After being pestered by several people to watch it, I finally pressed play on this indie science fiction film.
- What is it?
A programmer at a large company wins a lotto to go to his boss’ secluded home and help work on a new technology. It turns out he is there to try and determine if the robot his boss created is sentient or not.
- I would like this if I like…
Good science fiction or anything that mulls the role of artificial intelligence. Ex Machina is a perfect example of the genre at its peak. It blends futurist ideas with contemporary concerns, in this case meditating on the nature of intelligence and our ability to create it. If you like long debates about Skynet, you really should see this.
- Is it good?
It’s fantastic. There have been a number of good movies lately that tackle the issue of man, machine and where to draw that line, such as the very under-appreciated Transcendence. But without giving much away, Ex Machina makes a point so beautiful and subtle that it sets a new bar when talking about artificial intelligence.
- Should I watch it?
If you like science fiction, absolutely. If you are vaguely interested in technology, it’s a must-see as well. But even from a pure movie vantage, it is a beautifully made and orchestrated masterpiece, blending drama and tension in a way that you are not quite sure how things will play out, but you can’t stop watching.
Last Updated: August 21, 2015
August 21, 2015 at 09:50
SECOND OPINION REVIEW – 5/5
I have to endorse this review wholeheartedly. Ex Machina is BRILLIANT and one of the best little sci-fi films to come along in ages. Thematically dense, meticulously crafted and superbly acted, it is a master class in the exact type of speculative science fiction that the genre so often overlooks in favour of pew pew laser guns.
First time helmer Alex Garland (Dredd, 28 Days Later) directs like a seasoned pro, using a combination of amazing production design and a claustrophobic little setting to perfectly engineer this sense of dread and foreboding that just keeps being ratcheted up as more and more layers of this mystery is peeled away.
Alicia Vikander is an absolute revelation in her role as the complicated android questioning her own sentience, while Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac turn in stellar performances, with Isaac in particular just prowling through the scenes like a primal animal, taking charge of every environment he’s in.
Ex Machina is brainy but not in a clinical detached way, rather leaving you feeling as much as thinking about what you’ve seen long after the credits roll.
It just so happens that Gleeson and Isaac also star in undoubtedly the biggest sci-fi movie of 2015 in December’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but they may just already have starred in the best as well.