Alex Garland is in confident control from Ex Machina’s boldly brisk beginning to perfectly-pitched end.

Carefully composed shots, swift cuts and succinct dialogue bestow the tumultuous pace and visual logic of a graphic novel. This dedication to agile storytelling offers distilled characterisation and fun, while the frank or flippant discourse bypasses what might have been heavy-handed exposition.

Gleeson and Isaac epitomise their divergent characters while Vikander’s charisma and physicality merge with special effects so seamless we share Caleb’s awe.

Most profoundly Ex Machina does not espouse a singular message, instead broaching opaquely destabilising questions crowned by an enigmatic finish.

A delicate, sensuous and atmospheric film irrespective of its intellectual clout, Ex Machina surges with cerebral and emotional speculation. A startling and unique debut.



CAST: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

DIRECTOR: Alex Garland

WRITER: Alex Garland

SYNOPSIS: Ex Machina – a title evoking the expression ‘deus ex machina’ meaning ‘god from the machine’ – tells the whirlwind story of a young programmer named Caleb (Gleeson) who is selected to participate in reclusive CEO Nathan’s (Isaac) revolutionary artificial intelligence experiment, by assessing the human qualities of ‘Ava’ (Vikander), a female A.I.