The Machine (2014)

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Critic 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.

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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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Cast

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 (31) | Top Critics (5)

"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…
Variety
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…

Good British sci-fis don't come along very often, so this stylish slice of a dystopian near-future should be welcomed by fans.

Mar 18, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Thankfully, the film generates its brand of suspense courtesy of smart and intriguing performances contained in a compartmentalized caper

Nov 10, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Machine

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. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

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 Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

½

Astounding, captivating and engaging, The Machine manages to be one of the most original Science Fiction in recent memory. What we have here is a standout feature, a film that boasts terrific ideas, with exceptional performances. The story is very good, and is thoroughly engaging from start to finish. What makes this film stand out is the fact that the story is refreshing and it is quite riveting from the first frame onwards. The Machine is terrific Science fiction filmmaking, and aside from Gravity and Moon, is for me anyways, the finest films in the genre that has brought a new dimension to the genre. With great storytelling, director Caradog W. James crafts a stunning film that is destined to be seen as a genre classic. The film boasts some impressive effects as well, and the film looks great, and it has a sort of dystopia quality to the film that really makes the tone of the movie surreal and thought provoking. The Machine is one of those rare movies that is smart, and thrilling with its original take on a classic genre. With the bare minimum, director Caradog W. James was able to get something truly special on-screen. The idea is terrific, and the film itself feels like a real breath of fresh air, and in this genre, especially, it's particularly difficult to craft something that is bold, original and exciting. With The Machine, we get such a film, a movie that ranks among the most memorable Science Fiction thrillers in recent memory, and if you're a fan of the genre, you'll surely enjoy this riveting picture. I for one loved the film and The Machine is terrific picture from start to finish, one that belongs on the shelf of some of the genre's finest works.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Billed as a British Blade Runner, it's not, it's not even close. The first 2/3rds are decent enough build up but the last 3rd is just a load of action rubbish and a rush to explain everything that had been going on.

Stuart Brooks
Stuart Brooks

Super Reviewer

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