Ranking Alex Garland’s Writing Credits, According To Letterboxd

Alex Garland’s new movie, Menu, comes out on May 20, 2022, and it’s put the writer/producer/director firmly back into the limelight. Garland was a breakout screenwriter when he wrote the script for the modern horror classic, 28 Days Later. A number of years later, he combined his writing talents with sitting in the director’s chair with Former Machine and Annihilation. With Menu already gaining critical praise, fans of his work are consistently waiting to see what he will do next.

Apart from Menu, Garland has written eight feature-length films to date. With every film project that he has a hand in, he is seemingly able to create something that allows viewers to escape into a new world while pondering the fate of our current world. Letterboxd users generally praise his unique work and his ability to create a story that leaves audiences enthralled from beginning to end.


8 The Tesseract 2.6/5

A character painting a gun at a woman in The Tesseract.

This early 2000s drama-thriller received generally negative reviews. The Tesseract is not an easy-to-find film, with only 16 Letterboxd reviews and four Rotten Tomatoes reviews. While Alex Garland did not write the script, the film is based on Garland’s novel of the same name. According to a small number of Letterboxd users, the Jonathan Rhys Meyers starring film did not do the source material justice.

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Fans might speculate that if Garland had more of a hand in the film’s screenplay, the movie adaptation could’ve been better, rather than what is a largely forgotten film.

7 The Beach 3.1/5

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach

Another adaptation of one of Garland’s novels, The Beach received some negative reviews from critics and generally mixed reviews from Letterboxd users. The general conclusion is that the film also does not do the novel justice, despite its now-A-list cast led by a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swinton.

Related: Leonardo DiCaprio’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked According To Letterboxd

Readers of the novel praised Garland’s style and wished that his story would’ve translated better into the film adaptation of The Beach. That said, it does have somewhat of a cult fanbase and is a worthy watch, if only for the stunning location and standout performances of the leads.

6 Never Let Me Go 3.5/5

Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy sit at a diner table in Never Let Me Go

A truly heartbreaking sci-fi mind-bender, Never Let Me Go is an example of a great Garland screenplay. With an excellent cast that includes Andrew Garfield, Kiera Knightly, and Carey Mulligan, it is a dark film that lingers in the viewer’s mind long after it is finished.

While this film is not as widely discussed as Garland’s other work, thousands of Letterboxd reviews agree this is one of his best. Many of the thought-provoking, dystopian-themed dialogues seen in Never Let Me Go was only the beginning of Alex Garland’s signature screenwriting style.

5 3.6/5

sunshine is not the first film to combine the talents of Cillian Murphy, Danny Boyle, and Alex Garland. This movie is a sci-fi treat that also pleases horror fans.

The story is a terrifying look at humanity’s all too realistic trajectory, something Alex Garland seems to include in a lot of his stories. sunshine is thought-provoking, frightening, and ahead of its time. Letterboxd users praise the film for its excellent performances, as well as its excellent storytelling.

4 3.6/5

dredd 2012 pointing a gun

Dredd is one of the few highly rated video game adaptations that pleased both critics and fans. The sci-fi action film is gritty, violent, and boasts an excellent cast led by Karl Urban and Lena Headey. Many viewers enjoyed the film seems like it takes the tone of a cheesy action film but then executes a high-quality story that is fully entertaining.

Letterboxd users praised the film as a successful remake of the 1995 original with Sylvester Stallone. Even many years later, fans are desperately hoping for a sequel to finally be greenlit so they can get more of the franchise.

3 Annihilation 3.6/5

Lena stands in profile in the disaster zone in Annihilation

Alex Garland’s second time sitting in the director’s chair produced the modern sci-fi tale, Annihilation. This film is led by an all-star female cast that includes Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tessa Thompson. The movie is a beautiful-looking story that still manages to scare audiences with its out-of-the-box sequences.

Many Letterboxd reviews praise the film for its ability to get under one’s skin while leaving the viewer feeling unsettled way after the movie has finished. Garland made a truly terrifying masterpiece with Annihilation.

two 28 Days Later 3.7/5

Perhaps Alex Garland’s biggest claim to fame, 28 Days Later is viewed as one of his best screenplays. This Danny Boyle-directed feature starring Cillian Murphy is a modern classic when it comes to zombie apocalypse films and one of the first to do it right. The way the movie builds tension and dread from beginning to end cements it as one of the best horror films of the 2000s.

Related: Shaun Of The Dead & The 9 Best Foreign Zombie Films, According To IMDb

As fans continue to follow Garland’s work, 28 Days Later is a film that will he will always be associated with and remembered for.

one Former Machine 4/5

Ava touches a face mounted to a wall in Ex Machina

The best film of Alex Garland’s career thus far, according to Letterboxd, is the sci-fi thriller, Former Machin. This film is filled with subtle twists and turns that take the viewer on an unexpected journey up until the film’s last few moments. Fans praised the movie for Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander’s performances, in particular.

Former Machine takes common thriller tropes and moves them in a direction that is unexpected. While the horror elements are not as in your face as a film like 28 Days Later, many Letterboxd users claim that Former Machine is one of the most terrifying films they have ever seen.

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