(Netflix Streaming, December 2019) There is a surprisingly fine line between an intriguing premise and a dumb idea, and Extinction boldly vaults from one to another. Twists make sense if they answer questions rather than create new ones, and they work even better if the rest of the film works well without the twist. Alas, Extinction is the kind of movie that paints itself in a corner, with only the twist to save the day. It does pain me to acknowledge that it doesn’t work—I do like Michael Peña and Lizzy Caplan a lot, but they’re not particularly served well here. Peña is stuck in an intentionally dumb character (the twist partially but not satisfactorily explains why), while Caplan struggles in an intentionally shrill and unlikable character. But actors and their characters are the least of this premise-driven film, in which a standard alien invasion story is upended to be revealed as something else. That could have been intriguing, except that the revelation only makes the first half of the film feel increasingly dumb—and the longer you spend trying to justify the twist, the less sense it makes. Even acknowledging that movies aren’t built on logical consistency, there is something particularly insulting in Extinction’s premise that just doesn’t work. Even if you grant it one or two willing suspension of disbelief, there are still two or three move unresolvable issues that torpedo any attempt to make sense of it. It especially doesn’t work well considering that the conclusion of the film is about as stupid as anything else I’ve seen this year. I should probably add details, because anyone reading this capsule review probably won’t believe me. But Extinction frankly exasperated me, and I don’t want to spend any more time with the movie even in reviewing it. It’s just dumb, unsatisfying and if I’m clueless enough to revisit it in the future then I’ll deserve to re-experience my disappointment all over again.