Mesmerising and quietly terrifying, Ex Machina explores the always fascinating potential reality of artificial intelligence.
Alex Garland writes and directs an intimate exploration of what A.I. could look like, sound like and behave like, against the very human backdrop of the emotional interaction between two men - one her creator Nathan (Oscar Isaac); the other, his employee Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson).
Caleb works for one of the world's most powerful men, a man not even the President can get on the phone. When Caleb is selected to spend a week with his mysterious boss in his isolated compound in the mountains, he uncovers the magnitude of Nathan's latest project - has he created a robot with true artificial intelligence?
Caleb's involvement gets very personal, very quickly.
The balance of power between the men, their relationship with the very beautiful A.I. Ava (Alicia Vikander), and what she really represents, it all forms a heady, cerebral mix for the viewer to contemplate, and I contemplate it still.
Excellent performances from the three key cast members elevate this compelling material even further.
A must-see at the New Zealand International Film festival and a four-and-a-half star watch.
Ex Machina is playing at the 2015 New Zealand Film Festival.
Ex Machina:: Director: Alex Garland:: Starring: Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander:: Rating: R13 - content may disturb, nudity, offensive language:: Running Time: 108 minutes