Questionably Brilliant Film of the Living Matrix | Review of ‘Ex Machina’


By: Cynthia Ayala

‘Ex Machina’ starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac & Alicia Vikander
Distributed by A24

From the people who brought us 28 Days Later comes Ex Machina, a science fiction, drama thriller that focuses on the creation of artificial intelligence, AI. The film stars Domhall Gleeson as programmer Caleb Smith who wins a contest to spend a week at the private estate of his firms brilliant CEO Nathan Bateman, played by Oscar Issac. Soon, Caleb learns that he has been chosen to be the human component in a Turing test that will determine the capabilities and consciousness of Ava, played by Alicia Vikandar, the beautiful robot. However, not all is what it seems.

Ex Machina is a brilliant film with a brilliant story and cast behind it. Combining science fiction with a masterful drama, this movie has a compelling story being told. The thrill behind it as well, has the audience questioning everything about the film, the villains, the hero, as it tries to establish who is what. It’s misdirection at its finest, making the audience look in one direction to blindside them with the amazing ending.

There is true film making beauty within this film. The concept and the idea behind it coupled with the intricacy of the robotics makes it a very intriguing and systematically beautiful. This android and the effects that went into creating her are unique to this film. Alicia Vikander herself is a very beautiful person who was able to capture and manipulate the audiences into giving the robotics structure an identity. And when the movie pits her against the equally manipulative and disturbing Oscar Isaac, it’s questionable of who is the victim here, who is the villain. That’s what makes a great movie though, a film that makes the audience second guess everything.

While the story is amazing, the acting isn’t far behind. This was a great cast, each one met their parts with perfection, Domhnall Gleeson was spectacular in the way he captured his character who rises to the occasion, who becomes the hero as he discovers who he really is and who Nathan Bateman (Isaac) is. Of course, Oscar Isaac was brilliant as the hyper-intelligent CEO. It’s obvious from the first moment he is introduced that there I something fundamentally wrong with him, but as the movie progresses, as he reveals himself, audiences discover just how horrible of a human being he really is. And while the audience knows he’s the bad guy, everything he does, everything he is capable of catches everyone off guard. What more is there to say about the cast, they were each brilliant and had a strong dynamic with one another in such a way that is marveling.

At the end of the day, Ex Machina is a brilliant science fiction film that ascends everything about artificial intelligent. This isn’t just a science fiction film, this is a film that focuses on the human matrix versus the artificial one and questions what evolutionary standpoint the human race is headed.

Needless to say, it’s incredibly thought provoking film. (★★★★ | A)

– Film Credits –

Directed by Alex Garland

Written by Alex Garland

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Claire Selby, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Tiffany Pisani & Corey Johnson

Genre | Rating | Length: Science fictionDrama, Thriller | R | 1 hr. 47 min.

Distributed by A24

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