Written and Directed by Alex Garland (his directorial debut!) the film is about:
A young programmer who is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking female A.I.
An A.I. film like never before, not action packed but a small, almost hitchcockian suspense thriller/drama that holds grand ideas in its simple framework. A relatively low key cast but with incredible acting talent Caleb (Domhall Glesson, who I recently fell in love with) is our main character who we follow. He is joined by co stars Oscar Issac and Alicia Vikander who play their parts perfectly, behind each performance is so much unsaid about that character, their past seeps into their current performance, creating a wave of mystery throughout the whole film.
I can see how many people who go into this movie expecting something like Will Smiths I,Robot etc and thus come out disappointed there were no explosions, however go into this film thinking more of HAL from 2001. I know i’m all about interpretations, but this is where a lot of audiences come out of films frustrated… because the forget to see cinema/film as an ART form. Film is not JUST pure 2D fast entertainment , a lot of people, myself included make films to say something about something! of course these types of films can be entertaing too and they can also just be art for arts sake, not having to say anything important AT ALL. But for me, i came away not knowing what to think at all about what I just watched, a bit of a shocking ending, I had to read up more about it to really understand it. And I must say when you do this you will gain a good appreciation for this film. It reminds me of Under the Skin a bit, in terms of the female perspective.
Ex Machina, follow suit in recent Sci-fi films, such as HER(2013)that delve into the relationships between humans and AI, this theme is really taking off. Besides from the futuristic simplicity, these films show a future that is more of a Utopia, than a dystopia like past films such as Blade Runner(1982) or Brazil(1985) Instead, exteriors are rosy, but the internal human relationships are what are crumbling and coming to an end. Even now the same argument is used with phones! A great shift in Sci-fi films is really interesting, If you like these kinds of human-A.I relationship themes check out an episode of Black Mirror which explores these again but genders are reversed.
All in all, go check this film out!