2018 • 115 minutes
1.26K reviews
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About this movie

From the director of Ex Machina comes one of the year's most critically acclaimed thrillers. Biologist and former soldier Lena (Natalie Portman) is shocked when her missing husband (Oscar Isaac) comes home near death from a top-secret mission into The Shimmer, a mysterious quarantine zone no one has ever returned from. Now, Lena and her elite team must enter a beautiful, deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures, to discover how to stop the growing phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth. Experience this visually stunning film that will be sure to leave you on the edge of your seat...
1.26K reviews
Geneva Zobrist
September 4, 2018
I. Loved. This movie. It was psychedelic and beautiful as only a true science fiction film can be, and the leading actresses/actor deserve all the props for their portrayal of suicidal ideation, mental illness, trauma, and the self destructive nature of cancer. Natalie Portman's descent into the madness of the shimmer was evocative of the Greek myth of Persephone in a way that left me trembling. The beauty of this film comes from it's themes of birth/death/rebirth, human nature, the massive "f*** you" to the universe that is cancer, the destructive nature of lies and the way that the beauty and horror of life and death change us and bond us all together. Now, the movie is so complex that I've undoubtedly missed a few other themes as well, but in any case-These themes are present in a way that is both persistent and recognizable in every facet of the movie while also being fairly subtle- as is the nature of an Alex Garland film- and which forces you to think about these themes and their meanings and allows you to come to your own conclusions. 5 stars, 10/10, completely fresh, I deeply regret not seeing this movie in the theater and anticipate many rewatches in my future.
May 29, 2020
All the reviews talking about how bad or boring this movie; don't listen to them. This movie is one you're going to have to think about, and keep focused throughout; this isn't a put on and half pay attention movie. Each character, maybe starting out bland, gets well fleshed throughout the story, either through passing dialogue or small flashbacks/flashforwards. The special effects are gorgeous throughout the film, and the creature designs, especially a certain animal about halfway through, are just marvelous and inspired. The entire ending sequence is choreographed well and is very unique. One gripe of the movie could be that it sometimes takes itself a tad bit too seriously for what it is at the time; ie Portman giving a college lecture on basic cells, but it's not too bad overall, pretty minimal. Overall, highly recommend this movie if you find slow-burn sci-fi your thing, or want to try it. If you've come from the trailers, probably not the movie you're looking for; the trailers are very different from the final product. I enjoyed this movie very much, and strongly recommend it to anyone interested in some slower sci-fi that's pretty spooky. Good movie despite all the bad (and derogatory/racist) reviews.
Elizabeth John Collins
July 8, 2018
I initially wrote a review basically saying this movie was altogether awful, and had no redeeming features. On reflection, perhaps ironically, it may be one of the most daring social commentary ever to come out of Hollwood. It really is a revealing parable about what happens when white men aren't around to take charge and take care of business. All we have left are lackluster affirmative action appointees, a vortex of increasing social and organizational dysfunction, and really bad acting. All magnified by the alien "shimmer" a kind of prism which reflects back what is around it in a distorted manner to promote all manner of perversions. That could be taken as a metaphor for our modern progessive media. However the ending was somewhat disappointing. It turns out all they had to do to get rid of this alien was to set it on fire. That's not particularly imaginative.
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