Ex Machina – A Movie Review

By now you’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the movie entitled Ex Machina.  Believe it all.  This is a subtle, psychological thriller operating within the realm of science fiction.  It is quiet, unnerving, and unpredictable.

The story line is this: Nathan is a coding genius who founded the world’s foremost search engine company and, after secluding himself, believes he’s achieved artificial intelligence.  He plucks Caleb from one of his company’s cubicles to help him test his artificially intelligent machine. Caleb, a programming powerhouse as well, jumps at the opportunity.  Ava is the machine, but, while clearly a machine, is in the shape of a woman and has a beautiful face.  Caleb must serve as Nathan’s validation that Ava is truly artificially intelligent.

Soon, however, it becomes apparent that no one can be trusted.  Nathan, a raging alcoholic, is obviously lying about something.  Ava seems to be falling in love with Caleb, but whether artificially intelligent or not, is such a thing even possible?  Caleb himself seems to have feelings for Ava, yet, if his entire purpose is to test Ava and determine her intelligence authenticity, is it possible he’s manipulating her?  Is it possible she’s manipulating him?  Could they all be manipulating each other?

I love the science fiction element of this movie, but I also loved it’s eerie atmosphere, it’s ambiguous characters, and it’s surprising–and unsettling–ending.

Even if you are not a science fiction fan, Ex Machina will captivate you as it forces you to think about what is it that truly makes a human “intelligent,” and can a machine ever hope to achieve such duplicity?