“A.I. Artificial Intelligence” an Austere Spielberg/Kubrick Hybrid

Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence (B-) is full of so many good ideas, many germinated by the late Stanley Kubrick for decades, that it’s a shame the final package is a bit, well, robotic. The story starts off with Frances O’Connor and Sam Robards adopting an android child, played by Haley Joel Osment, but they ultimately reject and abandon him to a cruel world of robot runaways (Jude Law plays a cyber-gigolo who befriends the tin tyke). The imagery cribbed from Pinocchio as the central character pines away to become a real boy is haunting, but the enterprise doesn’t seem to know what its viewers’ key takeaways are supposed to be. Both the humans and the androids in the film are equally unappealing, but the flickers and flights of fancy help the film occasionally rise to its ambitions.