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Ex Machina 2015 R CC

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Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine, makes his directorial debut with the stylish and cerebral thriller, EX MACHINA. Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test--charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan's latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated--and more deceptive--than the two men could have imagined.

Starring:
Domhnall Gleeson, Corey Johnson
Runtime:
1 hour, 48 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Director Alex Garland
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Corey Johnson
Supporting actors Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Claire Selby, Symara A. Templeman, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Tiffany Pisani, Elina Alminas, Chelsea Li, Ramzan Miah, Caitlin Morton, Deborah Rosan, Johanna Thea, Evie Wray
Studio A24 Films, LLC
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
Not that the genre has ever really gone out of style or ever will, but the last year has seen a number of movies on artificial intelligence. Even the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron deals with evil robots turning on their masters. We get it; the robots will all eventually kill us but can't it be done in a way that we haven't seen before? Can't we be entertained before the robots destroy us? Ex Machina, which marks the directorial debut by 28 Days Later, Never Let Me Go, and Sunshine writer Alex Garland, is exactly the film we've been waiting for. A haunting and thrilling look at technology taken to the ultimate degree, it will make you look at every other movie about artificial intelligence in a whole new way.

Garland has become synonymous with taking familiar stories and giving them a fresh spin, whether it is zombie flicks or deep space sci-fi. Ex Machina may be the smartest film he's ever done. Think about a movie like Her, which found a man falling in love with his operating system. Ex Machina takes a similar tract, but really digs into what the idea of an intelligent thinking machine could mean. Like people, there would be shades of grey; there would be human weaknesses, human desires, and even baser human traits.

The machine at the center of this story is Ava (the lovely Alicia Vikander), a name that is deliberately a play on Adam & Eve. Ava is a sleekly designed cybernetic creation, a body of circuits inside a crystalline shell with a beautiful woman's face. The man who invented her, Nathan (Oscar Isaac), is an eccentric tech genius who lives out in the middle of nowhere in a state-of-the-art estate. As the inventor of Blue Book, the world's top search engine, Nathan has everything he could ever want or need.
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Theatrical review. Possible spoilers. According to several sources, the movie title is derived from the Latin, Deus Ex Machina which translates to "god from the machine." It evolved over time as a theatrical plot device whereby an unsolvable problem is resolved by a contrived or unexpected intervention. I suspect both meanings and variations have a place in this beautifully conceived sci-fi film. Written by Alex Garland who also gets his first director assignment covers ground we've seen before (artificial intelligence) but manages with a beauty and grace unrealized in other films. I'm talking to you "Chappie." For those who aren't familiar with Garland, he wrote "28 Days Later" (2002) and the underrated "Sunshine" (2007). The later film in particular, has a style and feel of "Ex Machina."

The story is a simple one. Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson, "About Time") plays a 26 year old programmer working for a company not unlike Apple in the near future. He wins a contest where he gets to spend the week at the remote home/laboratory of the company's eccentric founder, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac, "A Most Violent Year"). Nathan walks around barefoot, gets drunk most nights and is less than a thoughtful host. No one is at the compound other than Kyoko (Sonoya Mizuno), an assistant who doesn't speak English.

After some dancing around, Nathan gets to the reason Caleb has been selected to spend time at the lab. He is to interview a new model of A.I. known as Ava (Alicia Vikander, "Seventh Son"). Performing what is known as the "Turing Test," his job is to see if Ava can truly think for herself based on the advanced programming Nathan has created. Ava's initial appearance is a bit startling.
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Slow? Yes. Boring? Is a mirror boring? This film reminds me so much of 2001: A Space Odessey. I read somewhere that the writer doesn't like the comparison but "methinks he doth protest too much". Clearly the subject matter is similar to the Kubrick interpretation of Clarke's story. The singularity riding high on a contemplative silence like the moment in which the living cross to death, the machine crosses to sentience. And oh my, check out the lighting. No movie in recent memory has tried so hard to imitate that over-exposed but saturated Kubrick glow. If only Stanley had had HD or 4G to work with!
But the reason I really enjoyed this film was more reminiscent of another director: Hitchcock. But it is Hitchcock on Quaalude. Do not watch this late at night after a hard day. You need to have enough energy to feel the film sucking your batteries dry by the end as you toss the possibilities around in your mind. It is hard to write about without creating spoilers but the question of what it is to be self aware, where does conscience come from? What is morality between species if god is not watching? Is survival justification enough? Is compassion misplaced when it is for a contrived consciousness? Why do we think minions are so cute?
OK, the Minion bit might have been a spoiler but anyway, watch this with plenty of energy, and maybe, if you are too much in a hurry or bound to your reality clock too tightly, in Colorado, or one of the other states where you can legally alter your brain chemistry with a mild psychotic. This is a thinking person's film. That is not elitist. Anyone can think. You don't have to be smart, you just need to think...
"daisy, daaaiisyyy, giiiirrvvvv mmuueeee....."
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