Review: Ex Machina

This is a film which I was unsure if I was interested whilst it was in cinemas and let it pass by without seeing it, and even after its release on DVD and Blu Ray I have still taken my sweet time about watching it, but I was wrong, and I’ll explain why after I give a quick idea of what the film’s about. Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is a programmer who wins the chance to participate in an experiment at the house of his boss (Oscar Isaac) to determine just how far an artificial intelligence can adapt to human qualities, and that A.I is Ava (Alicia Vikander). The question is: what happens if you struggle to find ways to prove that it is not in fact human? And how does it feel about all of this?

Alicia Vikander is more and more becoming a name that you will recognise, as of a few months ago she’s tipped to become the new Elizabeth Salander as well as appearing in not 1 but 4 films this year with a host of famous actors and actresses. Ever since her roles in A Royal Affair and Anna Karenina (coincidentally also alongside Gleeson) her career trajectory has sky rocketed and she’s become quite the hot property of Hollywood, and a much refreshing choice being that she is a Swedish actress coming from a television background but the choice is clear given her obvious talent. This film is the best example to date of her talent, showing great skill whilst limiting the range of emotion is very impressive, the opposite of what her next role in the upcoming Danish Girl will be.

Similar could be said of Domhnall Gleeson who is also slowly gaining more and more fame, as well as roles in crucial films. He may have broken out on our screens as a member of the Weasley clan but he’s become much more, from About Time to Frank to Unbroken to Brooklyn and Ex Machina and the upcoming epic film that is The Revenant, oh and he only grabbed himself a part in the biggest film of 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens, alongside our third star of this film, Oscar Isaac. With such a intimate and closed off cast it really demonstrates the talent of 3 of the up and comers of the last few years to a fantastic extent.

The material for films recently has been restricted hugely, including for the majority remakes and reboots and book adaptations with such a little portion of original stories but this is an exception. Written and directed by first timer Alex Garland, a brilliant and engaging story of almost Hitchcockian proportions, pulling you in with intrigue and then becoming such a clever and interesting plot, heavy with tension much helped by a fantastic score which draws you to the edge of your seat. This film is definitely the sleeper hit of the year, not overwhelming at the box office, though neither a failure but creeping up on you with it’s shining reputation, be ready to see this on many top 10 lists; quite possibly including my own.

I wholeheartedly recommend this one, it is a sterling piece of film and should be welcomed with open arms into the collections of many. I can’t wait to see what else Garland has to offer, though many may not realise he’s also the man behind the scripts for 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Dredd and Never Let Me Go, as well as having written the novel The Beach which became the celebrated Leonardo DiCaprio film, his next film is Annihilation slated for 2017 currently starring Natalie Portman.

Verdict: 9/10

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