Ex Machina Poster

Ex Machina (2014)

Drama | SciFi 
Rayting:   7.7/10 477622 votes
Country: UK
Language: English

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath taking humanoid A.I.

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User Reviews

Jim-Eadon 11 September 2015

This movie is obviously allegorical, a fascinating tale about AI, but it is mainly about manipulation and power. It isn't for those wanting action or spectacular CGI, the movie is aimed at people who like to think, rather than passively wait to be entertained. There are themes here not only about AI, but also about surveillance, with excellent points about how data about us is collected by phone companies, search engine companies, commercial operating systems makers and so on. The plot seems simple but isn't, it's extremely clever, with the protagonist playing games, trying to stay one step ahead of one another. This is a movie with perfectly consistent internal logic that plays out perfectly. Don't go in expecting too much, however, as I can see most people will not be satisfied by this movie, but for me, it does what it sets out to do brilliantly. Therefore I give at least 9/10. And most recent movies have been getting 5/10 from me. This movie succeeds where another recent movie about AI, Transcendence, I think it is called, failed (but it was an interesting failure). A third movie about AI, a Spanish movie called Eva, was also brilliant. Eva was more moving and this movie more philosophical. But both movies were perfect in their different ways. The AI's name in this movie, Ava, seems to be a nod to the title of the Spanish movie. As an aside, it's nice that no "stars" appeared in "Ex Machina" and "Eva", the casting was great. Of course there are several aspects of this movie that are unrealistic and often absurd. But because this is an allegorical movie, these are acceptable, because the movie is making points, rather than striving for realism. It's more of a fairytale than accurate portrayal.

themissingpatient 26 April 2015

Ex Machina has a very fitting sense of false intimacy. This is done visually as many of the close-ups are seen through glass. No matter how close we get to the subject on-screen, there always seems to be at least one wall of glass between us and it or them. The film also makes a very distinct contrast between it's interior and exterior shots. Outside of the facility is breathtaking landscapes. It is big, beautiful, refreshing and vibrant. Inside seems like an endless futuristic maze of glass, mirrors, plastic, chrome and dim lights. It is clean, cold and claustrophobic. A perfect setting for the subject that is explored in this tight, tense sci-fi thriller.

Ex Machina is the best science fiction film on artificial intelligence since Blade Runner. While Blade Runner is an action thriller that relies more on it's epic visuals to tell it's story, Ex Machina is a dialogue-driven psychological thriller that slowly works it's way under your skin. Thought-provoking and terrifyingly suspenseful, an induced state of paranoia may linger long after the end credits begin to roll.

The less you know going into a film like this, the better your experience will be. Alex Garland has given us a modern science-fiction masterpiece. Performances from all three leads are flawless and every other aspect of the production, from the cinematography to the soundtrack, is perfectly suited for the story. Not only is Ex Machina an amazing achievement for a directorial debut, it's Alex Garland's best written work to-date.

Red-Barracuda 25 January 2015

A reclusive CEO of a leading technology company hires a young whiz kid who works for him to test his latest development, a highly advanced android called Ava. Specifically he is tasked with using the Turing test on her to establish if her AI is sufficiently convincing to pass as human.

Despite contributing several scripts for the screen, this is writer Alex Garland's first directorial effort. It's a hard sci-fi movie which examines concepts and ideas above everything else. That's not to say it isn't dramatic or even thrilling because it is both of those things as well but the focus is squarely on the science fiction speculation, and this is a very welcome thing. The central concept that it examines is artificial intelligence. How we interact with AI as humans, as well as how a seductive machine could in turn manipulate us. The very well written script poses philosophical questions such as is there moral or immoral ways to treat AI. It also considers if sometimes part of being human is that we sometimes subconsciously want to be fooled by an illusion, if it is attractive enough.

In many ways Ex Machina resembles last years Under the Skin. Both feature highly advanced female non-humans. In the earlier film Scarlett Johansson played an alien, here Alicia Vikander plays an android. While the very small cast all acquit themselves very well, it is Vikander who stands out in the film's most challenging role. It's a nuanced performance that captures the fine balance between the human-like and machine. Not only this but the marvellous special effects compliment this performance to create a very distinctive character. Aside from the effects, this is probably quite a modestly budgeted film, as the small little-known cast and limited sets suggest. But these restrictions have been used to the films advantage, as the unknown cast surprise more given little is known of them and the restricted setting gives off a claustrophobic feel which works well, while forcing us to focus in even more on the ideas being put in front of us. A scene setting ambient soundtrack additionally creates just the right off-kilter mood to accentuate the events. But it's ultimately the very good writing that underpins the success of this film. All-in-all, very impressive science fiction for those who appreciate the genre's more cerebral side.

chriscrudelli-220-144403 24 January 2015

I rarely do this because there is so much rubbish out there but I'm going to recommend a movie. Writer Director Alex Garland has done an amazing job, it's beautifully shot, fantastically lit, intelligently written, brilliantly cast. the edit is original and brave, as is the direction of the edit, There is nothing superfluous, to the contrary it' has a sharp Zen like quality, clearly the application of a disciplined mind.

The movie is's self is engaging, thoroughly watchable, the characters are simple and yet layered with complexity. The film strikes the perfect balance of not spoon feeding and not dumbing down but not being too arty or intellectual just for the sake of it.

Best seen in a cinema I reckon.

deloudelouvain 16 June 2015

This is the kind of movie I really enjoy when I think about science fiction. Movies that make you think if we should continue trying to progress even more. Are we not already smart enough with everything we have? With all our daily gadgets that we can't miss for one second. Do we really need artificial intelligence? Because let's face it, once that will be concrete then we won't do a thing by ourselves anymore. We will send our robots to our job, we will chose and model our life partner like we want them to be. The story of Ex Machina might be futuristic but I certainly can imagine it like that in the future. All actors were good in their respective roles. For a movie that is filmed at the same spot all the time you certainly don't get bored for a second. Nice science fiction like there should be more of them.

j-pollacchi 10 November 2015

A great story, with complex yet very relatable characters.

AI has been a recurring theme in sci-fi movies for some time now with varying degrees of plot and execution quality. I feel this movie aces both.

A secluded environment and very good original music set the mood for full focus on story and character development. The plot twists time and time again as an intelligence power-play is delivered with very good performances by this little known cast. Character development feels perfect as each one gains depth without loosing essence.

From a sci-fi point of view, it's not you're typical FX based movie, nor is it an action film. Nevertheless some very good effects and acting make for an excellent merge between fact and fiction that lets you concentrate on the philosophical questions the movie asks about the nature of AI.

Conclusion: I'd recommend this film to anyone. Though warning it concentrates on the brain rather than the muscle. Excellent movie.

zydonk 29 September 2018

Don't mean to insult here, but who else wants to love a machine. Bear with me: this movie has a deep insight to communicate, whether intended or not is open to question.

The story is a modern telling of Bluebeard's Castle as the correct version of Beauty and the Beast. In other words, it seems to be about impotence. Except that this is geek love, love at an impossible distance, that is eroticism. And the movie itself tells you all you need to know about eros.

The insight. Ex Machina is ostensibly about Turing's Test, the thesis that a machine might be so human as to fool a human being. Does Ava pass this test? Depends on how you perceive the test. Ex Machina actually implies a more relevant Test: could a machine seem so human as to make the human being inteacting with it come to believe that he himself is a machine?

And the insight? It might be that the solution to the AI/human interface may not involve the humanising of robots, but the robotisation of humans.

Only 8/10 because it is not clear that this insight was actually part of the plot. But whether you find eros or AI in this movie, you will have a rewarding journey.

CharlieGreenCG 18 January 2015

Having wrote the stories to some of his biggest hits, first-time director, Alex Garland, has spent a lot of time with the masterful Danny Boyle: working on such films as The Beach, 28 Days Later and Sunshine. Now, writing and directing his feature debut, Garland proves that he has been paying attention and taking tips as he tackles a complex sci-fi thriller about artificial intelligence.

Featuring Domnhall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac, the stars of the upcoming Star Wars adventure, plus talented newcomer, Alicia Vikander – who stars in three films this month; Ex_Machina is quite well profuse.

Jumping right in, we are introduced to Caleb (Gleeson), a twenty- four year old coder who wins a chance to spend a week at his CEO bosses luxury house. Travelling for many hours over his private estate via helicopter, he arrives at a remote mountain villa. Where he meets Nathan (Isaac) – a prodigy programmer, who at the young age of thirteen created the foundations of Bluebook (our equivalent to Google and Apple combined). Now, middle-aged and extremely wealthy from his companies growing success, he lives a reclusive life at his custom-built smart house, which is insulated by intelligent automated features and billionaire gadgets.

Addressing the concept that life is different at this remote location – which is more of a research facility - Nathan invites Caleb to be part of an experience during his one week stay. An experiment that he classes as the greatest discovering of mankind; to test the world's first artificial intelligence system, which is housed inside the body of a beautiful robot girl (Alicia Vikander).

Of course, the AI' concept has been tackled many of times in contemporary film - most recently in Wally Pfister's directorial- flop, Transcendence. In reality, the closest thing we have to it is Siri. Yet, Garland's vision of AI is extraordinarily superior and physiologically mesmerising to witness.

For Domnhall Gleeson, the premise of his character is similar to that of his characters once played in Frank, or About Time – one that is thrown into a portal of unknown weirdness, and often out of his depth. Over the seven days of testing, Caleb must perform the scientific 'Turing test' on Nathan's AI' system, nicknamed Ava; the idea of which is to deduce God-like theories and philosophical concepts – do robots feel a consciousness? If disguised, would you know it is a robot? Is it ethical?

It's heavy material for Garland, but no stranger to psycho- thrillers, he explores futuristic concepts as if AI's really do exist. Equally, the craft behind Ex_Machina is exceptional. A beautiful piano theme plays methodically, with often mix of silence setting the unique atmosphere. Whilst mainly set inside Nathan's enclosed premise (with no windows), the camera work is mounted aesthetically.

Now, in her third film this month, Alicia Vikander shows that she is able to tackle any form of performance with extreme clause. Whether she is a young-women coming of age during World War One (Testament of Youth), a love-interest of a criminal (Son of A Gun), or now a robot, she is outstanding. Fluxed movements, and facial expressions through seamless CGI, she steals all scenes present.

Compressed into an impressive 1 hour 48 minute running time - considering the ground it has to cover for such a serious sci-fi drama, Ex_Machina, still manages to find time for sublime humour. Taut, fascinating and simply intriguing. Alex Garland's debut film

Movie Scene

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