Ex Machina is, without hyperbole, the best science fiction film of the current decade; a masterpiece of subtle character development and unnerving atmosphere.
In the near future, Caleb (Domnhall Gleeson), a programmer at the Bluebook electronics company, wins a week-long stay with the company’s founder Nathan (Oscar Isaac). The true purpose of Caleb’s visit is to test a revolutionary artificial intelligence named Ava (Alica Vikander)
An entrancing slow-burn, Ex Machina constantly compels you to question the motivations of its characters, as unsettling details about Ava’s “life” gradually emerge.
Isaac is both genial and unsavory as Nathan, and Gleeson is engaging as a young idealist who schemes for Ava’s freedom yet questions if her thoughts are real (and tries not to fall in love with her).
Vikander delivers a riveting performances of elegant precision as the android Ava. She portrays a being that is undeniably sentient yet at the same time strikingly non-human. You find yourself wondering if this AI is manipulating the human characters, which adds another layer of intrigue.
An eerie, evocative character study, Ex Machina is an extraordinary achievement in the science fiction genre.