Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy of books, Annihilation is a brand new sci-fi movie from director Alex Garland. The movie stars Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh and is currently on general release in US cinemas.

If you live in the UK – or pretty much anywhere else in the world that has Netflix and isn’t the US – the movie is heading to your favourite subscription-based streaming service from March 12th. Paramount Pictures sold the international distribution rights to Annihilation to Netflix a little while ago and as a result, the film will now bypass the big screen in most parts of the world.

But will it be worth a couple hours of your time?

In today’s edition of The Great Stampede, I’m taking a look at the critical response that Annihilation has achieved since it landed in the States. This response – summed up in the form of a review round-up below – should give you an indication of what to expect when Annihilation arrives over here.

Here’s what the critics have said:

  • Tasha Robinson, of The Verge, said: “Annihilation is the most thoughtful science fiction movie since Arrival.” She added that Annihilation “makes its audiences walk away with a lot to think about.”
  • Benjamin Lee of the Guardian, awarded Annihilation four stars (out of five) and said: “Annihilation is more than mere visuals and it will shock, fascinate and haunt audiences, whatever screen it’s watched on.”
  • Alissa Wilkinson of Vox, awarded Annihilation four-and-a-half stars (out of five) and said: “Annihilation is the sort of film that lodges itself in your brain and makes you turn it over and over again as it settles in your bones. That’s exactly what philosophical science fiction ought to do — and with this movie, Garland establishes his place as one of the best sci-fi filmmakers working today.”
  • Caryn James of the BBC, awarded the movie four stars (out of five) and said Annihilation “is about as intelligent as sci-fi film-making today can get.” She added: “Annihilation has an auteur’s indie sensibility, a mid-range budget of around $40 million, and a wide studio release in the US. That’s never an easy combination, but a film this ambitious, suspenseful and beautifully made is certain to find its audience.”
  • Haleigh Foutch of Collider, gave the film an A- rating and said: “Garland makes a few minor stumbles on the way to his vision, but his vision is rendered in complete, elegant detail, and even if it takes some time to digest, it’s a meticulously prepared feast for the eyes and the mind.”
  • And finally, Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly, also gave it an A-, calling it a “sci-fi stunner”. Leah said: “It’s the kind of film that leaves you dazzled, shellshocked — and not entirely sure whether your own moviegoing DNA hasn’t been altered a little in the process.”

So, there you have it – six review snippets, all of which seem very positive. It would appear that Netflix made the right choice in picking up the international distribution rights for Annihilation and if you’re a Netflix subscriber, living outside the US, you’re shortly set to reap the reward.

For more reviews of recent releases, check out past editions of The Great Stampede which have focused on The Shape of Water and Black Panther.