Ex Machina: Can Two Wily Men Outsmart a Gorgeous Robot?

The recent death of longtime TIME magazine film Richard Corliss was heartbreaking news to hear. A brilliant writer and critic, Corliss put the thoughts of the masses into words that were as fun to read as, I assume, they were for him to write. When he reviewed “Ex Machina” two weeks ago, he captured my thoughts on a brilliant movie. Here it is:

TIME

Correction appended: April 10, 2015

After Eve: Ava. “She” is an advanced species of robot in female form, her flawless face encased in a Plexiglas skull, her arms and legs an efficient tangle of wires. Her creator, the Internet genius-entrepreneur Nathan (Oscar Isaac), has invited Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), one of his bright employees, to submit Ava (Alicia Vikander) to the Turing Test and determine if the android is self-aware. “If you’ve created a conscious machine,” Caleb marvels, “it’s not the history of man. It’s the history of gods.”

“Deus ex machina” is the phrase applied to the climactic moment in a classical Greek tragedy when gods would descend from the skies to resolve all knotty human problems. And god, or God, is the word that hovers over Ex Machina, Alex Garland’s pristinely creepy science-fiction film. Nathan could be the Old Testament God, who created man (Adam-Caleb) in His…

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