Phil Haddad
Phil Haddad

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from Star Wars to startups:
my thoughts on movies, marketing, and emerging technology.

Movies You Haven't Seen - Ex Machina

Movies You Haven't Seen is my ongoing list of smaller or independent films that may have slipped under your radar. Check out the rest here.

Released: April 24, 2015
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Ex Machina is hands down one of my top 5 favorite movies this year. Director & writer Alex Garland (28 Days Later) delivers a riveting story that builds a sense of dread slowly of the course of the film, paying off in a huge way in the third act. I should add that this is his directorial debut, which will be followed by his adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation - something to be very excited about if you've read the book, which I highly recommend.

ex machina cast

The special effects of Ex Machina are fantastic, but don't expect a huge action spectacle. The style of the movie is minimalistic and restrained, and part of the reason it works SO well because of the claustrophobic environment the story is contained in. The other major highlight(s) are the film's trio of stars: Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Alicia Vikander (The Man From UNCLE). This is a cast of some of the top rising stars in Hollywood and the way the three relate to each other within their roles on screen is flawless.

My theory with movies is the less you know going in, the better. The basic outline is this: Oscar Isaac is the reclusive and mysterious founder/CEO of a large tech company (think Google), of which Gleeson is an employee. Gleeson is informed he has won a trip to spend time with Isaac and travels to his private estate. Once there he discovers that Isaac has been working an artificial intelligence project that could truly change the world, and there's a part he has been brought there to play. NOW GO WATCH IT YOURSELF!

Warning - this movie is dark and intense. Watch it if you love sci-fi, thrillers, and movies that make you think. Also if you've enjoyed any of Garland's other work: 28 Days Later (writer), Sunshine (writer), or Dredd (writer).