A young coder at the world’s largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private retreat belonging to the reclusive CEO of the company.
On arrival he learns that he must participate in a bizarre experiment which involves interacting with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, which comes in the form of a beautiful female robot.
What We Thought:
For all intents and purposes, I should have loved Ex Machina. It is, after all, an intelligent, interesting sci-fi thriller with its deepest roots in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a work of which I am a huge fan.
Ultimately, though, I liked the film, but I didn’t love it. And the worst part is, I can’t put my finger on exactly why not.
I will say that the performances on the part of all three leads (the only characters in the film, actually) are utterly fantastic. Oscar Isaac is at the top of my list of most exciting actors right now, Domnhall Gleeson does what he does best, and Alicia Vikander (who wowed me in the crime thriller Son of a Gun) is terrific.
But the film is a bit… cold. It’s hard to warm up to. And I get that that’s intentional, because we’re dealing with artificial intelligence and robots and such, but as much as I wanted to really get invested in these characters, I couldn’t, at least not as much as I wanted to.
I did really like the very last scene of the film. And ultimately, I’d say Ex Machina is worth watching. It just wasn’t the sci-fi revelation I wanted it to be.