Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Movie Matter: 9/10 stars
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi
“One day, artificial intelligence will look back on humans the same way we look back at fossils and skeletons on the plains of Africa. As upright apes living in dust with crude language and tools, all set for extinction.” – Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac).
“Ex Machina” follows the story of Caleb Smith (Dohmanll Gleeson), a 24-year old coding genius who works for the largest search engine optimization (SEO) company in the world (BlueBook).
Caleb wins a corporate-sponsored competition that gives him the opportunity to spend a week at the very luxurious, high-tech, and secluded home of the company’s CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac).
Upon his arrival to the remote estate, Caleb quickly learns that he is there to participate in a fascinating (and controversial) experiment involving the evaluation of the world’s first true artificial intelligence. The AI is programmed into the body of an attractive female robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander), who Caleb soon forms a close relationship with.
As an experienced coder himself, Caleb is tasked with performing the “Turing Test”, which is an examination designed to evaluate Ava’s human capabilities, specifically her mental capacity to form conscious thoughts.
Similar to movies like Frankenstein (1931) and iRobot (2004), “Ex Machina” is a cautionary tale of what can go wrong when humans try to play the role of God, and create artificial beings. The movie’s title is derived from the Latin phrase “Deus Ex-Machina” which means “God from the Machine.”
This theme of Man vs Machine, and where God fits in, also reminds me of TV shows like “Westworld” (2016-present), and “Black Mirror” (2011-present), as they evoke the same dark message of machine ultimately defeating man.
In his directorial debut, former novelist Alex Garland creates a well-written, mind-bending thriller with an ending that will go down in movie history.
“Ex Machina” is one of the most captivating movies I’ve ever seen and easily my favorite sci-fi movie of all time.
Unlike most sci-fi films, “Ex Machina” creates an eerily realistic outlook on the future of humanity with regards to AI, and it makes for a fantastic film with tremendous replay value.
The film earned one Oscar for Best Visual Effects, and was also nominated for Best Original Screen Play at the 2015 Academy Awards. I thought this movie was exceptional, and I highly recommend checking it out. Overall, I’m giving “Ex Machina” 9 out of 10 Stars!