A talented programmer (Domhall Gleeson) working for the largest internet search engine wins a lottery and thus gets to spend a weekend working on an incredible scientific breakthrough with his boss (Oscar Isaac). Said breakthrough is the creation of an AI.
Centrally the plot of Ex Machina tracks Domhall Gleeson testing Alicia Vikander as Ava the AI, to see if she truly has consciousness. What then follows is an extremely tense three handed thriller, where you are never sure who has the upper hand, or whether at all they are trying to get the upper hand. This continual sense of uncertainty keeps you literally on the edge of your seat, evidence of this can be seen when there is one point in which there is a slight jump, and I very nearly shrieked I was so on edge.
Aside from being the best thriller I have seen in absolutely ages, it is also a beautiful film thematically speaking. Dealing with really thought-provoking stuff. It’s the kind of film that you are still thinking about, still talking about well after it has finished. There is so much to be interpreted in your own way. No two people will go away from this thinking exactly the same thing.
The performances are absolutely incredible here. Jason Isaacs and Domhall Gleeson play off against each other absolutely beautifully, with Domhall Gleeson for the most part playing the straight man, and Jason Isaacs playing the intense extremely unhinged genius. But really Alicia Vikander steals the show here. She plays this sort of extra-human being, if that makes any sense. Her movements and speech are this kind of mesmerising mix of genuine human traits, and kind of extreme intelligence which suggests perhaps she isn’t human. But her performance keeps you guessing right to the end.
Overall, you must go see this movie. Whether you are looking for something genuinely profound, or just a top notch intense thriller, you will walk away delighted. It’s a masterpiece.