Ex Machina [2015] ★★½

ex-machina-poster-2Don’t get me wrong. Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina”, starring Domhnall Gleason as a coder who’s been chosen to spend a week with his reclusive billionaire boss (Oscar Isaacs, almost unrecognizable) in order to test his latest artificial intelligence invention  (Alicia Vikander) is a major accomplishment. It relies more on thought provoking ideas than eye popping visual effects and that’s something you don’t see much these days. So here’s the rub: Despite rave reviews (some are calling it a masterpiece), the result, for me, is a mixed bag. I was completely captivated at first but in the final act I became impatient. I knew where the picture was headed, yet director Alex Garland (who wrote the underrated, and may I add, superior “Never Let Me Go“) lingered on every story point, long after emptying his bag of tricks. And when the film ended, I felt no lingering attachment to it. I enjoyed Oscar Isaac’s performance, but my connection to the Artificial Intelligence itself was short-lived. I’d still rate “Ex Machina” a good movie, but that lack of resonance is what keeps me from calling it great. Still, a lot of people fell in love with it so I know my opinion won’t be shared by everyone.

Rating: 2.5/4

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