Ex Machina (2015)
Critic Consensus: 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.
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Critic Reviews for Ex Machina
Ex Machina is a disquieting power struggle waged in terms of human weaknesses, refracted through gender.
Ex Machina has a precise visual sheen that evokes David Fincher, and earns the sudden, quiet, powerful scares of his best work.
[A] methodically absorbing sci-fi drama.
Garland's primary concern is his flesh-and-blood characters, even though they are not nearly as showy (or beautiful) as his main attraction, the vulnerable, delicate girl with a heart of steel and wires.
Audience Reviews for Ex Machina
Alex Garland makes the most of a test with Ex Machina. For an entire 100 minutes, the plot manages to keep a high level of intrigue while playing a mind twist. The pace is moderate, which is fitting for what transpires, and the limited cast makes it easy to build them up. The combination of the isolation factor and the high tech housing make the setting a delight to the eyes. The costumes and visuals also live up to expectations. Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander all share the screen time equally and effectively. The latter makes for an interesting artificial intelligence. Ex Machina makes it as a sci-fi thriller. Take the test and enjoy the ride.
The direction is a bit predictable and the film goes on for a few minutes past what should be its conclusion (even though I like the last shot), but this is an intelligent sci-fi that offers an amazing production design, impressive visual effects and great food for thought.
Alex Garland has been a great screenwriter for quite a long time, mostly working with Danny Boyle on some excellent films (28 Days Later, Sunshine) and I'm glad someone gave him the chance to direct something he wrote for once. It has a similar feel to it that his other films have, but this is a great directorial debut for him. It is suspenseful and intriguing all the way through to the end and even though it is science fiction, it is grounded in realism that makes it even scarier to watch. The tech noir soundtrack fits perfectly as well. The performances are solid with the best being Alicia Vikander as the A.I. Ava. Ex Machina evokes themes that are chilling and thought-provoking without being too wordy. If you like your science fiction to be more about ideas than action, Ex Machina is highly recommended.
Ex Machina Quotes
|Nathan Bateman:||It's funny. You know. No matter how rich you get, shit goes wrong. You can't insulate yourself from it. I used to think it was death and taxes you couldn't avoid, but it's actually death and shit.|
|Ava:||What will happen to me if I fail your test?|
|Caleb Smith:||I am become death, The Destroyer of Worlds.|
|Caleb Smith:||I have become death, The Destroyer of Worlds.|
|Nathan Bateman:||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.|
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