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Film Review: Ex Machina (2015)
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stainsteelrat
Ex Machina (2015). Written and directed by Alex Garland. The film starts with programmer Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) winning a competition at work to spend a week with the owner of the company he works for. The owner, Nathan (Oscar Isaac), is a billionaire programmer recluse, and it transpires that he lives hundreds of miles from anywhere in a combination research lab and home. Caleb is taken to the facility by helicopter, and he meets the odd Nathan. Caleb is told he is there to apply the Turing test to an AI that Nathan has developed. Ex Machina pushed all the right buttons for me. Although AI is not a new topic for films Ex Machina has enough of a unique take on it to make it interesting, woven in with the two quirky human characters. The pace of the story is nicely balanced also, with the right elements of atmosphere, characterisation, and (some) action. Along with fantastic performances from the principles and minimal supporting cast the special effects are incredible, and the AI herself (itself?) is very well done. We have reached a time with special effects where they are seamless, affordable by mid-range budget films, and when used well support the story rather than overshadow it. A suitably minimal and appropriately eerie soundtrack by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow gives the final polish to a fantastic film. Recommended for fans of slower intelligent science fiction. 5/5 (Excellent)
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