Ex_Machina is a stunning, exciting and distinct thriller that you have to see.
A spoiler free review
I'm refusing to post a trailer here (some trailers tell way too much). Some of you might think you need it to compel you to watch the movie, but trust me, you don't! Try watching this film uninhibited from what you seen or heard, and just consume what you're about to experience with an open mind.
I'll make this short and sweet for you folks.
Caleb is a a computer programmer who wins a unique opportunity to visit Nathan, the unconventional CEO of the world's largest search engine.
You follow Caleb as he's caught up in an unexpected experiment, testing A.I. theory with a "live" human-like robot Ava.
Oscar Isaac stars as Nathan, and he owns every scene he's in. Nathan is an eccentric super genius, no biggie right? On top of that, he's a chill guy, not very formal, loves a cold beer, experimenting with robotics and enjoys a good work out. He's a brilliant juxpo of being very relate-able and at the same time, not relate-able character.
The second Ava, an uncanny human-like AI, steps onto the scene, your eyes will be glued to her. Her transparent torso, filled with her mechanical material, is almost as beautiful as her doll-esque demure and Zoey Deschanel-like eyes. She's armed with a wealth of information, a strong grasp of language and her undeniable coy charm.
Ex Machina is Alex Garland's (writer for 28 Days Later) directional debut and it brilliantly shines for many reasons. This film's direction is very unique. It's not your typical big explosion, car crashy kinda sci-fi. It's a refreshing atmosphere, the dialogue is rich and there's lots of little surprises to experience (it's killing me I can't share my favorite scene...but once you see it, I'm sure it'll be your favorite too!). Don't get too caught up in trying to guess the ending (BTW you might probably be wrong).
I can't emphasis enough how beautiful this film is. Lots of amazing wide shots of Nathan's underground lab (which was shot in a Juvet Landscape Hotel in Norway) mixed with nature elements, to remind you of what IRL life element means.. Some scenes are meaningfully slow, which just adds suspense and beauty. Whereas other scenes are as offbeat as Nathan, which makes the film more brilliant.
(Hint: watch the mirrors and reflective surfaces for symbolism).
There's a strong sexual tension in the film. I think that's fair to say that it adds to the charm. As the audience explores with Caleb on "the truth", you get expectations for what else will be explored, autoerotic/homoerotic or not.
You might get flashes of existential crisis' throughout the film, but it's a good feeling, embrace it. A smart, sexy and exciting exploration of AI theory, Ex Machina is probably the best lesson you'll get on the topic.
I strongly urge you to see it!