A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) Poster

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10/10
Future classic...?
secombe8226 September 2001
First of all, once again I think the critics have got it wrong. Like Blade Runner and 2001, this is a film that will be properly judged in 10/20 years or maybe more. Its way ahead of its time, the combination of Kubrick and Spielberg is unique, its unlikely we will ever see anything like this again.

Did I like it? The answer would have to be yes, the mix of styles will put many people off, but I found it to be unlike anything I have ever seen, and all the better for it. The story is by no means original but everything else about the film is so different that this can be forgiven. To get one thing straight, Kubrick decided Spielberg would be the better man for directing it, and I think this was a very wise decision, many of the ideas are pure Kubrick, but Spielberg has the neccassary attributes to direct such a film, and great credit has to go to Kubrick for handing it to him.

Haley Joel Osment is amazing, the robot/human emotion must be amazingly difficult to pull off effectively, but Osment does it with such relative ease to the point where you do believe he is a robot, not that he is just acting as a robot. Jude Law is excellent, and so to is Frances O'Conner.

As for the ending, as brave as an idea it may of been to end on a downbeat note at "the first ending" I think the slightly upbeat ending is much more appropriate.

All in all I would say A.I is a wonderfully unique film that should be judged for what it is, a film. Forget everything about the Spielberg/Kubrick "issue" and just sit back and take in a truely amazing film. You may hate it, you may love it, but no matter what, it will effect your emotions in some way and you will discuss the film afterwards.

This film will be truely judged in 20 years or so, when it can be assessed purely as a film, as with 'Blade Runner', '2001', and even 'The Thing', it will get better with age.
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8/10
If you don't like this movie, here's a suggestion...
tightspotkilo15 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I won't say people will either love this movie or they will hate it. I'm sure it breaks down that way to some extent, and the range of opinions expressed about the movie support that notion, but I'm nevertheless also sure there are those out there who are ambivalent or indifferent about it, neither loving or hating it. That's because I'm one who was ambivalent about it after I first saw it in 2001. There was much to like about the movie. Film makers par excellence, Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg. Does it get any better than that? The cast was good too, all of it. Especially Haley Joel Osment. Production values galore. The film is beautifully rendered. But even with all that there was something about it that bothered me, even annoyed me, and whatever it was it got in the way of my enjoyment of it. So I dismissed this movie and didn't even think about again it for years. Recently it popped up on HBO. I took the opportunity to watch it again. I found myself not being as bothered by the movie as I was before. HBO being HBO, I watched it again. And then again. Now there is nothing about the movie I dislike or that bothers me. I now like this movie without reservation. I also figured out why I reacted the way I did in the initial viewing.

My suggestion to those who don't like the movie is watch it again, and give it your thorough attention. Your opinion may change. For a couple of reasons.

First, this is a very complex movie. There's a lot to take in, visually, cognitively, philosophically. I've now seen it four times and I don't believe I've yet absorbed all there is. We're talking Kubrick AND Spielberg here. That alone tells you this movie contains much to behold. I'm not of the school who believes that Spielberg mucked this up after Kubrick died. Yes, Kubrick nursed this project along for over 20 years, from initial writing and treatment through rewrite after rewrite. But it was Kubrick who hand-picked Spielberg to direct it, years before it finally was made, Kubrick leaving his indelible imprimatur, but Spielberg likewise leaving his too was always anticipated, including by Kubrick. Kubrick wanted Spielberg's touch on this movie. Nor do I believe the movie is "20 minutes too long". Those last 20 minutes are not just Spielberg schmaltz, they are important to the resolution of the story. Throughout the first 126 minutes of the movie we are asked in myriad ways to care about David. The last 20 minutes gives meaning to that caring. Without that conclusion there is no meaning, just a cold void.

Which leads directly to the second reason why I recommend repeated viewings, and the explanation for my initial reaction. The story is about a robot designed and programmed to be just like a little boy, who wants to be a real little boy, and who literally spends thousands of years seeking the return of love from his human "mother" who he was programmed to bond with and love. That's the basis from which all manner of questions are asked and explored, about the meaning of love, humanity, and of existence itself. I submit that this storyline told that way --about a child-- ultimately overwhelms the emotional senses. It more than tugs at the heartstrings. It yanks at them. While we might care about the android Data on Star Trek, or about the robot Robin Williams plays in Bicentennial Man, both of which also want to be human, our caring for those "adult" robots is nothing compared to the caring we feel for the child David here. With an innocent child seeking his mother's love it all goes way over the top. Add to the mix that Haley Joel Osment played the role masterfully. With this recipe the movie bluntly manipulates our emotions, something it does too well. It becomes distracting and difficult to watch, let alone to process analytically. Think Bambi, but on steroids. Many of us just shut it down, saying to ourselves, "I don't need this maudlin stuff in my life." Thus affected, the viewer never appreciates the movie's rich themes because the shutdown blocks all that. What I found, however, is that subsequent viewings lessens the distracting effect, and the movie becomes much easier to watch and fully appreciate. Oddly, it appears that Kubrick and Spielberg knew exactly what they were toying with in this respect, and they did it intentionally. It is embedded in the story itself. The flesh fair's barker, as he was getting ready to destroy David, has to keep reminding the audience that David is only a machine, not a real boy, and he implores the audience to not allow their emotions to be manipulated by the machine's child-like appearance. As David tearfully pleads for his life the audience is swayed, giving David an opening to escape. The inner audience, the audience within the story, is is being manipulated the same way we in the outer audience, were being manipulated. This must be a conceit by intent and design.

As a child actor Haley Joel Osment was nonpareil. The Sixth Sense told us that. This was his last role as a child, and after this he became a different actor (see e.g., Secondhand Lions). Puberty did that. His career as an adult actor is just now beginning, and what that holds in store remains to be seen. But as a child he was very very good. Maybe the best ever. And this is him at his best

If you haven't seen it, be prepared to see it more than once. If you have seen it, see it again. This is a movie that gets better each time you see it.
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10/10
A.I.--A Film With Heart And Brains
virek2136 July 2001
Steven Spielberg's latest movie A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, which he took up at the encouragement of the late, great Stanley Kubrick, has caused widely divergent comments. And I can't help wondering if the most scathingly negative reviews of this movie aren't just an open desire to see Spielberg crash, as he had with "1941" and HOOK.

For my money, Spielberg has done it again with this futuristic science fiction drama, regardless of what the negative reviews say. Its story of a robot boy (Haley Joel Osment) who desires to be a real boy in a far future in which humans (Orgas) and machines (Mechas) exist side-by-side but not always in harmony is very much modeled on the Pinocchio story, though it is actually based on a 1969 short story by Brian Aldiss. It raises some interesting and sometimes unsettling moral dilemmas that few films of late have done. Can a parent love a child, even if that child is not real? What might happen if that child desired to be real? How will Man and Machine be able to co-exist?

Like all intelligent science fiction, such as Kubrick's own 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and Spielberg's own CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, A.I. forces us to ponder where we've been and where we might be going. It's an incredible combination of Kubrick's icy intellectual and clinical mind and Spielberg's emotional heart; and I think it works exceedingly well. But it forces the viewer to not leave their heart and brains at the door, which I think is why it is being so negatively received in this season of mindless summer movie fare. It may be too intelligent for its own good, and many don't have the 145 minutes of patience needed for the movie. I did, however; and I would call this an absolute masterpiece. Out of ten stars, give this one a 10.
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9/10
One of the year's best films -- thought-provoking and deeply moving. ***1/2 (out of four)
Movie-122 August 2001
AI - ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE / (2001) ***1/2 (out of four)

By Blake French:

"AI - Artificial Intelligence" is the hardest kind of movie to review-but it's also the most enjoyable kind of movie to watch. It's been over three weeks since my screening of Steven Spielberg's emotionally harrowing epic about a robot boy. Before writing my review, I wanted to let its themes, content, and characters sink into my head and make a solid impact. The film was based on an idea by Stanley Kubrick, but when he died in 1999, Speilberg took charge of the project. I could spend pages discussing the techniques of Kubrick's intentions and Spielberg's decisions, but I will not. Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg are two of the greatest directors American cinema has to offer; it's pure pleasure watching their ideas clash and flow. I am not going to examine each individual theme here, either. That would ruin the movie for you.

"AI - Artificial Intelligence" presents many themes on screen, but it's important to take what you get out of it. Whenever I read a review of Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" or "2001: A Space Odyssey" I feel influenced by the reviewer's interpretation of the movie's themes. Every time I watch either of those movies I get something new out of it. I hate it when other critics state the movie's themes on paper as if it's a fact. There is far too much room for interpretation to reveal this movie's message, or the message of any Kubrick film for that matter. Ask 100 people, and you might get 100 different answers. "AI - Artificial Intelligence" is that kind of movie-one of the year's best.

Critics and audiences alike have torn apart this movie's ending-a clear miscalculation by Spielberg. If Kubrick were in charge, the movie would have called it quits about twenty minutes earlier in an unsettling sequence that takes place in the ocean. But Speilberg, who always seems entranced by science fiction, injects an additional segment into the mix that does not work quite as well, but isn't so completely awful that it deserves such harsh criticism. It still leaves us with an open, startled emotional disorientation. I left the theater with tears in my eyes. The movie before the conclusion is so complex, moving, and involving in so many different ways the last twenty minutes didn't even come close to spoiling the movie for me.

"AI" transpires sometime in the near future after the polar ice caps have melted and flooded coastal cities and reduced natural resources. Mechanical androids have become popular since they require no commodities. Reproduction has also become highly illegal. Machines provide sexual services and if anyone wants a child, they will purchase a robot. However, the difference between a robot child and a living child is that robots cannot love. That's the task professor Hobby (William Hurt) of Cybertronics Manufacturing has solved. He has made a robot child that can love.

We can separate "AI" into two separate segments. I do not want to reveal too much about each plot because the pleasure of watching this movie evolves from the revealing of the connecting plots. I will, however, briefly say the first details a robot child's interaction within a family, and the second deals with the robot's estrangement from its family and the quest to regain the mother's love.

I can imagine the material in Kubrick's hands. The movie's opening scene has a female robot begin to undress in a public office. Speilberg cuts the action before she reveals any explicit nudity. Kubrick would have had various shots of full frontal nudity. Spielberg, never comfortable with sexual material, leaves out much of the motivation behind Kubrick's ideas. One of the biggest problems in "AI" is the lack of edge with the sexual content. Jude Law plays a robot gigolo who lives in a sex fantasy called Rouge City where people from everywhere come to seek sexual satisfaction. The central character, a robot boy played by Haley Joel Osment, motivates every action in the story except for the scenes in Rouge City. Why contain such a perverse character and setting when his entire existence simply displays a mood that has already been well established. Obvious, the filmmakers toned the aspects of "AI" down to warrant a gutless PG-13 rating-but why? The movie isn't appropriate for children anyway, and it's far too complex. Undoubtedly if Kubrick were in charge "AI" would have to be re-cut to avoid an NC-17 rating. Spielberg should have either taken advantage of the perverse material or completely eliminated it.

Here I am, doing exactly what I said that I wouldn't do, and at nearly 900 words, I still have not clearly expressed my own opinions on the film. I have many notes in front of my that display my reaction as I watched the film, but I am not going to use them-they reveal too much about the movie. "AI" is a very personal film, a deeply moving, scientific, careful, and harrowing motion picture that displays startling talent on screen and behind the scenes. The special effects are extraordinary. The performances are alarming-the immensely talented Haley Joel Osment may once again be up for an Academy Award nomination. Go see the movie, then talk about it with others. It's the kind of film that you can spend hours thinking about, then go see it again.
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10/10
I liked it
smitheeallen8 December 2001
I thought A.I. was a very good film. I'm sure it is somewhat different from what Kubrick had thought but he and Spielberg had worked on it for a long time. I liked the questions that it posed about such as what does it mean to be a being? Does the boy robot have genuine feelings or are they programmed? But we as people do we have genuine feelings or are they "programmed" in our genetic code, by society, and by other factors? Intriguing questions from an intriguing film. Definitely a thinking persons movie. The acting by Haley Joel Osmet was outstanding and the supporting cast was equally good, too. The portrayal of the future was somewhat frightening but also extremely fascinating. Especially the ending of the film. I saw this film with my brother who's first word when the film ended was "Wow!" He only expresses that for films he really likes. Those who like science fiction and those who like films that make them think definitely see this film. Even if you are not as impressed as I am you will find parts of the film fascinating.
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10/10
Classic Stanley Kubrick !!
Exploited19 July 2001
This movie has SO many angles, so much information... I was completely blown away by it and will definitely go see it many more times in the cinema. This is one of the classic movies of all time and I was appalled by the complete lack of understanding by many of the other user-comments.

If you like Tomb Raider or Disney Movies...just don't bother. This is so far removed from the Hollywood-style of scripting that many would just be bored to death by the surrealism and impressionism Kubrick uses in all of his films.

If you are looking for a Spielberg action-flick...also stay away. Don't bother. I can only guess Spielberg finished this 'Kubrick' with the proper respect for one of the greatest directors of all time.

This is not a movie, this is pretentious art. Pretentious, but actually making GOOD on its pretense. From my point of view, not in the negative sense of the word. Questions are asked and possible answers given, letting the viewer decide for themselves. Mindbogglingly, impressive camera-action. Brilliant soundtrack. Absolutely perfect acting by all players. Superb casting.

One of the greatest movies of all time. High in the list, together with "2001, A Space Oddyssee".
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9/10
Extraordinary.
RHa4093 July 2001
I loved this film. It isn't one of the greatest films ever made, but it's a personal favorite of mine. I cried at the two sad points, I laughed at the mannerisms of Gigalo Joe and Teddy, the super-toy, my heart pumped faster at the action, suspense, and horror, but overall, I really enjoyed the film on a whole. I didn't find an ounce of it boring at all. It's practically the same as observing an extraordinary life and extraordinary tale of a boy who just wants his mommy. But the boy is not a boy, and rather a robot. But the way he acts can pass for a human any day.

The look of the film was dazzling and amazing. From the facilities in the underwater Manhatten, to the curvy, sensual architecture of Rouge City. I really felt as if I were really going along for a great ride and once I stepped out of the theater, I wanted more.

The film is from Steven Spielberg based on Brian Aldiss' short story, "Super-toys Last All Summer Long" which was doctored up by Stanley Kubrick. The film is a tribute to the legendary filmaker, but it is not his film, but rather Spielberg's. Sure it sometimes tries to mimic his styles, but that's practically the same as a filmmaker paying homage to a great. It's more or less the same as somebody making his adaptation of a novel or maybe graphic novel, since Kubrick supplied some of his artwork through designs. The story is Kubrick's, but the film is Spielberg's.

Although it may seem ridiculous to some at some points, it's a future, not THE future, but a rendition of it and somethings may happen in THIS future that may seem unrealistic. The film has a great score, but it just doesn't stand out like some of John Williams's other scores. The end could be considered a homage to Spielberg's "Close Encounters Of the Third Kind" or it could be something different, something more along the lines of the film's title, Artificial Intelligence, but only a far more advanced form of it.

The acting in this film is great along with the emotions, visions, humor, and fright. I found this film to be extraordinarily superb, but whether you think it's as good, is up to you.
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10/10
Spielberg's cinematic tribute to Kubrick
bourke-23 July 2001
It is fitting that A.I., Steven Spielberg's monument on film to Stanley Kubrick, is a shoe-in for Best Picture in 2001. A.I. is cinematically beautiful, and tells a wrenching emotional story of a child's quest for maternal love.

In A.I., Spielberg masterfully adopts Kubrick's hard, bare-essentials style of direction, letting the photography tell the story, rather than the dialogue. This style allowed Kubrick to develop an enormous scope of ideas, stories and emotions in his movies. But it often left casual movie goers behind. He had difficulty finding the right treatment for A.I. so he handed the project to Spielberg before Kubrick's death last year.

Spielberg textures A.I. with obvious dollops of his own soft-as-whipped-cream touch. It is Spielberg's great skill that blends the two styles together with mesmerizing results. This blend allows the emotional story of a young robotic boy to come to life, and Kubrick fans will be able to enjoy one last film made by the master -- with the respectful help of another great artist.

The Kubrickian style demands the very best from actors, who must appear unapologetically real, and must, in long sequences with no dialogue, convey strong feelings and emotions. The A.I cast, especially lead actor Haley Joel Osment, meet every measure of the demands. Despite his youth, Osment will surely receive a nomination for Best Actor.

A.I. will rank high among the best movies ever made, but viewers should come prepared for an intense emotional and intellectual work-out. If you want to take in a quick flick to escape life for a couple of hours, this is not your movie. If you want to explore the cinematic depth of a master artist like Spielberg, A.I. will take you places you've never been before.
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God, what a mess
jessfink14 July 2002
This was a horrible, horrible movie. A big, incoherent, pointless exercise in the typical Spielbergian club-you-over-the-head-until-you-get-it style that has absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever. Even the special effects are a waste, adding nothing to the plot and serving only as a place to dump millions of dollars where a few would have done just fine. Does it have a point of view? Who knows? The story is as disjointed as a road map of Afghanistan. Does it have humor, charm, pathos, insight--the few things, at least, you think you can count on from Steven Spielberg? No, no, no, no. Does it have a keen insight, a cold, dispassionate worldview, straightforward emotions, economy of action, like most of Kubrick's films? Uh, no, again.

This film is simply miserable. A hateful, ill-conceived, pointless, overblown, fragmented, shrill, poorly-executed disaster of a film that should serve as a cautionary tale to thousands of wanna-be filmmakers when they wonder if success is something that can be maintained after thirty years in the business. A disaster and a colossal disappointment, from beginning to end.
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Frustrating
Michael J Lawrence18 September 2002
Being a fan of both Kubrick and Spielburg, this movie was a surprising miss. It tries real hard, but gets confused and lost.

I've read that Kubrick originally worked on this project before Spielburg picked it up. I don't know to what extent each actually worked on filming, but it sure does feel like two different directors worked on this movie - which is problem # 1.

Both have a unique style that do not mix well. Kubrick is a master at disciplined contemplation of a moral issue while Spielburg is a master at spinning a wonderfully entertaining yarn. This film tries to do both and it just doesn't work.

The first act of the film, which to me feels entirely Kubrickian, is great. We are immediately immersed in a moral conundrum. The pit is deep, dark, poignantly adorned with characters against a somber stage that compels us to engage the material. It also is very much in the style of Kubrick: sets, lots of master shots, slow moving and ponderous "photography in motion." The ambience is there to serve the story in every detail. If this was Spielburg's homage to Kubrick, well done. If this was Kubrick's work, wel l, it was right on target. (I really miss his work.)

The characters are drawn clearly if not archetypically and draw us unabashedly into the ring of moral discourse which we achingly yet eagerly embrace.

Then, the story that is being constructed is completely abandoned in the second act as the main character (boy robot) is taken completely out of the setting that's been developed to this point and we embark on an odyssey of sorts. I spent most of the second act wondering what was going to happen in the plot that was being developed in the first act. We never find out.

From this point on, the movie is all Spielburg. Fanciful staging, lots of effects, the obligatory allusion to the holocaust and gut-wrenching turmoil for our little hero and his friend. This is a huge contrast to the beginning of the story and is so different that it really feels like a whole different movie. Following the sublime Chardonnay of Kubrick with the super-charged Frappucino of Spielburg is unsettling and frustrating. For example, the staging in the first act is dominated by polished wood floors, furniture that is both kitsch and futuristic and smoky corporate offices. The second act is pretty much Back to the Future meets Thunderdome. The two have their place - but not in the same movie!

Where the first act compels us to consider the matter, the second act throws us against the wall, puts a gun to our head and screams, "listen to me!"

By the third act, I had really lost interest. I never quite got over the abandonment of the original story and didn't really feel like getting involved in the second one - both because it wasn't as interesting and because I didn't want to be cheated twice in two hours.

The end of the third act is really where the movie should have stopped. It was sad, pitiful and left us with the core moral issue of how we tend to implement an idea without thinking of the consequences.

But, no, here comes the fourth act - and the other major problem with this movie. Epilog, coda, call it what you want, the ending was tacked on and was just horrible. More face time for the FX folks and some really trite, contrived and irrelevant dialog from robots about the space-time continuum. Really, who cares? It's just an awkward plot device and you roll your eyes and ask "Wha--?" all at the same time. The second ending, as I like to call it, attempts to fulfill the demand for emotional conclusion that the odyssey portion of the film has built up yet fails to do so. "Whatever" comes to mind. I bet this was done in response to test screening.

Still, I'm glad I saw this movie. It has some great moments, compelling subject matter and Osment puts in a truly great performance. Just don't look for coherent plot and a sensible story line.
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