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Amazon Prime Picks: Ex Machina Review

Updated on July 10, 2016

Ex Machina Movie Poster

About The Film

Ex Machina is a 2015 film that was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards and actually won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Directed by Alex Garland in his directing debut, is rated R for nudity, language, and violence. It fits the bill of a dramatic, sci-fi mystery.


Ex Machina is about a programmer named Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) that wins a contest to spend a week with the most famous internet-researcher Nathan (Oscar Isaac). Here Nathan has been working on a secret project to develop artificial intelligence, better known as AI. Nathan brings in Caleb to assist him in testing the AI and to decide whether it is passable as a true human. What ensues are twists and psychologically thrilling scenes to build a beautifully brutal film.


The film Ex Machina is intense and always has the audience at the edge of their seat. The events that unfold show some very strange scientific steps that provide a terrifying proposition. Just the idea that an AI may possibly exist is an odd thought. Couple that with the issues of trying to get the copy of the brain right, and the accidental creation of some psychotic murderer that cannot be caught because it has no limit to the intelligence it can gain as well as always learning new ways to do everything making it unpredictable could become reality. This movie is brutal. It proposes everything in a fashion that is slightly twisted. Everything seems just a bit off. Every line that Oscar Isaac delivers seems a little abnormal, like he knows something the viewer doesn’t. The way everything is presented is just odd enough to make the audience slightly uncomfortable. The acting by all characters is so immersive. When Gleeson first comes on-screen he seems just like a normal guy, but his interactions with Oscar Isaac are played out almost exactly like you would expect two strangers that are both incredibly smart, with one being more successful and assuming his intelligence is greater, would go. Then the AI comes into the picture and one of the greatest performances ever captured on camera is displayed. Alicia Vikander is exquisite in her adaptation of what an AI would do. She is just incredible the entire film. The cinematography is simply beautiful. There are only a few scenes where they truly just show the natural beauty. On occasion Gleeson and Isaac are outside and the audience really gets to see the beauty of the world. Most of the film takes place in an underground building though. Even with the lack of greenery, the technology used in the building provides some electronic beauty.

Final Thoughts

The movie is one of the best of 2015. It earns its Academy Award nominations and that is for sure. It just has so much character. The audience can be so uncomfortable at times that they will want to look away, but just will not be able to because they will likely miss something that is important to the story. The film can best be described as beautifully brutal.

Grade: A

Ex Machina Trailer


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