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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ex-Machina (2015)

A computer programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) wins a lottery to the secluded home of his company's CEO (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, he's asked to administer some tests to a new AI (artificial intelligence) robot (Alicia Vikander, THE DANISH GIRL) that will determine her "humanity". But that's just the tip of the iceberg. This terrific piece of science fiction somehow slipped under my radar when it was released early last year. I may be late in catching up with it but all I can say is ..... wow! I was hooked right from the beginning and found it compelling to its final moments. The directorial debut of screenwriter Alex Garland, probably best known for his screenplay to 28 DAYS LATER, is a tight (there are only 3 major characters and one supporting one) and economical piece of film making that is both familiar in the sense in that you think you know what's going to happen but fresh in its ability to still surprise you. The film is anchored by two excellent central performances from Gleeson and Vikander. Isaac's character is too broadly acted and while it serves as a nice contrast to the delicate underplaying of Gleeson and Vikander, it still seems actor-y. But that's a minor quibble. With Sonoya Mizuno. 

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