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Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in “Annihilation.” (Peter Mountain/Paramount Pictures). In his 2014 speculative thriller “Ex Machina,” writer-director Alex Garland created a haunting, stylishly atmospheric meditation on what it means to be human, building a credible world just this shy of the future in which humanoid robots moved, loved and deceived with all the nuance and subterfuge of their flesh-and-bone counterparts. Garland brings his considerable talents for weird vibes and arresting visuals to “Annihilation,” which this time dwells on nature run amok rather than technology — and to less successful effect. In his adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 novel , Natalie Portman... Full story

23 February