Alex Garland already has a sterling reputation as a filmmaker before his directorial debut, but in 2015 he created something truly special with Ex Machina. Now, two years later, he is back with his sophomore effort, Annihilation, and the earliest reactions suggest it will be just as well-regarded.

I was one of lucky individuals who had the opportunity to attend an early screening of Annihilation, and I'll kick things off with my own social media reaction to the film (full reviews are still under embargo). As you'll see, I absolutely loved the film, and you can expect me to be writing and talking about it a lot in the next 11 months.

But I am definitely not alone in my appreciation for the sci-fi film starring Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez. Erik Davis from Fandango also provided high praise, not only highlighting Annihilation's intelligence, but also its emotional impact.

Jenna Busch from ComingSoon.net was in the same Los Angeles audience as me tonight, and likewise found herself so taken aback by the film that her early reaction was kept brief:

Throwing in his two cents, Ben Pearson from Slash Film basically called this early social media response, and adds that there is a legitimate argument calling it a "masterpiece."

Finally we have Drew Taylor from The Playlist and Moviefone, who also echos many of the sentiments above. He too found himself enraptured by the philosophical depth just as much as the mystery driving the plot:

It's not often that February is seen as a big movie month, but both Annihilation and Black Panther will be arriving in theaters in the coming weeks with some seriously hot buzz supporting them. You will be able to see the former when it hits theaters on February 23rd, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more of our coverage of the film!

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