A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.
Caleb, a 26 year old programmer at the world's largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to Nathan, the reclusive CEO of the company. But when Caleb arrives at the remote location he finds that he will have to participate in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he must interact with the world's first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl.Written by
Ex Machina's plot is a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare's play "The Tempest," and each of the film's three main characters are roughly analogous to characters from the play. Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a powerful, manipulative inventor who lives in a remote resort, corresponds to Prospero, a powerful magician who lives on a remote island and who manipulated the events and characters in the story to his liking. Though Nathan is a computer programmer and artificial intelligence pioneer, not a magician, his parallels to Prospero are a nod to Arthur C. Clarke's famous dictum that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Ava (Alicia Vikander) is analogous to Miranda, Prospero's daughter; both Miranda and Ava were created by Prospero/Nathan and neither has been exposed to experiences or people outside of their respective confines. Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is equivalent to Ferdinand--in both the play and the movie, the Prospero character contrives to bring Caleb/Ferdinand to his isolated and remote home, and in both cases the Caleb/Ferdinand character falls in love with the Prospero character's daughter (or "daughter," in Ex Machina). See more »
The design of Nathan's security system is extremely unsafe: real secure environments would have battery backups for the key-cards, some doors that fail open for safety, and so on. However it's established very early in the movie that Nathan designed the security system himself, and that Nathan is a paranoid alcoholic who can't conceive of his own fallibility. Of course he designed the security system this way. See more »
How long until we get to his estate?
We've been flying over his estate for the past 2 hours.
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Written by Andrew McCluskey
Performed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Published by BMG Dinsong Limited, a BMG Chrysalis company (c) 1980
Courtesy of Virgin/EMI Records Limited
Under license from Universal Music Operations Limited
Used with permission.
All Rights reserved. See more »
Ex Machina has a very fitting sense of false intimacy. This is done visually as many of the close-ups are seen through glass. No matter how close we get to the subject on-screen, there always seems to be at least one wall of glass between us and it or them. The film also makes a very distinct contrast between it's interior and exterior shots. Outside of the facility is breathtaking landscapes. It is big, beautiful, refreshing and vibrant. Inside seems like an endless futuristic maze of glass, mirrors, plastic, chrome and dim lights. It is clean, cold and claustrophobic. A perfect setting for the subject that is explored in this tight, tense sci-fi thriller.
Ex Machina is the best science fiction film on artificial intelligence since Blade Runner. While Blade Runner is an action thriller that relies more on it's epic visuals to tell it's story, Ex Machina is a dialogue-driven psychological thriller that slowly works it's way under your skin. Thought-provoking and terrifyingly suspenseful, an induced state of paranoia may linger long after the end credits begin to roll.
The less you know going into a film like this, the better your experience will be. Alex Garland has given us a modern science-fiction masterpiece. Performances from all three leads are flawless and every other aspect of the production, from the cinematography to the soundtrack, is perfectly suited for the story. Not only is Ex Machina an amazing achievement for a directorial debut, it's Alex Garland's best written work to-date.
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