“Ex Machina”- Review:

Ex Machina chronicles the story of a young programmer who is chosen to work on a groundbreaking A.I. experiment which evaluates the human qualities of artificial intelligence. It stars Donhmall Gleeson, Oscar Issac and Alicia Vikander. The film is written & directed by Alex Garland.

What a brilliant film. This one just opened near me and I’ve been dying to see it. I had high expectations due to what I’ve been hearing about it and boy did it deliver. There are so many layers to this. It’s definitely a sci-fi film for sure, but it’s also a drama and a thriller to. There’s so much to it. This movie is like an onion, you gotta keep peeling back the layers. As Nathan (Issac) and Caleb (Gleeson) interact through out the film you start to discover the different motives. Who’s playing who here? Is Nathan looking to use Caleb for any other reason than to test this AI? Is Caleb starting to feel human emotion towards Ava (Vikander)?

Oscar Issac delivers a solid performance as Nathan, the billionaire developer that lives off in seclusion. He is very protective of his work and will do whatever it takes to keep it under raps and develop it further. His performance is chilling and deep. You really want to know what his motives are with this AI. Donhmall Gleeson’s performance is solid as Caleb. He is chosen to interact with Ava in order for Nathan to see if she really gives off a human feel. You can tell Caleb and Ava really have good chemistry and believe that Caleb really does have feelings for this AI. The performance of Alicia Vikander as Ava steals the show. You can really feel that she is this AI. Developing her own thoughts and feeling so deeply and naturally that you don’t know what is going to happen next with her.
The effects are great here.

You believe that Vikander really has half a robotic body and you don’t question it for a second. A film this small didn’t have any business having such great CGI and effects.

Alex Garland does a brilliant job of shooting this one in his directorial debut. What a debut it was. He makes us feel like we are in this massive maze of a mansion, but at the same time we feel so secluded and stuck in these areas of the house. Garland gets suburb performances out of his three leads and the dialogue that was written comes off as natural and things you would believe these characters would be saying to one another.

Once we come to the climax of the film, it is brought about in a natural way. You’re glued to the screen throughout and you are dying to see what happens next. Once the layers are peeled back and you see what is really happening and the motives of each character you feel that is something that the character would do given the situation. All three characters have a natural arch that when the climax comes and the twist happens it takes you by surprise, but at the same time when you stop and think about it, the twist makes perfect sense. That’s what makes a good twist. If you can watch the movie again and pick up on the actions from the characters that drive the twist. The film talks a great deal about humanity and how we view each other. It does a great job of holding a mirror up to us as people and how we go about our relationships from the outside in and not the inside out.

At an hour and fifty minutes this film blew by at a quick pace and kept me entertained throughout. The performances are great across the board and is directed with such grace by Alex Garland. This is the best film of 2015 so far. If you can catch this one catch it. It was brilliant.

10/10 stubs.

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