A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)



Critic Consensus: A curious, not always seamless, amalgamation of Kubrick's chilly bleakness and Spielberg's warm-hearted optimism, A.I. is, in a word, fascinating.

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Movie Info

Based on the 1969 short story "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" by Brian Aldiss, this science fiction fantasy bears similarities to Pinocchio (1940) and originated as a long-gestating project of director Stanley Kubrick that passed to his friend Steven Spielberg after Kubrick's death. Haley Joel Osment stars as David Swinton, a young boy of the future, living in a time when the polar ice caps have melted and submerged many coastal cities. It's also a time when humans live side by side with "mechas," or sentient robots. When David discovers that he is not the biological son of his parents Henry (Sam Robards) and Monica (Frances O'Connor), but a cutting-edge robotic child meant to replace a natural son who died, he sets out to learn what he can of his true nature. Along the way, David is mentored by an entertainment and pleasure-providing mecha named Gigolo Joe (Jude Law). William Hurt, Brendan Gleeson, and narrator Ben Kingsley co-star in A.I., which was adapted from Kubrick's treatment by Spielberg, who takes his first crack at screenwriting since Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
PG-13 (for some sexual content and violent images)
Drama , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Jude Law
as Gigolo Joe
Sam Robards
as Henry
Jake Thomas
as Martin
William Hurt
as Prof. Hobby
Ken Leung
as Syatyoo-Sama
Brendan Gleeson
as Lord Johnson-Johnson
Jack Angel
as Teddy
Michael Mantell
as Dr. Frazier
Michael Berresse
as Stage Manager
Kathryn Morris
as Teenage Honey
Adrian Grenier
as Teen in Van
April Grace
as Female Colleague
Enrico Colantoni
as The Murderer
Ashley Scott
as Gigolo Jane
Clara Bellar
as FemMecha Nanny
Robin Williams
as Dr. Know
Ben Kingsley
as Specialist, Specialist/Narrator
Meryl Streep
as Blue Mecha
Keith Campbell
as Roadworker
Vito Carenzo
as Big Man
Clark Gregg
as Supernerd
Jim Jansen
as Chef
Lily Knight
as Voice in the Crowd
Matt Malloy
as Robot Repairman
John Prosky
as Mr. Williamson the Bellman
Diane Fletcher
as Sentient Machine Security
Eliza Coleman
as General Circuita
Miguel Pérez
as Robot Repairman
Matt Winston
as Executive
Sabrina Grdevich
as Secretary
Rena Owen
as Ticket Taker
Kevin Sussman
as Supernerd
Adam Alexi-Malle
as Crowd Member
Duane Buford
as The Flesh Fair Band
Bobby Harwell
as TV Face
Brent Sexton
as Russell
Daveigh Chase
as Child Singer
Tim Rigby
as Yeoman
Michael Fishman
as Teen in Van
Tom Gallop
as Supernerd
Claude Gilbert
as Cybertronics-Room 93056
Haley King
as Amanda
Red King
as Covert Information Retrieval
Justina Machado
as Assistant
Laurence Mason
as Tech Director/Luis Sarria
Kelly McCool
as Kate the Holographic Girl
Kate Nei
as Toe Bell Ringing
Ken Palmer
as Percussionist
Tim Edward Rhoze
as Laboratory Technician
Jeanine Salla
as Sentient Machine Therapist
Laia Salla
as Mr. Chan's Assistant
J. Alan Scott
as Worker
Billy Scudder
as Mechanic
Mark Staubach
as Teen in Van
Jason Sutter
as Percussionist
Brian Turk
as Backstage Bull
Wayne Wilderson
as Comedian
Al Jourgenson
as The Flesh Fair Band
Paul Barker
as The Flesh Fair Band
Max Brody
as The Flesh Fair Band
Ty Coon
as The Flesh Fair Band
Adam Grossman
as The Flesh Fair Band
Eugene Osment
as Supernerd
Tim Edward Rhoze
as Laboratory Technician
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Critic Reviews for A.I. Artificial Intelligence

All Critics (190) | Top Critics (44)

A confined domestic drama, a considerable morality tale, a fleeting futuristic noir, a persecution parable, an on-the-nose fairy tale adventure... and then it keeps going.

Full Review… | April 21, 2011
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

At heart it's a terribly anguished expression of rejection, loneliness and love. If only it knew when to stop.

Full Review… | August 15, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

At heart it's a terribly anguished expression of rejection, loneliness and love. If only it knew when to stop.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Temperamentally, Spielberg and Kubrick are such polar opposites that A.I. has the moment-to-moment effect of being completely at odds with itself.

October 29, 2001
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

The most puzzling, trippiest piece of pop fantasy of Spielberg's career.

July 16, 2001
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A.I. Artificial Intelligence

A.I. Artificial Intelligence was a project originally started by director Stanley Kubrick, but never completed due to his death in 1999, and taken over by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg would craft this film based on notes that Kubrick left behind and was able to make a captivating, engaging picture that enthralled the viewer. The film has some striking visuals and wonderful acting along with a richly detailed storyline that grabs your attention from start to finish due to its intricate concept. Spielberg manages to make a fine picture here, and it's very interesting what he does with the material of another director, who unfortunately never got to make the film. However, with that being said, Spielberg manages to make something that is well constructed, entertaining, and thought provoking and memorable. As well as solid direction from Spielberg, he has a talented cast to work with, which only enhances the film's experience. A.I. Artificial Intelligence is a wonderful Sci Fi picture that displays a stunning amount of creativity and wonderful ideas. The film deals with an interesting subject, one that makes you ask questions, and that's what keeps you involved in the film. The fact that it makes you think with its concept is the key factor to the film's entertainment factor. The best way I would describe the film is a spider web of thought, a film that just amps up its ideas to make them standout more due to its intricate plot and direction. Fans of the genre will surely enjoy this riveting picture, and I must admit, I didn't expect to enjoy the film the way I did, but I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Upon watching the film you must ask yourself, how this film would have turned out if Stanley Kubrick would have had the opportunity to direct it if he hadn't died. Who know how much more ambitious the film would have been. Nonetheless, Spielberg managed to create something quite entertaining, captivating and memorable. A.I Artificial Intelligence is a worthwhile viewing experience that is enthralling right up to the final shot.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Damn it Spielberg you did it again! I thought you wouldn't get me but once again you made me cry whilst watching one of your films, sheesh!. Right...'A.I.', batten down the hatches mateys, this could be a big one. From the collective minds of Kubrick and Spielberg comes this lavish epic about a little robot boy who is brought into a young couples life. Based on a short story by a writer I admit I've never heard of, yet the idea could easily be mistaken for work from the brains of Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov or Philip K. Dick. Lets begin, this film gave me a headache, not a bad headache, more of a problematic headache. I was stuck and didn't know what to think. The film is a massive story betwixt two ideas or genres almost, on one hand you have the first half of a film that centres around the human angst and emotion of trying to adapt to adopting a robot child. The pain of a mother who's child is at deaths door from disease, and the decision by her husband to offer her a brand new state of the art robot child that for the first time can learn and express love for its owner. The second half of the film then changes completely, gone is the sentiment and powerful family bound plot as we enter into a more seedy grim world. One could almost say the film adopts many visual concepts from other sci-fi films/genres, which do work on their own, but maybe not together with this story. The story is enthralling and draws you in...but oh so many questions arise Mr Spielberg, where to begin!. Once we leave the comfort of the family orientated first part of the film we pretty much straight away hit the Flesh Fair. Now this really did seem too harsh for me, a completely disjoined idea that harks back to a 'Mad Max' type world. Why would people of the future act like this towards simple machines? the whole sequence looked like some freaky red neck carnival. It also seemed like a huge setup for not very much, just a few minutes of carnage, was all that fan fair really required?. This lead me to the question of why do this to old, lost, outdated Mecha's? (the term for robots in this film which sounds a bit Japanese to me). Now surely these robots cost a lot to make, much time, effort, design etc...went into creating them, so surely destroying them is a complete waste. Wouldn't fixing them up for simple labour tasks like cleaning or whatever, be more useful? maybe selling them on? and even if you did have to shut them down, just do it more humanly, why the need for all the violence?. The whole sequence just didn't seem sensible really, and it was thought up by Spielberg!. Eventually we get to Rouge City, where is this suppose to be? why not use a real city?. Again the whole concept seemed out of place, the city seemed much more futuristic than everything else we have seen, plus the architecture was truly odd. The huge tunnel bridges with a woman's gaping open mouth as the opening? it seemed very 'Giger-esq' to me, quite sexual too, kids film anyone?. Then you had buildings shaped like women's boobs and legs etc...geez!. Its here we meet 'Gigolo Joe' who is superbly played by Jude Law I can't deny, but really at the end of the day, was he needed at all?. He is a nice character, very likeable but virtually bordering on a cartoon character, and why the need for the tap dancing?. The makeup was very good for the Mecha characters, simple yet effective for both Law and Osment. Kudos to Osment of course for his portrayal of the robot 'David', I honestly can say its probably the best performance for a robot I've ever seen. Brilliant casting too I might add, Osment can act but his looks are half the battle won right there, he has this almost perfect plastic looking young face, its all in the eyes I think. Speaking of characters how can I not mention the star of the film, 'Teddy'. Now this little guy was adorable, I still find myself wanting my own Teddy *whimpers*. Every scene this little fellow was in I loved, I loved to see him waddle around and assist David in his simple electronic voice. I found myself caring for all the characters in this film but especially Teddy, he was just awesome. Sure he seemed to have some kind of infinite power source but that made him even cooler damn it!. What really broke my heart was we don't know what happens to lill Teddy, we see him at the end but what becomes of him?? what Steven WHAT??!!. I loved that lill guy *sniff*. As you near the end of the film and its multiple ongoing finales you literately get submerged in questions. 2000 years pass from the time David is trapped under the sea and his rescue (the ferris wheel didn't crush the helicopter/sub thingy??), in that time the planet has gone from global warming jungles to a MASSIVE ice age? I mean a REALLY HEAVY ice age. Now I'm no scientist but that doesn't seem right. I might quickly add, in the future why are all the skyscrapers in New York in tatters? as if they've been burnt out?. Sure the bottom of them has been flooded but they look like skeletons! as if a nuke hit them, eh?. The we get to the evolved Mecha's (or 'Close Encounter' aliens). How would these robots evolve into these angelic liquid-like creatures?? I don't get it, if the human race became extinct tomorrow would computers evolve into alien-like creatures?. Sure these robots can fix themselves and update themselves but that far? really?. Then you gotta ask yourself why would they be digging up old human remains? they know humans created them, OK they might not understand why but does that matter?. They clearly have highly advanced technology so why don't they travel space and look for new similar intelligent life?. Why bother with the human race, of which many despised them anyway, treated them like crap. This then leads onto the resurrection part of the story. I still can't quite work out why David's mother would only live for one day when brought back. There is an explanation from the advanced Mecha's but I couldn't follow it. Again we then have all manner of plot issues...why his mother doesn't recall her husband or son when she wakes, she doesn't question why David is there, she's disorientated but doesn't question anything. She doesn't seem to remember anything like the fact she was probably an old lady when she was last awake, and she doesn't ask to go outside! they stay inside the whole time. You could say the advanced Mecha fixed it so she wouldn't recall anything so not to jeopardize the situation, but when she wakes she acts as if nothing happened and its just a new day. Where the plot really gets silly is the fact this is all possible simply because Teddy kept some strands of cut hair from David's mother about 2000 years prior. Where on earth did he keep these hairs? its not like he has pockets, and what's more...why did he keep the strands of hair??!!. On top of that, and again I'm no scientist, but surely you'd need the roots of human hair for the DNA, not just cut strands, no?. Now there are a lot of whines in there but unfortunately there are a lot of plot issues in the film. I won't and can't say its a bad film, its a truly fantastic bit of sci-fi with some lovely design work and visuals, but there are problems along the way. First half is a decent sci-fi story similar to 'Bicentennial Man', second half is really a rehashed rip off of the classic 'Pinocchio' tale set in the future. The film garnered a lot of interest due to the involvement of Kubrick and Spielberg admittedly but its still a wonderful bit of work. Part sci-fi but all fairytale in the end, the film slowly becomes more of a children's tale the deeper you go, the narration nails that home if you think about it. The very end is kinda tacked on and doesn't feel correct, true, you can see they had trouble ending the film and a weepy ending was required so they made one. But god damn it works *sniff*. The final sequence of David lying besides his motionless mother still brings a lump to my throat as I type this now. We then see Teddy join them on the bed and just sit down to watch over them both, like a guardian. Does David actually die here? does he voluntarily switch himself off somehow? again...what happens to Teddy? I'm not sure. But as the score swells and the lights dim, you can't help but wipe away a tear.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


A well-constructed fairy tale concerning a robot boy (Haley Joel Osment), the first of his kind, and how he tries to fit in with his adopted family, especially his mother (Frances O'Connor), and how he becomes convinced he won't earn her love until he becomes a "real boy". Although possessing an overabundance of darkness that definitely threatens to drag it down into the pits at times, the wonderful, mystical 2001-esque conclusion, paired with the great performances and realized story, give this film some life that is desperately needs. It is not a great movie, there are some things in the middle of the story that probably could have been cut out, and the acting at the very beginning feels a little contrived, but overall the character of David feels genuine, which is honestly why this film is a success in the end. It could have expanded on it's man vs. machines battle perhaps a little bit, but at the heart of it all this is a fairy tale story about a boy trying to find out what makes him special and unique. Throw in some Spielbergian fantasy and some Kubrick-esque scenes and lighting choices, this movie is a winner.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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