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5 of the best: Alex Garland

5 of the best: Alex Garland

Been enjoying Alex Garland’s tech thriller DEVS on the BBC? Here are more must-watch offerings from his unique mind

By Jack Prescott, Senior Staff Writer

Whether you’ve devoured it all online or are showing superhuman self-restraint by watching an episode each week on BBC Two, you’ll know that sci-fi drama DEVS is one of the shows of 2020.


Half technological brainteaser, half bonkers thrill-ride, this eight-part series about a computer engineer’s search for her missing boyfriend is written and directed by Alex Garland, who certainly has form when it comes to entertainment of the existential variety.


Want even more Garland to bend your mind and get you thinking? Here are five fantastic movies his fingerprints are all over…


1. Ex Machina (2014)

Find it on Netflix

Written and directed by Garland, this claustrophobic psychological thriller follows a young tech whizz (Domnhall Gleeson) who is enlisted to test just how human an advanced AI (Alicia Vikander) really is. Riffing on themes of sentience and whether robots can truly feel, it’s also a heart-pounding tech mystery that was nominated at both the Oscars and BAFTAs.


2. 28 Days Later (2002)

The movie that brought British horror back from the dead. Penned by Garland and directed by Danny Boyle, the blood-splattered action centres around a group of survivors in a decimated world where a mysterious virus turns the infected into raging killers. Intense doesn’t even begin to cover the breathless terror of this cult favourite.


3. Dredd (2012)

He is the law – and he’s also got Garland writing and producing this action blockbuster based on the 2000 AD comic Judge Dredd. Karl Urban plays the iconic law enforcer who, along with his apprentice, tries to collar a notorious drug lord inside a chaotic 200-storey apartment block. Fast-paced and packed with explosive thrills, it’s a must-watch for action fans.


4. Never Let Me Go (2010)

A strange and beguiling adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s strange and beguiling dystopian novel. Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield star as three friends who find themselves in an, ahem, complicated love triangle. Written and produced by Garland, its poor commercial performance was at odds with its strong critical reception.


5. Annihilation (2018)

Find it on Netflix

Looking for some mind-bending cinema that will have you questioning reality? Look no further than this adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s novel of the same name, which is written and directed by Garland. Natalie Portman’s biologist joins a team who head into a mysterious territory where nothing is quite what it seems. Trippy and terrifying in equal measure, it takes you on an unforgettable journey.

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