Ex Machina

SHARE

(2015) ★★★½

Sky Movies Premiere: PREMIERE Friday 13 November, 2pm and 8pm

Blue Book search engine coder Domhnall Gleeson is airlifted into the Jurassic-sized estate of the company’s reclusive CEO Oscar Isaac after winning a week’s stay at his mountain-side retreat. It’s not just a home, it’s a subterranean research centre. And Gleeson’s presence isn’t down to lottery luck. He’s been selected to interact with Isaac’s secret creation, an artificial intelligence housed in the robotic body of Alicia Vikander.

Gleeson’s week – a Biblical seven days – is spent in sessions to determine the ability of Alicia’s Ava to pass the Turing Test. Can the girl in the glass booth demonstrate she’s the world’s first sentient machine? Can consciousness exist without interaction? Like Spike Jonze’s hi-tec wimpout Her, Alex Garland’s sleek Ex Machina adopts a solipsistic stance on AI (Isaac goes so far as to call himself a god after deliberately misinterpreting Gleeson’s admiration for his work).

The likeable Gleeson holds on for dear life as he’s bounced around Isaac’s emotional and intellectual minefield. Of course he sympathises with the machine. Ava is an automaton as erotic as Brigitte Helm’s mechanical Metropolis doll. And, not for the first time, Isaac gives a deeply shifty performance as the Amadeus of IT. Garland’s script raises big questions, but it’s the minor ones that resonate.

“Why did you make Ava?” Gleeson asks Isaac, who replies: “Wouldn’t you if you could?” Ava herself has the question that gets to the heart of dark matter: “Are you a good man?” she asks Gleeson, who maybe should have asked if she’s a good machine. Prosethetics may make her a soft machine but why wouldn’t she be a paranoid android? Isaac’s her daddy.

The endlessly fascinating Turing Test looms large, too, in Caradog James’ more modest The Machine, an AI thriller made in Wales the year before Ex Machina. Like Vikander, Caity Lotz gives artificial intelligence a good name (she’s called Ava too, coincidentally). Although ultimately it’s hard to quibble with Ministry of Defense suit Denis Lawson: “Conscious machines are the last thing we need.”

Certificate: 15

Duration: 104min

IMDB – Ex Machina

TMDB – Ex Machina.

Rotten Tomatoes – Ex Machina

Other Showings Date & Time
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 14 November at 2:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Saturday, 14 November at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 15 November at 2:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Sunday, 15 November at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 16 November at 2:30PM
Sky Movies Premiere Monday, 16 November at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 17 November at 2:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Tuesday, 17 November at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 18 November at 2:30PM
Sky Movies Premiere Wednesday, 18 November at 8:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 19 November at 2:00PM
Sky Movies Premiere Thursday, 19 November at 8:00PM