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Ex Machina review

Posted : 1 year, 10 months ago on 3 August 2016 08:01

This is a brilliant modern sci-fi film. One of the best I have seen with a strong message, and this independent production takes things further than any typical Hollywood formula.

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A very good movie

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 5 May 2016 07:47

Since I kept hearing some really good things about this movie, I was really eager to check it out. Well, eventually, I wasn't disappointed and it turned out to be easily the smartest movie released in 2015. Indeed, even though it was visually quite appealing, it was above all the fascinating ideas developed in this picture that really appealed to me. As a matter of fact, just a few weeks ago, I saw a talk show on TV where they were saying that, indeed, some big companies like Google are currently investigating on AI and we should expect some major breakthrough in this area in the near future. In this movie, you can see already the issues if we would come up with a very intelligent AI. For example, how could we know what an AI is actually exactly thinking? What would be its purpose in life, a concept we humans are constantly struggling with? And most important, what would be then our purpose? Eventually, there were only a couple of things that still bothered me though. First of all, even though Nathan seems to be a genius, how come he doesn't figure out that Ava is responsible for the powercuts? It was seriously pretty obvious. Also, why would Caleb believe every single thing  told by Ava without finding anything slightly suspicious? But those were some small issues, it was really a brilliant SF feature and it is definitely worth a look, especially if you like the genre. 

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Ex Machina review

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 27 February 2016 08:49


Like Whiplash (2014), Ex Machina was also one of mine Top 5 movies of 2015. It's story of creating artificial intelligence is so well written and presented to the audience so it's easy to follow.
These types of movies have always been interesting to see, where new kind of race or living being appears and see what are it's morality, mind and form. To see the world through other eyes and learn something new about both of them.
Movies performances were good and sets and effects top class. Also it's good example how to direct an deput film from Alex Garland and accomplished it masterfully.

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Ex Machina

Posted : 2 years, 4 months ago on 19 February 2016 04:23

The problem with Ex Machina is that it presents the glossy surfaces of deep ideas and slow mounting dread, but never pays off on them or reaches an emotional crescendo in which answers and provocations are expelled. It just floats by on a trio of strong performances, top-notch effects work, beautiful scenery, and a persistently ominous musical score. All of the ingredients are there for a master work of smart science-fiction, but the soufflé never rises completely.


Given that it coasts upon the aphorisms of “less is more” and “God is in the details,” Ex Machina excels in establishing and sustaining tone and atmosphere, practically dripping with prolonged paranoia, sexual threats, and questions of consciousness. Like so much of modern science-fiction, it builds upon the foundation of Frankenstein, this time taking a creator-creation locked in struggle and adding an element of patriarchy to the mix. This becomes as nebulous and half-formed as the rest of the ideas trotted out, but the actors do great work in trying to sell it.


As I watched The Danish Girl I thought that Alicia Vikander was a strong performer, but that this was clearly not the role she should have been nominated for. Ex Machina is a much better demonstration of her gifts, as it allows her to play something other than long-suffering supportive wife, and it utilizes her past as a dancer to great effect. Her rigid body movements, quick gestures, and large staring eyes craft an unnerving first impression, and it pays off wonderfully in her final moments. As she removes the flesh from the failed experiments before her, Vikander’s Ava creates a new form, and stands in awe of her self-made reinvention.


Domhnall Gleeson had a great 2015 between his solid work here, charming turn in Brooklyn, and full-on maniacal posturing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He’s appropriately naïve walking into this sustained battle between victim-victimizer, but quickly becomes something a casualty between the increasingly blurred lines between the creator and his creation seeking liberation. But it’s Oscar Isaac who clearly dominates Ex Machina, sometimes a bit too much. He’s supposed to be the villain, but he’s so charming, so beguiling a presence that he threatens to undo our distrust of him. His peacocking, culminating in a synchronized disco-fueled dance routine with his mute servant (Sonoya Mizuno), and personal demons, if his character isn’t a full-blown alcoholic then he’s well on his way, aren’t given enough attention in the script, but Isaac works miracles in the role.


While I generally enjoyed Ex Machina, too much of the enigmatic nature left me feeling frustrated. Well, that and the tendency towards treating the female AI creations as half-sentient Fleshlights was a little icky. I’m not sure if that last fifteen minutes, in which Ava wreaks havoc upon her creator and coconspirator is enough to wash that away. What exactly drove Isaac to create and program his AI in this way? Ava’s refusal to be kept locked away lacks emotional heft as so much of her creator’s backstory and methodology remains a ghost in the machine. But if you can roll with these flaws in the script, Ex Machina provides many beautiful, sleek surface textures to enjoy, and a smarter variation of pulpy science-fiction.

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Rewarding, low-key science fiction

Posted : 2 years, 8 months ago on 14 October 2015 12:08

"One day the AIs are going to look back on us the same way we look at fossil skeletons on the plains of Africa. An upright ape living in dust with crude language and tools, all set for extinction."

Leave it to long-time science fiction screenwriter Alex Garland (Sunshine, Dredd) to create one of the most immersive, intelligent sci-fi offerings of the year for his first directorial endeavour. Ex Machina is a uniquely involving motion picture, deliberately-paced yet never dull, which plays out like a futuristic morality play concerned with manipulation, deception, reality, fantasy and humanity, not to mention it provides a powerful study of corruption and power. Although some aspects of Ex Machina's script and narrative are predictable, this isn't a movie all about twists or reveals - rather, Garland shoots for a succession of subtle shifts which alter the mood and change character dynamics. This is a smartly-written and beautifully-assembled sci-fi, and even though the screenplay is not airtight, the strengths far outweigh the weaknesses.

Set at an indeterminate point in the future, Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) is a programmer working for the world's most powerful search engine. He unexpectedly wins a special company prize, given the chance to spend a week with reclusive tech genius and corporate CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac). Straight away, Nathan demands for Caleb to treat their time together as friends, talking amicably and drinking beer together. Caleb is soon introduced to a top-secret project that Nathan has been working on: an advanced cyborg named Ava (Alicia Vikander). Signing a non-disclosure agreement, Caleb is invited to conduct the "Turing Test" on Ava; that is, to see if she is truly aware and conscious. Over the week, Caleb and Ava converse about life, personal history and consciousness, but while Ava is synthetic, Caleb finds himself drawn to her. As the days go by, however, Caleb finds himself unsure of Nathan's endgame.

Bolstered by sublime dialogue and a taut narrative, Ex Machina is both a philosophical and an emotional journey, and it works on multiple levels - it's a futuristic cautionary tale with echoes of Frankenstein, an enthralling small-scale character drama, an unnerving adult thriller, and an intense art-house movie with the accessibility of a mainstream motion picture. An effective sense of unease lingers throughout, as Nathan monitors Caleb and Ava's conversations, with periodic power outages allowing rare moments of privacy in which Ava drip-feeds Caleb pieces of secretive information, winding him up tighter. Ex Machina concerns itself with themes of consciousness and what it means to be human, and, without giving too much away, Garland's ultimate thesis on the fundamental essence of humanity is not exactly pretty. Garland deserves a lot of credit for the ending, as Ex Machina closes in an appropriate, thrilling fashion without feeling the need for explosive pandemonium. It's the type of ending that lingers after the credits have expired.

Garland acquits himself admirably as a first-time director, with his superb screenplay serving as a solid foundation. Although Ex Machina may be a familiar tale, it's told in an original fashion, addressing the age-old question of artificial intelligence in a way befitting for this current age of Google and Apple. Garland has stated that the narrative takes place "ten minutes from now," eschewing a specific time period or year, and not going overboard with futuristic technology. It's a smart move from the filmmaker, ensuring that the production will never age. The movie also deserves plaudits for its technical credits; Garland's direction is unfussy but effective, allowing the performances and the production design speak for themselves. The creation of Ava remains the most impressive achievement from a visual standpoint. She was created through a seamless mix of live-action and digital effects, and the illusion is unbroken and consistent. Also memorable is the pulsing score by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, which perfectly complements the slick visual scheme.

Dud performances could have torpedoed Ex Machina, but luckily Garland chose wisely for his three leads. Gleeson, who sports an American accent, breathes vivid life into his role, emerging as the typical everyman, and, by extension, our entry point into the narrative. It's nuanced work from the British thespian, subtly conveying his emotions with understated dialogue delivery and cold looks. Meanwhile, as the enigmatic Ava, Vikander knocks it out of the park, which is no easy feat. Vikander's performance is deliberate and riveting, coming across as wholly realistic and genuine, skillfully supplementing the ace visual effects. Rounding out the leads is Isaac, who's equally valuable. It's an interesting role, and Isaac runs with it; there's a feeling of apprehension whenever he's on-screen, and it's difficult to figure out if he can be trusted.

Although sci-fi actioners like The Matrix or Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop are fun, Ex Machina is ultimately more rewarding, allowing us to dissect dialogue and draw our own conclusions about where this is all leading. It absolutely must be seen.


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Ex Machina review

Posted : 2 years, 10 months ago on 26 July 2015 03:00

Looks beautiful, excellent mood and poses interesting questions about AI. However, has a slightly weak storyline and a rather unimpactful ending.

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"Ex Machina" (2015)

Posted : 3 years ago on 15 June 2015 12:17


After writing such masterpieces as 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd, this is Alex Garland's debut in the director's chair; that alone got me intrigued. :) And the result certainly didn't disappoint.
It's not a stunningly original take on artificial intelligence, but still a fascinating one that probably blurs the line between man and machine better than any other movie I've seen – best summed up in the scene where Caleb asks Nathan if Ava was programmed to flirt with him.
I have to say, I love the way Ava is designed. :)
It's also one of those movies that really excels at creating tension with a very small cast. Not to mention, Film Brain analysed the film's themes and relevance to our modern technological society way better than I ever could.
You can definitely see echoes of Alex Garland's previous work when the last act turns into something completely different from the two before it, but it's still a compelling and suspenseful climax – complete with one of the best stabbing scenes I've ever seen.
Overall, it's a very smart, solid movie and definitely worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of the AI subgenre.

My rating: 85%

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Fantastic.chilling and pure awesome

Posted : 3 years ago on 10 June 2015 06:32

Strong plot .Awesome acting . Alicia Vikander is just beautiful in her role .
Sci-Fi , A.I. it is a powerhouse packed with super execution of story and great acting by the cast. It is very unique and beautiful .
Loved it ..

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Ex Machina review

Posted : 3 years, 1 month ago on 26 April 2015 09:17

So far this is movie of the year, nothing else comes close.
This is obviously only my opinion and based purely on what i have seen to date and what i like.
point is, its good, real good.

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Ex Machina review

Posted : 3 years, 2 months ago on 20 April 2015 10:01

Initial Thought: I thought this looked like it would be one hell of a movie. The cast is small yet really recognizable. It looked like something that would be eye catching and intelligent. I planned on seeing this one as soon as it came out. I hope it is as good as it looks.

Characters/Acting: Domhnall Gleeson has really risen up since his very limited role in the Harry Potter series. I loved him in About Time so I was interested to see his next big thing. I swear he didn't disappoint me. His acting here was just great and I feel as if I would have been the same kind of person in this situation. Oscar Isaac is amazing as usual. Here he plays such an interesting character that you aren't sure if he is someone to like or not. He also has a few moments of perfect comedic timing that I had not expected especially near the end. Alicia Vikander was wonderful here. I swear I might have fallen for Ava no matter the fact that she isn't human. Which honestly I really could care less about how weird that sounds haha. Sonoya Mizuno as Kyoko was a pretty interesting character to watch. Everyone just did absolutely wonderful here.

Story: Basically this guy is chosen via a contest to come to his employer's home to help him with an experiment. That's where we come to find out about what we already know about him creating Ava. This is just a visually stunning treat of a movie. The design of Ava is so unique to look at as it just feels so realistic. The conversations between Nathan and Caleb are comical, but they kind of give us a look at how vastly different these two men really are. On one hand you have this genius who just wants to drink and relax casually learning about the subject. On the other hand you have this lanky guy who is so excited to learn about such an advanced project that all he sees are the serious scientific studies. There are some pretty good twists of which there are expected and slightly unexpected varieties.

Directing/Writing: Alex Garland has yet to fail at filmmaking. I have loved each of his films. I wish he would hurry up and get 28 Months Later out as the first two were just great! Anyways this is by far one of his best so far. On par with Never Let Me Go. This guy is really a great director to watch. He really knows how to mess with our emotions. He pulls some humor out even when the story is a little dark. He has come a long way. Many people thought The Beach was just average, but I actually enjoyed it. If they went from that to this there is still a huge change in quality. It's amazing how much a director's style can improve given time.

Final Thought: This is a really awesome movie. It's a simplistic view of a scientific study that could have been complicated. I enjoy the fact that anybody can watch this and not be confused by scientific mumbo jumbo. This is an intelligent movie that still gives us a fun and intriguing study of human and machine understandings. I thought the ending was also pretty good and different in a way. It's definitely a must see especially if you already have it on your to watch list.

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