But in all seriousness, Ex Machina follows the story of Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson). He's a programer, working for a company called Blue Book. After winning a competition to spend the week with the company's founder, Nathan (Oscar Isaac), Caleb is flown out there, knowing very little of what's in store when he gets there. After arriving and introducing one another, Nathan explains to Caleb what he's about to embark on, and this endeavour is to perform a sort of turing test on an artificially intelligent woman Nathan has created. When Caleb is sent to meet Ava (Alicia Vikander), he's taken back by just how human she is, and how beautiful she is as well. Ex Machina is a back and forth game of trust, suspense and what it means to be human, and I'm so happy I finally got a chance to check it out.
Unsurprisingly, the most interesting character in this entire movie is Ava, who, up until meeting Caleb, has seen just one face before in her life. Nathan's. She's a grounded and intelligent A.I who truly is remarkable. She's believable, seductive and all the right kinds of off. Her character even has a slight sense of humour, and it's this humour that truly makes the film human, such as with the previously mentioned dance number, as well as a variety of other smaller moments.
Not only has he crafted a top-notch story, but he's also directed it to perfection. Everything is so polished and smooth and natural. It's a beautiful looking movie with some of the best cinematography of the year. You never feel as if there's a camera in the room. It never feels artificial, which I guess is a bit of an ironic word to use. The film just moves from scene to scene so smoothly and there isn't a single moment with poor direction.
To sum up, Ex Machina is a suspense driven sci-fi thriller that works exceptionally well due to the three lead performances and the absolutely breathtaking writing and directing from Alex Garland. This right here is quality cinema.