Ex Machina Movie Review

Spoilers ahead! This is a really good movie, and this review will not do it proper justice. Also, different people might get different things out of it, so watch it and form you own opinion first!

The Good

I really like the exposition, the building up of these characters, specifically Nathan. We are lead to believe that he is this rich, reclusive tech guru, and he brought Caleb here as some sort of fun business trip. This facade starts to fade as we get deeper into the plot, and many more sinister explanations start reveal themselves.

For me, the best part of the movie is the realization of what happens at the end, that Ava locked Caleb out, and is leaving the compound, never to be seen again. I also love the symbolism of Ava killing Nathan (creation killing creator, man killing God, etc). There is a certain existential dread that fills me every time I see Nathan at the end getting stabbed in such an emotionless and neutral fashion.

I also really like how unhinged Nathan starts to act, and we just get to see a glimpse of it.

All in all, the movie is awesome, has a great story, with many plots within plots.

Also, Oscar Isaac is a great actor, and he has been really great in all of the movies I have seen him in.

The Bad

I am always willing to overlook scientific impossibilities in favor of a good sci-fi narrative, but for me, the lack of (robotic) realism in Ava somewhat annoys me. We get that her brain is a big glass liquid hard drive essentially, but the actual hardware for her body is too human like: Their movements are too fluid, and the internal mechanics that we can see through her abdomen seem too lacking given the complex machine that she is. We do see that these robots do have weaknesses (they aren't perfect), but they are way too ahead of their time, given that this movie is set in the present day.

Also, given how secure this facility is, and how drunk Nathan can get, one would think that he would have some sort of fail safes in case he locked himself in his compound.

The Ugly

There isn't a whole lot of "ugly" things to say about this movie. There is an argument that says how Ava is a sex object, and only exists to please Caleb. This is pretty obvious, and contrived, given that she is a robot specifically designed to be enticing to Caleb (a robot created by a person, mind you).

With that in mind, it would seem somewhat expected that Caleb would fall for Ava, given that Nathan procured her based on Caleb's desires (which he pulled from his company/personal computer, which can't be very GDPR friendly).

Closing Thoughts

I really like that this movie leaves you with some unanswered questions, that it makes you think. If you liked this movie, you might want to watch Westworld (the original movie and the TV show). Westworld follows a similar trajectory as Ex Machina, but goes more into the politics and ethics surrounding humanoid robots.