NOW WATCHING: EX-MACHINA

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ex Machina is a British science fiction thriller film (2015) written and directed by Alex Garland, marking his directorial debut. The film stars Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac. Ex Machina tells the story of a programmer who is invited by his employer to administer the Turing test to an android with artificial intelligence. Made on a budget of $15 million, the film grossed over $36 million worldwide. The film received critical acclaim from critics, who considered the film to be an uncommonly engaging sci-fi film.



On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 92%, based on 201 reviews, with a rating average of 8/10. The site’s critical consensus reads: “Ex Machina leans heavier on ideas than effects, but it’s still a visually polished piece of work — and an uncommonly engaging sci-fi feature.” On Metacritic, the film has a score of 78 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating generally favorable reviews. The Movie Review Query Engine (MRQE) rates the film at 78 out of 100, based on 90 film critic reviews. The magazine New Scientist in a multi-page review said, “It is a rare thing to see a movie about science that takes no prisoners intellectually... [it] is a stylish, spare and cerebral psycho-techno thriller, which gives a much needed shot in the arm for smart science fiction.”

The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis gave the film a Critic’s Pick, calling it a smart, sleek movie about men and the machines they make. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times recommended the film, stating: “Shrewdly imagined and persuasively made, Ex Machina is a spooky piece of speculative fiction that’s completely plausible, capable of both thinking big thoughts and providing pulp thrills.” Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer film critic, gave the film 4 out of 4 stars, writing: “Like stage actors who live and breathe their roles over the course of months, Isaac, Gleeson, and Vikander excel, and cast a spell.”









Matt Zoller Seitz from RogerEbert.com praised the use of ideas, ideals, and exploring society’s male and female roles, through the use of an artificial intelligence. He also stated that the tight scripting and scenes allowed the film to move towards a fully justified and predictable end. He gave a rating of 4 out of 4 stars, stating that this film would be a classic. IGN reviewer Chris Tilly gave the film a 9.0 out of 10 “Amazing” score, saying “Anchored by three dazzling central performances, it’s a stunning directorial debut from Alex Garland that’s essential viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in where technology is taking us.”

Mike Scott, writing for the New Orleans Times, said, “It’s a theme Mary Shelley brought us in Frankenstein, which was first published in 1818. That was almost 200 years ago. And while Ex Machina replaces the stitches and neck bolts with gears and fiber-optics, it all feels an awful lot like the same story.” Jaime Perales Contreras, writing for Letras Libres, compared Ex Machina as a gothic experience similar as reading a modern version of Mary W. Shelley’s Frankenstein, saying “both the novel Frankenstein and the movie Ex Machina share the history of a fallible god in a continuous battle against his creation.” Steve Dalton from The Hollywood Reporter stated, “The story ends in a muddled rush, leaving many unanswered questions. Like a newly launched high-end smartphone, Ex Machina looks cool and sleek, but ultimately proves flimsy and underpowered. Still, for dystopian future-shock fans who can look beyond its basic design flaws, Garland’s feature debut functions just fine as superior pulp sci-fi.”

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