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.
So clever--Vikander's dancer training makes her the "perfect" android. Nathan is the demented Silicon Valley Dr. Frankenstein; the other male is just a coder who gets duped. An interesting take on gender--a big problem with the real-life designers of our digital products.
Brilliant settings in a real, yet surreal place--the futuristic Juvet Hotel in Norway's piney woods. The long shots were in New Zealand. Watch it in one setting and don't take your eyes off the screen.
5 stars - and I rarely ever give 5 stars to any movie.. Very interesting view on the possibilities of what and AI may or may not do. Would they obey, be nice, feel remorse for their actions, be manipulative, honest, forgiving? I suppose they would have all the character flaws of any human. If you love sci-fi, you'll love this movie, even if you're not a huge sci-fi fan - trust me, it's that good! This is just 1 in a million possibilities of how our 1st interactions with an AI will go. Allowing your mind to wonder - what are her true intentions, and how is her creator manipulating the test?
Compelling fiction about AI and the Turing Test. Seems like this one took place pretty much tomorrow. The acting was excellent, the story great, and from my experience of 20 years as a professional computer nerd, I thought the ideas were accurate in depicting the way we are headed. What I really liked is that it didn't attempt to be sensational, but offered some ideas about where AI is headed and how we will know whether or not it is working. It certainly brought to mind the AI chat thing that had to be pulled almost immediately. And then I started hearing stories the last couple days about how we have to start thinking about how to give AI (artificial intelligence) morals. So - the real world is catching up with a movie that is barely a year old. Kinda spooky - but also important. Computers and AI aren't going away until all thinking things are gone from the planet - and they could be the only survivors. I wonder what they would think of us? Obviously this movie got me thinking. Probably the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was that my wife fell asleep while we were watching it, but she told me as I sat down to review it that she would like to watch it again. Sounds good to me.
Ex Machina is a stylized story that had my attention from the start. It was highly intelligent, conversations were interesting, and the settings were clean, yet rustic. I did not want to walk away from this film, but there was a moment near the end at the compound that I thought was a bit far-fetched. I wish I could mention it, but it's part of the ending and would be considered a spoiler. If the robots would have done something different, I would have given it all five stars. The rest of the movie was excellent, even the last two scenes of it. I hope they make a sequel to it.
I recommend Ex Machina, if my opinion was to count, but be aware, there are no chase scenes, no explosions, no real fight scene. Just intellect, honest conversations, and a slow build to a thought-provoking ending.
A rich and intriguing study on the dangers of genius, nature of sentience, and subtlety of manipulation. The male characters are by turns confident, then confused and finally and exposed as mere tools in a scenario they could not have comprehended at the outset. Keeps the viewer guessing, but the ultimate resolution is quite satisfying. The "science" is intriguing and presented in a way that adds credulity to the premise. With the small cast the film is almost exclusively a series of one on one encounters. This format and the "talkiness" of the script might, in other hands, be expected to let the film drag. But that's not the case here. It could have gone on another hour and held my interest. This was my introduction to Vikander. She was marvelous. She displays an innocent beauty that will be interesting to watch as her career progresses.
Ex Machina is an intriguing story - one that will leave you thinking about it for days or weeks after you watch it. Frankly, it's one of those stories that will likely return from your subconscious years later when something triggers a synapse somewhere connected to robotics or artificial intelligence. It will question your view of mankind and his place of dominance in this world. It will make you think about the increasingly blurry lines between creator and creation. It will challenge your definitions of sentience, awareness and life itself. There are only three speaking characters throughout the entire movie. Most of it is shot in a very small and relatively nondescript set. Performances, direction and writing are of such high quality, however, that the movie remains riveting from start to finish. (Kind of like The Breakfast Club but at the same time not like that at all.) My one star deduction comes as a result of a personal pet peeve that others may not find so distracting. One character seems to be unable to form a sentence without the f-bomb involved. While I am no prude and I do understand some people sprinkle profanity pretty liberally among their words, this character loses some credibility because I found my self saying, "Why would he say that?" I don't know. Maybe it fits. Maybe I am being overly sensitive to it, but it's my star and I'm holding it back due to excessive f-bombs. I won't spoil the story here, but you likely will spoil it yourself. Some things about where the story is going seem to be telegraphed a little bit, but all the while I found myself second-guessing - wondering if I was really clever or if the script was leading me down a path, only to divert at the last second. That being said, at least one of your "I'll bet this is going to turn out to be..." moments will connect at the end. But - you still won't feel closure on the matter. And I think that's what makes for a great story and a really entertaining movie.