Ex Machina DVD Movie Review

DVD movie reviews are occasional posts that review recent DVD releases that I did not review while they are in theaters.

ex machina

I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say this is one of the most intriguing and fascinating movies I’ve ever seen.

Ex Machina is about a young computer programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) who gets invited to help test a project a mysterious Steve Jobs-esque CEO (Oscar Isaac) is working on.  That project turns out to be Artificial Intelligence.  Unfortunately, I can’t really say more about the plot without spoiling the movie. That being said it is better to not know much about this movie.  I went in knowing nothing about it beyond several recommendations and I think that added to my enjoyment.

I don’t even know where to start with the praise of this movie.  It is incredible.  I’ll lead off with the acting because that’s what carries a movie like this.  All 3 of the main actors do a fantastic job (Gleeson, Isaac, and Alicia Vikander who plays the AI robot).  They all have great chemistry. I might be even a little more excited for the newest Star Wars now knowing Gleeson and Isaac will be in it.  Past the acting, the story is fantastic.  I worry when I watch science based movies like this because I’m afraid I won’t understand all the jargon and such (Interstellar is an example of this).  But in this one I never needed to understand it which made the story that much better for me.  The one thing that may be better than the acting and the story are the visuals.  They are outstanding.  The movie is slow, which if you’ve read previous reviews of mine you know is usually a negative for me. However, it really works for this movie.  The slow build and the tension kept me intrigued the whole time and kept me wanting to know what would happen next.  There are some great twists in the movie, one of which I saw coming but that didn’t bother me too much.

The only thing that really stands out as a negative to me is your are really thrown into this movie with no backstory.  The movie stands at about 1 hour and 48 minutes and I think they could have added another 10 minutes or so of backstory and made it 2 hours without changing the pace of the movie too much.  I also think it’s one of those movies that is not rewatchable a bunch of times because you know what’s coming. It would stand as a negative but I can’t really count it as one until I actually try and go back and watch it at a later date.

Even with the negative, this movie is great.  It is easily one of the best movies of the year so far and the best sci-fi movie I’ve seen in a long time.  I went in unsure if I would like it based on the genre, similar to how I went into last year’s Whiplash (you can read that review here). Clearly the doubt was unjustified and Ex Machina gets a perfect 5/5 from me. Highly recommended even if you aren’t a huge sci-fi fan.

Have you seen it or even heard of it? Let me know in the comments.

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