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Quick Review - Ex Machina

There is nothing more human than the will to survive.

Ex Machina is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Alex Garland, written by Alex Garland, produced by Film4 and DNA Films, and distributed by A24 and Universal Pictures. It starts Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Visuals Effects, winning the latter of the two.

"What was the real test?" - Caleb Smith


Talented coder Caleb Smith works for Blue Book, the biggest tech company in the world. When he wins a contest to go spend the week with his luxurious boss, Nathan Bateman, he discovers that he is taking part in giving the Turing test to the first ever AI. When Caleb meets Ava, the artificial intelligence, he realizes that there is so much more than meets face value.

My Favorite Thing About Ex Machina

The last twenty-five minutes of this film are perfect. It's the best use of payoff I've seen in a movie since Die Hard. There are so many things setup throughout the film that are extremely important in the finale. There were things in this movie that I saw coming. For most of the film, I thought it was fairly predictable. And then the last act happened, and my mind was absolutely blown. I couldn't have predicted any of the third act, and that's so rare in movies nowadays. I was absolutely blown away by the resolution to this film. If you want a movie with a great ending, Ex Machina has that.

My Least Favorite Thing About Ex Machina

Really the only thing I didn't love about this movie was the pace. It's a bit of a slower movie and it allows the tension to build, but I felt like some of the scenes dragged on a bit too long. Even though I loved the third act, there are certain scenes in that finale that feel a little bit stretched out. It wasn't terribly paced, but the pacing wasn't great either. So, yeah. That's it.

Why Ex Machina Is Great

This movie had a lot of great things. From the performances to the screenplay, to the isolated story, it's a really well done film. However, I think my favorite part of the movie has to be the themes. Ex Machina is a very psychological film that gets very deep at points. And it uses that psychological element to explore rich themes about humanity and A.I. These themes are scarily relevant today, and I think that adds to how great it is. This film really feels like a realistic depiction of artificial intelligence. And that's something that Terminator doesn't have. That's something that WALL-E and 2001 don't have. That's really what elevates Ex Machina above other films about A.I.

Final Score

Ex Machina is a totally different type of sci-fi that nails the screenplay and story while having great performances. If you don't mind science fiction that isn't filled to the brim with lightsabers and action, then you will really dig this movie.

I will go Sweet. Age range is 13+.


Sweet (Great)

Savory (Good)

Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)

"Ex Machina"

Fun Factor: 8.5/10

Acting: 8.5/10

Characters: 8.5/10

Story: 10/10

Quality: 9/10


Amazon Prime Video: Available for rent

Apple TV+: Available for rent

Directed by Alex Garland

Rated R for moderate violence, language, sexual content, disturbing themes and images, thematic elements

Released on April 10, 2015

1 hour and 48 minutes

Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb Smith

Oscar Isaac as Nathan Bateman

Alicia Vikander as Ava

Sonoya Mizuno as Kyoko


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