Fear itself

“Annihilation” (⋆⋆⋆½; R) is sophisticated sci-fi that takes us to unbearable heights of fear. But novelist-turned-director Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”) doesn’t merely echo such classics as “Alien.” Be patient as the film unfolds slowly with grace and big visions. A biology professor (Natalie Portman) joins four other brave women to penetrate “the shimmer” — a color-changing cloud left by a meteor strike. You may feel the need to debate it all when the film reaches its cliffhanger ending.

COLIN COVERT

Also coming Tuesday

“I’m Dying Up Here” Season 1

“They Remain”

“Mystery Science Theater 3000:β€…The Singles Collection” “Jackass: Complete Movie and TV Collection”