, haunting and thought-provoking science-fiction thriller that was directed by Alex Garland and released in 2018. Starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Oscar Isaac, the movie is based on the novel by Jeff Vandermeer. The plot of Annihilation revolves around a biologist named Lena, played by Natalie Portman, who is recruited by a government agency known as the Southern Reach to lead a scientific expedition into a mysterious, otherworldly phenomenon known as "The Shimmer." The Shimmer is an area that has been expanding for three years, slowly consuming everything in its path, including previous expeditions.
Lena's team consists of four other women: venturous paramedic Anya (Gina Rodriguez), physicist Josie (Tessa Thompson), surveyor Cass (Tuva Novotny), and their leader Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Together they enter The Shimmer, expecting to face dangerous and unprecedented challenges.
What awaits them inside The Shimmer is a world that is both beautiful and terrifying. The Shimmer is a unique and constantly changing environment, with vibrant colors and a kaleidoscopic beauty that hides its true danger. As they progress deeper into The Shimmer, they start to experience disorienting changes, and horrifying mutations in the living beings inside.
Annihilation is the kind of movie that becomes more complex and mesmerizing as it unfolds. Although it's classified as a science-fiction movie, it's an intricate and cerebral exploration of human behavior, memory, grief, and self-destruction. You get the sense that writer/director Alex Garland is not interested in spoon-feeding his audience with easy answers, but rather stirring the imagination and raising profound questions.
At the heart of the movie is Lena's personal journey. She is a character that is struggling with trauma, guilt, and self-doubt. Lena is trying to redeem herself from a past mistake and understand why her husband Kane (Oscar Isaac) was the only survivor of a previous expedition into The Shimmer. What she discovers along the way, fundamentally tests her assumptions about life, mortality, and the power of creation and destruction.
Annihilation's themes are essential as much as its plot. It deals with intricate subjects such as depression, self-destruction, understanding the cyclical nature of life and death, and what it means to be human. The movie creates an atmosphere that is both disturbing and mesmerizing. The Shimmer is beautiful and terrifying, and its mysteries are explored with excellent cinematography and haunting music.
The actors in Annihilation are superb. Natalie Portman gives one of the best performances of her career. Her portrayal of Lena is vulnerable and emotional, and she conveys the weight of her character's trauma and regret convincingly. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, and Tessa Thompson also give understated performances that fit the movie's tone, and they provide essential insights into their characters' psyches.
Annihilation is a movie that requires some patience and an open mind. It's a story that begs to be absorbed and analyzed, and it's not for everyone. However, for those who are looking for a sci-fi movie that is both thought-provoking and entertaining, Annihilation is a must-watch. It's a movie that takes risks, pushes boundaries and creates an unforgettable experience that will linger in your thoughts long after you leave The Shimmer.
Annihilation is a 2018 science fiction movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 79.