A programmer is recruited by a reclusive genius to assist him in
testing the human qualities of his newly created artificial intelligence.
Ex Machina (2015)
Written and Directed by Alex Garland
Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander,
Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno
Oscar Wins - Best Visual Effects
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Screenplay
The nature of humanity has always been one of the most heavily explored subjects in science fiction, but never I think has it been explored as intelligently as this. Ex Machina dives headfirst into the toughest questions of life. What is human? How does one measure humanity? How does one achieve humanity? Can humanity be created? To answer these questions, Alex Garland gives us Ava, the uncomfortably attractive A.I. designed to fool people into believing she's as real as they are. As the film progresses, we learn so much about Ava's true nature, all leading up to a final twist that you will never see coming.
Domhnall Gleeson stars as Caleb, the programmer who is selected by genius billionaire Nathan (Oscar Isaac) to be the tester of Ava's human qualities. Alicia Vikander portrays Ava in a career-defining performance. She perfectly dims the line between human and machine, never once making us doubt her motives or intentions. Oscar Isaac is phenomenal as Nathan, the sinister mogul hiding his true reason for bringing Caleb into the fold. These three character actors really bring the film to life, but it's Alex Garland's fantastic screenplay and smart direction that's the true star of the film.
Ex Machina begins as a love story and slowly evolves into a cyber thriller, almost symbolizing the evolution of Ava into the character she becomes at the end. The film tampers with our expectations and keeps us guessing to the very end. It's no wonder Ex Machina blew peoples' minds two years ago. I only wish I'd seen it sooner.