The Machine (2014)
Critic Consensus: The Machine proves an audacious debut for writer-director Caradog James and a solid entry in modern British sci-fi, with thematic heft to match its genre thrills.
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as Vincent McCarthy
as Ava/The Machine
as Paul Dawson
as Paul Dawson's Mother
as Technician (Dr. Giwa-Amu)
as Assistant (Dr. James)
as Dr. Henning
as Doctor GP
as Checkpoint Guard
as Squadron Commander
as Armed Millitary Policeman
as Implant Soldier, Ben
as Implant Soldier, Clark
as Implant Soldier, Ryan
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Critic Reviews for The Machine
"The Machine" percolates with an elegantly palpable sense of wonder and danger.
"The Machine" works modestly well, but still wobbles trying to balance its "thinking man's sci-fi" aspirations against the need to placate less adventurous fans via standard action content.
The Machine brings little new to the subject save for an ominously ambiguous conclusion about the consequences of making computers more advanced than their human masters.
A classy slice of cerebral sci-fi with a literary-cinematic heritage stretching back through Blade Runner and Metropolis to Frankenstein.
Former dancer Caity Lotz is good at lethal kicks and twitchy cyborg movements, but her ingenue manner and baby-doll voice don't make her any more convincing as a cybernetics genius than as a robo-femme super-soldier.
Audience Reviews for The Machine
Released a year before Ex Machina, The Machine is very nearly the basic blueprint for it, to wit: scientists create a lovable AI (that happens to be a bodacious femme as well, natch) and begin to fall in love with it, er, her, ah, the program ("she's the only one who really understands me, yah?). This time out the government wants the robot/android/girlbot to be a killer soldier application as well, and homie don't play dat, yo! The technology part of the tale is on the backburner so this is very user friendly.
The British sci-fi thriller The Machine explores the age-old question of A.I. giving birth to artificial life. Set in a dystopian future where Britain and China are in a protracted world war, a MOD research scientist develops a neural network which he believes could be the key to creating artificial life. Caity Lotz stars as "The Machine" and gives an interesting performance. But, the script is pretty weak and does a poor job at explaining the war and how technology fits into it (other than the generic super-soldier cliche). There are also some leaps in logic and dropped subplots that add to the film's unevenness. Yet while it's problematic, The Machine does present some intriguing questions about man's evolving relationship with technology.
Astounding, captivating and engaging, The Machine manages to be one of the most original Science Fiction in recent memory. What we have here is a standout feature, a film that boasts terrific ideas, with exceptional performances. The story is very good, and is thoroughly engaging from start to finish. What makes this film stand out is the fact that the story is refreshing and it is quite riveting from the first frame onwards. The Machine is terrific Science fiction filmmaking, and aside from Gravity and Moon, is for me anyways, the finest films in the genre that has brought a new dimension to the genre. With great storytelling, director Caradog W. James crafts a stunning film that is destined to be seen as a genre classic. The film boasts some impressive effects as well, and the film looks great, and it has a sort of dystopia quality to the film that really makes the tone of the movie surreal and thought provoking. The Machine is one of those rare movies that is smart, and thrilling with its original take on a classic genre. With the bare minimum, director Caradog W. James was able to get something truly special on-screen. The idea is terrific, and the film itself feels like a real breath of fresh air, and in this genre, especially, it's particularly difficult to craft something that is bold, original and exciting. With The Machine, we get such a film, a movie that ranks among the most memorable Science Fiction thrillers in recent memory, and if you're a fan of the genre, you'll surely enjoy this riveting picture. I for one loved the film and The Machine is terrific picture from start to finish, one that belongs on the shelf of some of the genre's finest works.
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