Writer-director Alex Garland followed-up his ambitious first feature “Ex Machina” with a mind-bending film that defies the laws of Hollywood. Much like Denis Villeneuve’s masterful “Arrival”, “Annihilation” is a game-changer in the genre, a film deemed way too intellectual for regular audiences, it was pulled from international markets and ended up on Netflix instead. You know what to watch tonight. But the less you know about this mesmerizing movie, the better. But know this: Natalie Portman is terrific as Lena, a Biologist on an expedition with four other women into “The Shimmer”, a weird phenomenon that seems to be mutating pretty much everything. Sounds generic on paper, but there’s absolutely nothing generic about the way Garland handles his material, leading us into his rabbit hole and allowing us to get lost in his surreal world. It’s hard not to be spellbound, along with our heroines when they enter this uncharted territory. Garland and his women make it work beautifully, building-up tension every step of the way, before the final revelations hit you in ways you don’t see coming. Though mainstream audiences might complain about the film’s contemplative pace, patience pays-off with a beautiful finale that fills you with a sense of wonder and awe. “Annihilation” isn’t your regular sci-fi film; it’s a terrific mind-bender that gets inside your head and emerges as something intimate and thought provoking.