Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Haunting, terrifying, thought provoking, and surprisingly sleek and short for a visionary science fiction movie, ANNIHILATION was instantly identifiable as a cult classic the moment it hit American screens. Adapted and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina) from the first in a series of novels by Jeff VanDerMeer, this is a rare female-centric mission movie, about five specialists (Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, and Tuva Novotny) dispatched to investigate a meteor landing site now called “The Shimmer,” where evolution and biology hae gone haywire. 

Although ANNIHILATION’s initial release was drastically scaled back by its studio due to fears that it was too intellectual and confusing for a mass audience (international rights were sold to Netflix), the movie gathered a loyal following immediately, and already shows signs of becoming a retroactive consensus classic, in the tradition of films like Blade Runner and John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing. The movie will show on the big screen, with an introduction by New York Magazine and critic Matt Zoller Seitz.


Screening as part of our series Movies with MZS, an ongoing program of audience discussions hosted by critic Matt Zoller Seitz.



  • Country USA
  • Year 2018
  • Running Time 115 minutes
  • Director Alex Garland
  • Writer Alex Garland (screenplay), Jeff VanderMeer (original novel)
  • Editor Barney Pilling
  • Cinematographer Rob Hardy
  • Cast Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.