Ex Machina (2015)
Directed by Alex Garland
Running time: 108 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I.
Ex Machina was one of my most anticipated movies for this year. Sci-fi is my favorite genre and Ex Machina certainly didn’t disappoint in that department. It even makes up for the inferior Interstellar, which I found to be a pretty big disappointment. Ex Machina doesn’t really give us anything new as far as the exploration of artificial intelligence or “the singularity” but it’s a topic I’ve always found fascinating (such as in the obscure Electroma, which I reviewed HERE) and I think it does a decent job with a popular sci-fi concept.
First of all, I have to mention that it was good to be able to see Domhnall Gleeson & Oscar Isaac together in a movie before we see them again in Star Wars The Force Awakens & it’s probably helping Ex Machina to get more attention than it otherwise would, which I see as a good thing. This is Alex Garland’s first time directing after being a writer & I was excited to see how he’d do as I’ve really enjoyed his movies. He wrote The Beach novel, 28 Days Later & Sunshine plus the scripts for Never Let Me Go & Dredd. Okay, I’ve not seen Dredd but people really seem to like it so I’m eager to finally see that one now as well. Apparently, based on Ex Machina, there’s now talk of him directing Star Wars IX. I’m happy to see someone who seems very talented getting some recognition.
I thought Gleeson was very good in this and the right choice for his role. Isaac was good but it kind of felt like a role that could have been played by most anyone & I thought he paled in comparison to Gleeson & Alicia Vikander. Vikander as the female A.I. was probably the best thing about Ex Machina but may not get as much attention as the male leads, which would be a shame. She is, of course, lovely & her sad brown eyes alone displayed so much emotion (or DID they?). Yeah, she’s gorgeous… I hate her a little.
As I said above, the story itself doesn’t really do anything “new”. We’ve seen the dangers & morality issues associated with artificial intelligence explored in a wide variety of sci-fi movies such as Blade Runner, The Terminator, Westworld, etc. Oh, and of course D.A.R.Y.L. & Short Circuit… (had to get those in here!). I loved the look & feel of Ex Machina but can’t say the story is totally original. It doesn’t really delve as deep into the moral issues as I was hoping it would but it’s still far from “shallow”. I really liked that it didn’t feel the need to throw in a bunch of technobabble, however, which made it feel far less phoney than Interstellar as that tried too hard to impress. Garland tells this story in a pretty straightforward way & does leave you with something to think about once the film ends. It also looks quite beautiful (its style reminded me of Oblivion) and Alicia Vikander as A.I. Ava looked amazing. It wasn’t a case of style over substance, however – I just wish they’d had a little more to say about the moral issues involved in creating advanced artificial intelligence. I liked Ex Machina a lot & think it’s a worthy addition to the sci-fi genre.
My Rating: 8/10
I’m still not completely sold with this one, but the positive words help. I still might see this for Gleeson though. Great review!
Thanks! 🙂 I liked it a lot but it helps that I’m a huge sci-fi fan. I really liked Gleeson in this so it’s worth watching for that if you’re a fan of his.
I’ve been looking forward to this quite a bit – glad it lives up to the hype somewhat.
It does! Well, for me at least. It’s totally my type of movie. Hope you enjoy it! Would love to know what you think of it. 🙂
I know I say this a lot but this time I actually mean it: never heard of this one.
Not out in the US until April. Suck it, American! 😉 This may be too close to Blade Runner for your liking anyway… Naked girls in it, though!
Oooooh this looks like my kind of thing. Serious, miserable sc-fi. But you had to ruin it by mentioning D.A.R.Y.L or whatever the fuck its called
Lol. If you like serious, miserable sci-fi, you’ll love this. Plus there are naked girls. In all honesty, though, this does seem like your type of thing. And, hey – D.A.R.Y.L. rules!!!!!! 😉
Great film! Very tense and very clever leaving you to question a great many things. Great review!
Thank you! Glad to hear from someone else who enjoyed this. I liked this one a lot. 🙂
I think I will enjoy this 🙂
Wow can’t believe Alex Garland directed a movie! I had no idea.
You’re an Alex Garland fan? Then I think you’ll like this one, Emma! Hey… Did you ever see Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind…? 🙂
Thanks!!! I’m not a huge fan as such (not that I have anything against him haha, just not read loads of his books) but I was surprised just because I thought of him as a novelist!!
I bought Nausicaa the Valley of the Wind for my boyfriend for Xmas so we’re going to watch it soon!! Honestly I’m so slow sometimes but I promise to let you know what I think 🙂
Lol. I know that feeling… People get annoyed with me because it can take me YEARS to watch a movie sometimes. 😉 I hope you enjoy it! I really do adore that one. 🙂
I’m glad it’s not just me!! Even though I love movies I can be SO lazy at watching them!!!
I’m very guilty of re-watching old favourite movies too, rather than watching new stuff.
My BF loves Studio Ghibli so it’s probably more me holding up the proceedings for Valley of the Wind, but maybe this weekend we’ll give it a watch!
Well, I do expect a full report whenever you finally see it… 😉
Of course!!! 🙂 🙂
I saw this last night and enjoyed it. A bit like an extended episode of Black Mirror, but with bigger production values. Don’t mean that as an insult!
Lol. Hmm… I’ve only seen one episode of Black Mirror (the first episode) and I think it has scarred me for life. 😉 Sounds like I should give the rest a try, though, if they’re more like Ex Machina?? I liked this movie a lot. 🙂
Ha! That episode is pretty horrible. They do vary…some are grimmer than others!
I’ll give the rest a try – they do sound like my sort of thing. 🙂
I definitely need to see this. The fact that you mentioned Short Circuit made me laugh, when was the last time someone brought that movie up? Great review!
I think you might like this one, Melissa. 🙂 lol… EVERYONE should mention Short Circuit at least once in their reviews!!!! 😉
My rating for how much I loathe you for seeing this before me is 10/10! You lucky duck!!
Haha!!!! Sorry…. 😦 Wait, no I’m not! Lol. I LOVE that the UK finally got a movie before everyone else. We’re usually the ones who have to wait!!!! I think you’ll like this one a lot. When you can finally watch it… 😉
Lovely write up. THIS looks like something I will check out should I come across it. Gleeson is just about everywhere I look lately! 😛
As for Dredd, I saw it recently and I was extremely underwhelmed…
THIS does seem like something you’d be more into than my Ghibli stuff. 😉 Yeah, it’s funny that Gleeson has gotten so big. He’s good in this one. Oh, that’s a shame about Dredd… A lot of people seem to like that one so I’ve been meaning to check it out eventually.
Well, you might like it. I thought it was okay, nothing too special or anything.
I am hoping to see this next weekend. Did you see a Royal Affair? I loved Alicia Vikander in that so I am really looking forward to her performance.
Have you managed to see this one yet? I liked it a lot. I’ve not seen A Royal Affair – she’s great in Ex Machina so I think you’ll enjoy her performance. 🙂
I saw it on Sunday. I liked it but it creeped me the hell out. She was great though.
Lol. This is a SPOILER WARNING in case anyone is reading these comments…….. I said to my hubby that I think women need to be in charge of creating artificial intelligence because I can’t see women feeling the need to have sex with the robots they create…. 😉
you’ve convinced me that I should see it. great writeup as always!
Thanks, Rob! I’m way behind on things here again – I’m assuming you’ve seen & reviewed this by now?! Lol. 😉 I liked this one a lot. 🙂
Actually not yet. Takes me a little while to catch new movies besides during Oscar season
finally saw it and liked it a lot, but it’s still far from being perfect
No, definitely not perfect. But I liked it a lot too. 🙂
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I’ve been hearing all kinds of good buzz about this. Sounds like it’s worth a watch! I have no idea when we’re supposed to be getting it here, but I’ll keep an eye out. I need to see Gleeson in more! Honestly, I think I’ve only seen him in Harry Potter… Anyway, another great job, Miss Mutant! 🙂
You get this April 10th. And also most Marvel stuff about a week after us. Hehehe… 😉 I’ve also seen Gleeson in that About Time movie, which wasn’t too bad. Can’t believe that dude from Harry Potter is getting to be such a big star now!
UGH. Yeah, rub in the Marvel stuff, will ya?? Lol. We get Age of Ultron May 1st–does that mean you get it in April??? And, yeah, good for Gleeson! I still need to see him in About Time, but I really wanna see him in Frank…
Yeah, I still need to see Frank too! I just looked it up & it looks like we get Age of Ultron April 23rd. Woohoo! 🙂
UGGGGHHHHHH SO NOT FAIR!!!!!
…I mean…I’m happy for you…or whatever… 😛
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Reblogged this on Cinema Parrot Disco and commented:
Hi all! I thought I’d share my review for Ex Machina again since I’ve been too sick to do anything on the blog this week. I believe this movie is FINALLY coming out in America today? It’s my favorite film of the year so far & I highly recommend it to any sci-fi fans. Let me know what you think if you see it. 🙂
I love sci-fi! And I haven’t seen this! I have something to look forward too! Thanks and great review!
Thanks! 🙂 I’d love to know what you think if you see it – I don’t actually know anyone on here who’s seen it yet besides me!
Ahh, this looks great! I can’t wait for this to show in the U.S. Great review!
Thanks, Cindy! 🙂 Has it actually come out there fully yet? Sounds like some were having trouble finding it showing. Which is a shame – it’s a great film. Hope you see it! 🙂
I cannot wait to see Ex-Machina. Looks like a ton of fun, and I’m really digging the way they’ve “designed” the A.I. here
I hope you do manage to see it, Tom – I’d love to know your thoughts. 🙂 I loved it. And, yeah – she looked amazing in this! The whole movie has a great style.
I’m pretty pumped. It looks like Oscar Isaac is poised to have a pretty awesome year
Yep! Can’t wait to see him in Star Wars. 🙂
Great review. I found myself getting lost in the atmosphere of this one and the performances were great but I agree it could have had a little more to say. Not quite up there with Under The Skin and Her for me, but I would definitely see it again.
Thanks! 🙂 Totally agree with what you’ve said – this was a good film and I liked it a lot but it’s also not up there with Under The Skin or Her for me either. 🙂
My interest is definitely piqued. I get an “All is Full of Love” vibe from the look of the robot in this. Director Chris Cunningham did an amazing job. If you haven‘t seen the Bjork video, check it out
Oh – you’re very right – this IS a bit like that video. Yes, I’ve seen it – Cunningham’s work is great! You’ll probably love the look & vibe of this film, then – would love to know your thoughts if you see it! 🙂
You’re so right about there being nothing new in this film about AI. I liked it OK, but had high expectations going in, so that tainted it. I hope to write a review soon. It’s hard to write about “OK” films. I did like the Nathan character, above all, though, which is a bit contrary to your review. There’s something about is drunken disillusionment after creating such fine machines.
This is true – I suppose he’s a fairly complex character. Yeah, I was hoping for a bit more from this one but did enjoy it anyway. 🙂 Have you reviewed it yet?
I finally did! Writing it made me think about it a little bit deeper (as it usually does), and I feel I can appreciate it more. Here’s a handy link to check it out (with a shout out to Star Wars as well– despite my art film leanings, it’s my most anticipated film of 2015): https://indieethos.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/ex-machina/
That’s partly why I write about this stuff – I always think more about the movie as I write about it & my opinion sometimes changes even in the middle of writing (I usually end up liking a movie even more but sometimes it’s the other way around). I’ll go check out your review. 🙂 (And Hooray for Star Wars!!!) 😉
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Brilliant movie. I gave it a 9/10 for my review. It’s just such a different movie from others in the same genre. It really gets you thinking about deeper issues and relies on character-character relationships as its core. Nice review and I’m glad you liked it too 🙂 Alicia Vikander’s Ava still has a lasting impression for me.
Love hearing from another fan of this movie! I’d have to go back & look but I think I gave it an 8? I’d probably up that to 8.5 now. It was my 3rd favorite film of 2015. Vikander was excellent – I think we’ll be seeing her in many more movies now. I wish they made more films like this one. It was actually a very good year for movies overall. 🙂
It’s my third favourite as well!! It’s only behind Room and Tangerine for me. It was such a complex movie made from a simple idea. We definitely need more movies like this!
Well now I really need to see Room & Tangerine… 😉
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I finally saw this yesterday – it was pretty good : )
Hey! It’s you! Hi! 😀 I loved Ex Machina. Alicia Vikander is too f*^king pretty, though! : (
BOO!! : )
She sure is : )
It’s 2017!!!!! When did that happen?!?!?! : )
I remember when I had to start doing papers and dating them 1980!!!!
Hahaha! We’re so damn old… 😂😳😫😭 ; )
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