Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a young programmer, wins a contest to spend a week at the estate of Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a tech genius who has developed an artificially intelligent robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander). Caleb’s job is to interact with Ava to determine if she passes the Turing test and is truly conscious.
Ex Machina stretches an hour’s worth of plot into a feature-length film. The running time is only 1:48, which is short by today’s unfortunate standards, but it felt much longer. It’s essentially a big-budget “Twilight Zone” episode, but I doubt many people will watch it multiple times like they might with the best episodes of that classic show. Still, it is worth watching once both for the ideas presented on the subject of artificial intelligence and for some impressive visuals.