5 Reasons You Need to See Ex Machina
Science fiction is not in short supply these days, but it’s rarely as insightful, inventive, or thought-provoking as Alex Garland’s terrific Ex Machina. While this is Garland’s directorial debut, there’s a good chance that name rings a bell, as he previously wrote 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Dredd.
Those films all have their ardent fans (we’re especially partial to Sunshine), but a case could be made that Ex Machina is Garland’s most accomplished film to date. If you’re still not convinced, here are five reasons you need to get out there and see one of the sci-fi standouts of 2015.
1. Science fiction for grown ups
No offense to kids, but not every science fiction movie should appeal to the whole family. Thanks to Garland’s exhaustive research, Ex Machina proves to be a plausible, clear-thinking exploration of themes and behaviour that are unmistakably R-rated.
2. Good precedents
As Variety points out, Ex Machina plays like a companion piece to recent sci-fi experiments Her and Under the Skin, but it also builds on the ideas of several enduring classics, including Blade Runner, Frankenstein, Metropolis, and The Shining.
Expertly played by 26-year-old Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair, Anna Karenina), Ava is one of the most memorable science fiction creations in recent memory. Not only is she a triumph of design, but her behaviour is simultaneously surprising and convincing, an impressive feat of speculative imagination.
4. Previewing the Force
Actors Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac have already left strong impressions in several other films, but this is your first chance to see these stars of The Force Awakens share the screen. The good news? They make for a dynamic, perfectly balanced screen duo.
5. A satisfying ending
Speaking of Star Wars, Episode VIII and IX director Rian Johnson (Looper) went on the record this week as a huge Ex Machina fan, describing the script as “flawless” and the visuals as “gorgeous.” He also praises Garland for delivering a genuinely satisfying ending. “It does that magic trick that my favorite movies all do, which is, it does exactly what it told you it was going to do—and you’re surprised by it by the end.”
If you have some time to kill before catching the movie this weekend, watch the trailer below: