Our critics are split on Alex Garland’s Annihilation

A.V. Club film editor A.A. Dowd and staff critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky are back with another edition of Film Club, this time discussing director Alex Garland’s Annihilation. As in his previous films, including the Oscar-winning Ex Machina, Garland tries to strike a balance between intellectual sci-fi and visceral…

Alex Garland's Annihilation is weirder, wilder, and much scarier than Ex Machina

B

Years from now, someone’s going to stroll down the science-fiction aisle of the last remaining video store on the planet, where they’ll find the last remaining physical copy of Alex Garland’s new movie, Annihilation, shelved neatly between Aliens and Arrival. It will be exactly where the film belongs, and not just…

Natalie Portman, Alex Garland address accusations of whitewashing in Annihilation

Annihilation, director Alex Garland’s follow-up to his sleeper sci-fi hit Ex Machina, is being praised as a new classic (at least, by early Twitter buzz—the film doesn’t come out until February 23). But that’s only part of the story: The film is also being accused of whitewashing by two activist groups, MANAA (Media…

Chicago, see  Annihilation, Alex Garland's monstrous follow-up to Ex Machina, early and for free

After years of writing and producing well-regarded sci-fi features like 28 Days Later and Dredd, author Alex Garland made a name for himself as a director with 2015's Ex Machina, a tense, often horrifying look at humanity’s ever-evolving impulse to destroy itself (with a little assist from technology, to boot). Now,…

Please enjoy Natalie Portman making the all-male Best Director nominees very uncomfortable

Toward the end of Sunday night’s Golden Globes ceremony, Natalie Portman and Ron Howard were tasked with presenting one of the evening’s more prestigious awards: Best Director. But rather than engage in the same dry banter viewers have come to expect from awards shows, Portman decided to use her brief time onstage to…

Natalie Portman isn't sure if she's the hunted or the hunter in first Annihilation teaser

Alex Garland’s follow-up to 2015's Ex Machina is another sci-fi project, this time an adaptation of Jeff VanDerMeer’s Nebula-winning novel Annihilation. The writer-director has teamed up with Oscar Isaac again, who’s mostly out of commission in this first teaser for the film. Natalie Portman plays Lena, the character…

Accent expert verifies that Natalie Portman did a freaky good job emulating Jackie Kennedy

Erik Singer is one of this country’s foremost experts in dialects and accents, so every now and then Wired brings him in to analyze the performances of actors taking on voices other than their own. The latest edition might be the most fascinating, as Singer spends a half hour comparing and contrasting performances…

Natalie Portman helps commune with the dead (or does she?) in the muddled Planetarium

C

Numerous potentially interesting ideas orbit one another in Planetarium, but none boasts sufficient gravity to merit a landing, it seems. Set in 1930s France, the film begins intriguingly enough, introducing Laura (Natalie Portman) and her much younger sister, Kate (Lily-Rose Depp), as they perform a public séance for…

Watch actors perform side by side with their real-life counterparts

It’s always impressive seeing an actor assume the role of a real, well-known person, which always prompts the follow-up question of how accurate their portrayal was. Natalie Portman’s eerie ethereality in Jackie, for example, has been praised for its striking similarity to the former first lady, and we’ve previously …

Song To Song resonates a little louder than Terrence Malick’s last few reveries

B

In a way it’s brave, Terrence Malick’s recent decision to make himself less scarce. For nearly four decades, Malick films were rare and elusive events that only appeared on the horizon after five, eight, or even 20 years of waiting. But starting with his masterful The Tree Of Life (2011), Malick has increased his…

Sorry, Thane ’shippers: Thor and Jane Foster have broken up

In news that doesn’t come as a huge surprise—given that Natalie Portman has said she’s pretty much done with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that Thor’s apparently spent all his downtime since his last movie appearance hanging out with his roommate, Darryl—Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed that the God…

Run-run-run-run-runaway with the trailer for Terrence Malick’s Song To Song

The idea that Terrence Malick, the media-shy director of wheat fields and whispery voice-overs, would make a movie about indie-rock hipsters sounds like a joke—and an old one at that, since Malick started filming his Austin-set music-scene movie Song To Song way back in 2011. After a lengthy post-production (even by…