Opening this week: Annihilation, Every Day and more

Opening this week: Annihilation, Every Day and more


Annihilation If you want to know the truth, I've never been a particularly big fan of Natalie Portman. She's the sort of Hollywood-intellectual pedant who goes to college and then treats the rest of the world as if they never made it out of the third grade. A self-righteous scold whose idea of wokeness is shaming five of the world's top directors to their face for not being born with vaginas. An opportunistic hypocrite who decries the sexualization of teens while working for Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. Yet somehow I still find myself on her side when it comes to the essential scuttling of Annihilation, a sci-fi thriller in which Portman plays the leader of a quartet of female investigators mapping an environmental disaster area. The movie has been pawned off to Netflix in every territory except the U.S., Canada and China, after its producers couldn't agree if the finished product was sellable to a wide audience. One concern in particular was that Portman's character wasn't "sympathetic enough" – which, in a movie whose lead characters are four professional women, I'm inferring is shorthand for "too capable," "insufficiently vulnerable" or whatever else means "not dependent enough on dudes." So yeah, I'm with ya on this one, Natalie. Just don't go and ruin it by saying something obnoxious at the Oscars. (Who am I kidding? Of course you will.) (R)

Every Day A teenage girl learns that her boyfriend's body has been commandeered by a spiritual being that possesses a different human host each 24 hours and then moves on. Yeah, that's what they all say when they don't want to text you back. (PG-13)

Game Night Who's up for a fun visit with the guys who wrote Horrible Bosses? (They also directed the 2015 Vacation reboot, so they clearly aren't the sort of fellas you want to work too much of your calendar around.) In their latest, Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams play a married couple invited to take part in a murder-mystery game that proves all too real. See, this is why you want to stick to I-Drive for your entertainment. Because there, your murder mystery comes with your choice of entrée, a salad, dessert and unlimited beer and wine. And nobody really dies, unless we're talking about trying and failing to make a punchline connect with an audience of Japanese tourists. (R)

Also playing: Samson Why did this latest portrayal of the biblical strongman get a quiet and limited release? Maybe because star Taylor James' last role was as "Atlantean military messenger (uncredited)" in Justice League. Boy, it isn't everybody who can hit the cutting-room floor and the ocean floor simultaneously. The slumming supporting cast includes Billy Zane and the once-great Rutger Hauer – who has seen things you people wouldn't believe, but who knows that all those moments are now lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. Or try to land a series. (PG-13)

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