Ex Machina (2015) Review

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Ex Machina (2015)

Directed by Alex Garland

Starring:
Domhnall Gleeson
Oscar Isaac
Alicia Vikander

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.

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My Opinion:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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80 thoughts on “Ex Machina (2015) Review

    • 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!!!!!! πŸ˜‰

      • 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 πŸ™‚

      • Lol. I know that feeling… People get annoyed with me because it can take me YEARS to watch a movie sometimes. πŸ˜‰ I hope you enjoy it! I really do adore that one. πŸ™‚

      • 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!

  1. 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!

    • 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… πŸ˜‰

  2. Lovely write up. THIS looks like something I will check out should I come across it. Gleeson is just about everywhere I look lately! πŸ˜›

    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. πŸ˜‰ 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.

  3. 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.

      • 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…. πŸ˜‰

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  5. 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! πŸ™‚

    • You get this April 10th. And also most Marvel stuff about a week after us. Hehehe… πŸ˜‰ 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!

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  7. 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. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Cindy! πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

  8. 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

  9. 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! πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

  10. My interest is definitely piqued. I get an β€œAll is Full of Love” vibe from the look of the robot in this. Director Chris Cunningham did an amazing job. If you havenβ€˜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! πŸ™‚

  11. 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. πŸ™‚ Have you reviewed it yet?

      • 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. πŸ™‚ (And Hooray for Star Wars!!!) πŸ˜‰

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  16. 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 πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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