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




    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.


    • James Francis

      August 21, 2015 at 12:23

      “Isaac in particular just prowling through the scenes like a primal animal”

      I didn’t even think about that until you wrote it. This movie is just loaded with subtle things that play the audience.


      • Axon1988

        August 24, 2015 at 11:14

        Yeah totally! I watched it this weekend with my scifiphobia wife. And she loved it, could not stop talking about what happened after the credits rolled. Or how was Ava going to be able to charge her batteries now…

        In any case, good movie. Great acting. Superb story.


  2. RinceThis

    August 21, 2015 at 09:52

    Only thing I disagree on here is the 4.8. Straight 5 for me. The movie is subtle and one that you can watch multiple times and still see new things. Loved it so damn hard. Brilliant performances all round but with a stand out mention of Alcia Vikaner, so much wow from her.


  3. The Sten

    August 21, 2015 at 10:02

    Wow, I got this and Mad Max downloaded and ready to watch, but now i face the dilema of not knowing which one to watch 1st now. My life was so simple 5mins ago :/


    • James Francis

      August 21, 2015 at 10:14

      Watch this first. Mad Max is awesome, but better if you want to unwind. Ex Machina demands a little more focus.


  4. Skyblue

    August 21, 2015 at 10:05

    Fantastic movie. Oscar Isaac’s stock just keeps going up imo.


    • James Francis

      August 21, 2015 at 10:14

      I still have to see that Coen Bros movie he’s in, but I hear it’s great.


      • Kervyn Cloete

        August 21, 2015 at 10:39

        Inside Llewyn Davis? Yeah, he’s awesome. Same for A Violent City.


  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    August 21, 2015 at 11:47

    This movie is… brilliant.


  6. Kromas,powered by windows 10.

    August 21, 2015 at 11:53

    Well now I need to watch this movie.


  7. ElNicko

    August 24, 2015 at 22:42

    Just go watch it.
    It makes a pleasant change from the usual popcorn-munching, brain-on-autopilot movies that have come out lately.


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