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A beautiful but frighteningly plausible look at the near-future of Artificial Intelligence

EX_MACHINA (Ex Machina) starts immediately with mystery. The protagonist has won an opportunity to meet the highly secretive owner of the Search engine company at which he works. However, before the opportunity he has won is exposed he is given an unorthodox contract/waiver.

With the contract signed Caleb, played by Domhall Gleeson, is told he has won the opportunity to test a fully built artificially intelligent robot. The company owner and AI engineer Nathan, played by Oscar Isaac, is a strangely down-to-earth character who immediately befriends Caleb. Although, someone within the secluded house deep in a Lush forest has unclear intentions.

The film is beautifully shot within an ultra-modern house, set within a magnificent Forest location. The photography makes excellent use of the location, giving a true sense of comfortable seclusion. Gleeson and Isaac’s acting and character development feels completely natural and believable. Caleb (Gleeson) is appropriately unsettled in his new, mysterious surroundings whilst Nathan (Isaac) is an accessible character with a riddle of a personality.

As a Sci-Fi film, Ex Machina could be difficult for viewers that don’t usually tread the genre. The story is based on these two characters that discuss technology and programming together. However, the film has an interesting chemistry amongst characters with outstanding photography. It would be a shame to miss this strong early-release of 2015.

One of the most stunning aspects of Ex Machina is how believable this Sci-Fi is. Many of us have watched films featuring artificial intelligence, for example A.I (2001), I, robot (2004) and Blade Runner (1982). However, none come as hauntingly close to life as Ex Machina. The characters, storyline and even the technology featured feel completely plausible in the near-future, if not the next 10 minutes.

Writer and director, Alex Garland has created a film that’s pleasant to watch but chilling to one’s sense of security, with elements not dissimilar to a dystopian novel.