There is nothing more human than the will to survive.
The tagline for the sci-fi thriller Ex Machina perfectly sums up this thrill ride of a film. A twenty-something computer programmer named Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a trip to his employer’s estate to test out the billionaire’s newest creation – a highly intelligent robot named Ava. The test? See if Ava is advanced enough in understanding human emotion to be able to fool humans into believing she is a real person. What happens, though, if Ava fails the test? What happens if the humans fail hers?
While some twists are predictable, Ex Machina is an outstanding movie with a stellar screenplay. The dialogue-heavy film keeps you immersed in the suspense of whether or not Ava will surpass her tester and her inventor’s wildest dreams. The movie packs just enough thrill, action, and a splash of goofiness to become one of the best movies you will watch this year.
The graphics in this movie are breathtaking. The design of Ava (Alicia Vikander) is remarkable and you will spend some time trying to decide exactly how she was created for this film. The robot is so perfectly executed that you almost forget that the actress is a robot even though you can see her metal frame. Not only is the AI character visually stunning, but there are several scenes that overlook the mastermind’s estate that take your breath away because the view is so gorgeous. This was probably to balance out the drab coloration of the inside of his fortress, but it is nevertheless striking.
The three leads in this movie are incredibly talented. Oscar Issac gets better and better with each role he brings to life. He steals his scenes due to the depth he can bring to the characters he portrays. Domhnall Gleeson is great in his role as the naive computer genius as well, although his character is not as layered as Issac’s in the grand scheme of things. It is refreshing, however, to see that Gleeson is so versatile. He can go from the dorky romantic lead in About Time and then be equally excellent as a completely different kind of character in this. Both actors will be in the upcoming Star Wars film and it will definitely be interesting to see what else the actors have up their sleeves. Alicia Vikander is powerful as Ava and perfectly blends the human and non-human qualities of every move she makes.
There are not many problems with this film. However, most of the big reveals in the film are definitely guessable. They seem so obvious, but are made out to be a big deal when they are shown. This is true up until the ending scene, which will leave your mouth hanging open. Ex Machina will soar to the top of your favorite movies of 2015 and you will be content with any amount of money you spend to see it.