After writing the screenplays for 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd, sci-fi novelist Alex Garland made his feature debut as director with his intelligent and thought-provoking psychological thriller Ex_Machina, a film which is quite possibly the first independent motion picture in history to pick up an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
Domhnall Gleeson plays Caleb Smith, a computer programmer at one of the world’s largest internet search engines, who wins a competition to spend a week at the mountain mansion of the company’s reclusive Kurtz-like CEO Nathan Bateman, played by Oscar Isaac. But when Caleb arrives he finds that he will have to participate as the human component in a Turing Test with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, Ava, a seductively strange and sensitive performance from Alicia Vikander. Like a modern day retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein boasting state-of-the-art special effects, Garland’s first work as director shows some early influence and nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, and like those films before it, poses the big questions about the divide between human intelligence and artificial intelligence, and hits back with difficult answers.
“Stylish, elegant, tense, cerebral, satirical and creepy. Garland’s directorial debut is his best work yet, while Vikander’s bold performance will short your circuits.” Dan Jolin, Empire
film lovers, sci-fi fans, those interested in AI