Ex_Machina 2015 : Code writer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) enters and wins a contest sponsored by his company's founder Nathan (Oscar Isaac). Nathan who wrote software that revolutionized the Internet at age 13 is an eccentric billionaire who's walled himself inside of a high tech fortress far away from civilization. Caleb has no idea what to expect from the meeting but upon his arrival learns that he will serve as a test subject to interact with advanced artificial intelligence. The A.I.'s name is Ava who is beautifully realized by actress Alicia Vikander and computer generated effects. The films asks important questions about human nature, sentience and technology that could conceivably exist in the near future. Couple that with great acting, beautifully shot locations and you're left with one of the better films in the genre and possibly of the year. Many current science fiction films are following the model of the new age "blockbusters" with elaborate action sequences and overblown special effects. Ex_Machina plays out deliberately and doesn't preach to the viewer allowing the three leads to play out their story without being jarred by rayguns and explosions. It's reminiscent of the tales told by Issac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. I couldn't help being reminded of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone or Charlie Brooker's excellent Black Mirror series (which Gleeson appears in) that warns of what could happen in a very near future. Unlike Chappie (released in March of 2015), a film that introduced intriguing concepts but was trampled by mass marketing and broke under the weight of including too many plots, Ex_Machina stays on target and asks can a machine ever become sentient and if it becomes what we consider a "human being", does it learn to inact the good or terrible things that we do to each other?Final Rating: 4 out of 4 stars.
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