“Ex Machina” is Surprising Slow-Burn Sci-Fi

imageSlow and cerebral but definitely worthwhile viewing, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina (B) is a fascinating drama about a meek computer engineer (Domhnall Gleeson) lured to the secluded home of the reclusive head of his tech company (Oscar Isaac) to interrogate a gorgeous cyborg (Alicia Vikander) he has created. There’s an air of mystery and oneupsmanship among the central actors and an eerie romantic chemistry between Everyman and A.I. Creation. Deft performances, well integrated effects, moody lighting and interiors and a general atmosphere of foreboding add up to a chilly and austere experience. Many of the themes here have been more vividly explored in superior films, but this heady chess game is an unexpected entry into the sci-fi cyber-canon.

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