Ex Machina / by Kenneth Buff

Ex Machina is the latest take on the Frankenstein mythos. We've seen it countless times in films like Jurassic Park, and Terminator. But it's been quite awhile since we've seen it done so modestly, and that modesty is really where the charm of Ex Machina comes from.

The film has only five roles, four of which are in the film more than 10 minutes, and of those four only three of them have dialogue. That being said, the cast is pretty wonderful, and they play off one another very well. The scenes between Oscar Isaac's Nathan Bateman (the resident mad scientist) and Domhneall Gleeson's Caleb Smith (the man hired to test the machine) are especially fun to watch. Isaac plays the perfect modern Frankenstein, drowning himself in self indulgence. He comes off as a pretentious ivy league graduate, only this particular Harvard kid has built the world's most advanced A.I, and it just happens to be shaped like a beautiful woman.

But of course Alicia Vikander has the breakout performance in this film as Ava, the machine being tested for artificial intelligence. She plays the part of naive newborn and wise beyond her years machine flawlessly, sometimes balancing the task within the same scene.

Over all, Ex Machina is a nice throwback to the psychological sci-fi films that have come before it. Definitely worth seeing if you're looking for a quieter film with a speculative premise.