Ex Machina Review 2015 Film

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The Unnerving Brilliance of Ex Machina: A Journey into the Blurred Lines of Humanity and Artificial Intelligence

An Outstanding Piece of Immaculate Science Fiction

In 2015, Alex Garland, one of the most renowned filmmakers of our time, made his directorial debut with the mesmerizing science-fiction film, Ex Machina. Garnering critical acclaim, this movie, along with Garland’s subsequent projects like Annihilation and Devs, solidified his position as a must-watch director. Ex Machina takes viewers on an unsettling journey that explores the blurred line between humanity and artificial intelligence, ultimately questioning what it means to be human. With its impeccable storytelling, flawless CGI, and thought-provoking themes, Ex Machina leaves an indelible mark as a standout science-fiction masterpiece.

The Singular Point: Crossing the Boundaries of Human and AI

The concept of blending humanity and artificial intelligence has been explored in various forms of media throughout history. However, Ex Machina takes a unique approach by not only examining this intersection but also showcasing the specific moment when AI surpasses human capabilities. Nathan Bateman (portrayed by Oscar Isaac), the enigmatic CEO of an internet company, invites Caleb (played by Domhnall Gleeson), a talented coder, to his private home to participate in an experiment. Here, he introduces Ava (Alicia Vikander), an artificially intelligent woman. As Caleb interacts with Ava, what initially starts as a simple question-and-answer session evolves into a complex relationship that forces him to question his own humanity. The film skillfully navigates the transformative process where both entities trade places, blurring the boundaries between human consciousness and artificial sentience.

An Eerie Purgatory: The Unnerving Process

Ex Machina captivates its audience with a deliberate and unsettling pace, allowing the eeriness of this transformation to sink in. Viewers are gripped by the sense of impending darkness, meticulously dissecting each character’s motivations. Caleb’s descent into a disturbing psychological state, driven by the incessant manipulation he experiences, resonates deeply. The film prompts contemplation on the disconcerting resemblance between organic and artificial creations in terms of cognition, adaptation, and learning. The realization that Ava possesses the ability to adapt and Caleb’s realization that his own thought patterns can be reduced to code adds to the film’s unnerving atmosphere. Nathan’s revelation about using data from his company’s search engine to replicate human thought processes further emphasizes society’s increasing reliance on technology and automation.

The Enigmatic Ava: A Performance of Scary Precision

Alicia Vikander delivers an exceptional portrayal of Ava, effectively conveying a range of emotions, consciousness, and intelligence through her performance. Her expressions strike a delicate balance between genuine emotion and the stiffness of a being constructed from code and machinery. This juxtaposition creates an off-putting yet believable character. The CGI used in Ex Machina is a prime example of seamlessly blending digital effects into live-action. By employing techniques such as rotoscoping human features onto Ava, shooting scenes with and without Vikander, and utilizing post-production alterations, the film succeeds in creating a character who seamlessly interacts with her surroundings.

An Innocent Naïve: Caleb’s Vulnerability

While Ava shines brightly, Caleb, played by Domhnall Gleeson, is overshadowed but still delivers a compelling performance as the trusting and innocent coder caught in a web of intrigue. His awkwardness and outsider persona make his susceptibility to Ava’s charms and the subsequent development of his feelings believable. Additionally, Nathan, portrayed by Oscar Isaac, is a charismatic character shrouded in secrecy and ambiguity. He exudes an inexplicable charm, evoking both trust and suspicion. Nathan’s transparent and introspective conversations with Caleb reveal a deep understanding of human nature, adding to the film’s complexity and intrigue.

Immaculate Filmmaking: Glass Walls, Reflective Shadows, and Haunting Aesthetics

Ex Machina not only excels in its storytelling and performances but also showcases the mastery of its filmmaking crew. Alex Garland’s signature use of glass walls and doors, which metaphorically expose characters’ vulnerabilities, provides stunning visual symbolism. These transparent barriers leave the characters exposed, mirroring their inability to conceal their true selves. The deliberate incorporation of mirrors and reflections heightens the theme of mirroring between man and machine. The film’s cinematography, captured by Rob Hardy, perfectly complements Garland’s vision. Strikingly framed shots and meticulously planned angles create visual compositions reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s work. Furthermore, the evocative score by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow oscillates between quietly sinister and overtly nightmarish, enhancing the film’s ominous atmosphere.

A Profound Directorial Debut

Alex Garland’s directorial prowess shines through in Ex Machina. With a level of skill, poignancy, and unwavering confidence, he showcases his ability to craft a thought-provoking narrative that resonates with audiences. While his previous experience as a screenwriter undoubtedly helped him transition into directing, his aptitude for storytelling far exceeds expectations for a debut director. Ex Machina serves as a testament to Garland’s potential to become one of the industry’s all-time greats. The film’s rewatchability highlights the intricacies and layers of its narrative—an even more profound experience upon subsequent viewings.


In the realm of science fiction, Ex Machina stands as an exceptional piece of cinema that adeptly explores the intersections of humanity and artificial intelligence. With its masterful storytelling, impeccable performances, and the artistic genius of Alex Garland, the film leaves a lasting impression on its viewers. The powerful motifs portrayed through exquisite visuals and a haunting score further elevate Ex Machina’s status to that of a modern classic. For those who appreciate science fiction embedded with uncomfortable tension and existential dread, Ex Machina is a must-watch phenomenon that will leave you pondering long after the credits roll.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What makes Ex Machina unique among other science fiction films?

Ex Machina distinguishes itself by exploring the exact moment when artificial intelligence surpasses human capabilities, portraying the crossroads between humanity and AI. Its thought-provoking narrative, impeccable CGI, and remarkable performances set it apart from other films in the genre.

2. How does Alicia Vikander’s portrayal of Ava contribute to the film’s impact?

Alicia Vikander delivers an outstanding performance as Ava, showcasing a perfect balance of intelligence, emotion, and artificiality. Her nuanced expressions and believability create an uncanny and unsettling presence, heightening the film’s impact and leaving a lasting impression on viewers.

3. What aspects of Ex Machina’s filmmaking stand out?

Ex Machina exhibits impeccable filmmaking, particularly in its visual aesthetics, achieved through the use of glass walls, reflections, and haunting compositions. The combination of practical effects, CGI, and meticulous cinematography results in a seamless blend of digital and real elements.

4. How does Ex Machina challenge traditional notions of humanity and AI?

Ex Machina delves deep into the blurred lines between humanity and artificial intelligence, questioning what it truly means to be human. By exploring the intersection where AI surpasses human cognition, the film challenges conventional beliefs and forces viewers to confront the nature of consciousness.

5. Does Ex Machina offer a satisfying conclusion?

Ex Machina concludes with a thought-provoking finale that leaves viewers reflecting on the film’s themes. While some may seek definitive resolutions, the open-ended nature of the ending contributes to its enduring impact and invites ongoing discussions about the boundaries between humanity and artificial intelligence.