The Upside News

Ex Machina is an absorbing piece of speculative fiction. Strong on ideas and characterisation, Alex Garland (The Beach) capably draws on his skills as a novelist in this confident directorial debut that lies somewhere between Frankenstein and Spike Jonze’s Her.

Alicia Vikander as Ava Alicia Vikander as Ava

Revolving entirely around three characters, this is an engaging piece of cinema despite a few slow patches. Nathan (Oscar Isaac) is a reclusive billionaire, a kind of pugilistic Zuckerberg, who lures the fresh-faced Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a low level employee, to his secluded luxury bunker in order to test his artificial intelligence creation, Ava (Alicia Vikander). Caleb enters the test knowing that Ava is a robot, but will he come to accept her as a real, sentient being through a series of monitored interactions?

It’s clear from the outset that Nathan is not to be trusted, a narcissist who lost connection with human…

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