Ex Machina

Critics 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.



Total Count: 261


Audience Score

User Ratings: 72,408
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Movie Info

Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine, makes his directorial debut with the stylish and cerebral thriller, EX MACHINA. Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test-charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan's latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated--and more deceptive--than the two men could have imagined. (C) A24


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Critic Reviews for Ex Machina

All Critics (261) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (241) | Rotten (20)

  • Ex Machina is a disquieting power struggle waged in terms of human weaknesses, refracted through gender.

    Nov 10, 2015
  • Ex Machina has a precise visual sheen that evokes David Fincher, and earns the sudden, quiet, powerful scares of his best work.

    Oct 14, 2015 | Full Review…
  • This is a film of creepy modernity and prescience, as Metropolis was in its time.

    May 7, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Ex Machina is the best movie I've seen all year.

    Apr 25, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • [A] methodically absorbing sci-fi drama.

    Apr 24, 2015 | Rating: 3/4
  • 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.

    Apr 24, 2015 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Ex Machina

  • Nov 28, 2017
    A very unique and clever take on the AI story, All the way through the film there's sort of a unsettling feel of what is happening and that's mostly down to the fact that it's amazingly acted by all the cast, There's no action it's all story driven but we get that intrigued with what we are seeing it didn't need any, We never know how it will all play out in the end and it's more than enough to keep us entertained.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 29, 2017
    Elegantly profound sci-fi fable with just three characters: a whiz kid programmer who wins a competition to visit his tech genius employer's isolated estate, and is thrilled to discover that his purpose is to test the authenticity of a newly developed artificial intelligence named Ava. I really appreciate how the filmmakers have a story to tell and stick to it without adding unnecessary subplots, which is not to say there is a lack of intrigue: the compound experiences strange power outages, Ava issues ominous warnings about her creator when the cameras are briefly down, and hints that everyone seems to harbor their own secret agenda are craftily sprinkled in. Don't be misled into thinking this is a white-knuckle futuristic thriller, even though there are thematic echoes of Blade Runner and the limited CGI on display is jaw-droppingly realistic. In truth, this story is too philosophical and brain-engaging for many people. That's OK, they have a slew of Transformers movies they can watch instead, but thankfully every once in a while we get an Ex Machina.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2016
    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.
    JY S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2016
    See more reviews like this at chrisbreviews.blogspot.com The screenplay of this movie is excellent and the plot moves along at a brisk pace, maintaining a thick atmosphere of uncertainty and distrust, which really keeps viewers hooked. There's a great deal of character misdirection and plot twists, leaving audiences never quite knowing where they stand or what will happen next. This carries through to the ending, which is pretty brutal... The movie is presented in stages of Caleb's sessions with Ava; and with each session the plot escalates and the intricate web of lies is unravelled more. It keeps viewers engaged and one the edge of their seats despite lack of action sequences. It doesn't need them. It additionally pauses for some quite beautiful scenes but with the flick of a switch turns abruptly dark. Ex Machina has a very small cast with just 3 main characters. Any other characters are considered extras. But the performances were solid. Oscar Isaac as the enigmatic CEO Nathan was convincing in his laid-back facade with deep-seeded brutality, Alicia Vikander mastered the role of robot Ava still becoming accustomed to her life and interactions with others, and Domhnall Gleeson was brilliant as a timid employee in the company of his hero, before switching to a cunning and suspicious renegade. Due to the minimal quantity of characters, Director Alex Garland can explore each one more deeply and meticulously. Some genres intertwined in this masterpiece include thriller, drama, science fiction, romance, and light humour. And a film like this is riddled with complex themes and messages that will linger on the mind long after the credits roll. These include love, deception, death, dangers of technology, power, and equality. This movie is a real thinker. While abundantly positive, this movie has its downfalls, however minimal. Viewers should firstly regard the rating and make a judgement based on that; this movie is quite dark in nature as well as containing full frontal nudity of women. It's not for everyone. This also applies to the fact that action junkies may grow bored. This movies' core message may be confronting and make this film seem overwhelmingly negative. Don't see this if you're looking for a happy experience! To conclude, I really enjoyed this film; probably one of 2015's best. It isn't for everyone and is quite dark but I personally was thoroughly intrigued and I'm sure everyone else will be too. Needless to say, Ex Machina is hardly a cliche Hollywood film.
    Christopher B Super Reviewer

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