The Machine


The Machine

Critics Consensus

The Machine proves an audacious debut for writer-director Caradog James and a solid entry in modern British sci-fi, with thematic heft to match its genre thrills.



Total Count: 32


Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,931
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The Machine Photos

Movie Info

Two computer programmers fall in love as they create the first-ever piece of self-aware artificial intelligence, designed to help humanity. But things go terribly wrong when the British Government steals their breakthrough and teaches it to become a robotic weapon. (c) Xlrator

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Toby Stephens
as Vincent McCarthy
Caity Lotz
as Ava/The Machine
Denis Lawson
as Thomson
John-Paul Macleod
as Paul Dawson
Helen Griffin
as Paul Dawson's Mother
Alan Low
as Assassin
Sule Rimi
as Technician (Dr. Giwa-Amu)
Joshua Higgott
as Assistant (Dr. James)
Giles Thomas
as Dr. Henning
Sam Ellis
as Surgeon
Richard Shackley
as Checkpoint Guard
Daniel Llewelyn-Williams
as Squadron Commander
Dafydd Emyr
as Armed Millitary Policeman
Ben McGregor
as Implant Soldier, Ben
Clark Fisher
as Implant Soldier, Clark
Gareth Jones
as Implant Soldier, Ryan
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News & Interviews for The Machine

Critic Reviews for The Machine

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (8)

  • The result is a tad predictable.

    Jan 2, 2018 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • "The Machine" percolates with an elegantly palpable sense of wonder and danger.

    Apr 24, 2014 | Full Review…
  • "The Machine" works modestly well, but still wobbles trying to balance its "thinking man's sci-fi" aspirations against the need to placate less adventurous fans via standard action content.

    Apr 23, 2014 | Full Review…

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic
  • The Machine brings little new to the subject save for an ominously ambiguous conclusion about the consequences of making computers more advanced than their human masters.

    Apr 22, 2014 | Full Review…
  • A classy slice of cerebral sci-fi with a literary-cinematic heritage stretching back through Blade Runner and Metropolis to Frankenstein.

    Apr 21, 2014 | Full Review…
  • James overflogs the what-is-the-nature-of-being-dead horse, but directs with brio. Meanwhile, Lotz, with her child-like fragility and snappy kickboxing moves, is eminently watchable.

    Mar 20, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Machine

  • Dec 01, 2015
    Released a year before Ex Machina, The Machine is very nearly the basic blueprint for it, to wit: scientists create a lovable AI (that happens to be a bodacious femme as well, natch) and begin to fall in love with it, er, her, ah, the program ("she's the only one who really understands me, yah?). This time out the government wants the robot/android/girlbot to be a killer soldier application as well, and homie don't play dat, yo! The technology part of the tale is on the backburner so this is very user friendly.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2014
    A rather solid first entry for this director that doesn't exactly shows us anything we haven't seen before but has plenty of heart and good ideas to make it an interesting experience. Still, some characters are a bit dull and clichéd but thanks to a decent conclusion with a very poignant warning, they round up their stories rather well by the end. Worth a shot for serious in tone b sci-fi fans.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 29, 2014
    The British sci-fi thriller The Machine explores the age-old question of A.I. giving birth to artificial life. Set in a dystopian future where Britain and China are in a protracted world war, a MOD research scientist develops a neural network which he believes could be the key to creating artificial life. Caity Lotz stars as "The Machine" and gives an interesting performance. But, the script is pretty weak and does a poor job at explaining the war and how technology fits into it (other than the generic super-soldier cliche). There are also some leaps in logic and dropped subplots that add to the film's unevenness. Yet while it's problematic, The Machine does present some intriguing questions about man's evolving relationship with technology.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2014
    Caradog James (what a name) gives us a debut worthy of one of the best CGI science fiction flicks since anything involving Tom Cruise. The Machine might not be as in depth or as long as something you'd be accustomed to with a Cruise film, but there is plenty on the surface with just enough digging up the top soil to find a good product. Former James Bond villain Toby Stephens is the genius engineer who along with an American scientist of the same intellect, breed the first conscious AI program. It's actually a pretty violent beginning for the machine, who is played expertly by Caity Lotz. She needs the CGI and audio dub to really make her robot self come to life, but it's seamless. As for the rest of the cast, many of the no-names act their part with a bit of a Total Recall, Blade Runner bad guy in Denis Lawson, who was in Star Wars as one of the pilots in the X-Wings I found out! It gets a tad heavy on the emotional stuff, but that's mainly because this film is trying to find an even balance between a new world order, action, and emotion production all in one with robots. If the movie could have expanded into more of the real world, you're probably looking at a fully fleshed out mega movie. Instead, we're left with a pretty satisfying independent feel that plays it somewhat safe with a harrowing ending.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer

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