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The Machine
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Machine More at IMDbPro »

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125 out of 152 people found the following review useful:

Dark, glossy British Sci Fi for 2013

8/10
Author: Paul Frankl from United Kingdom
18 June 2013

I thought this film was beautiful - the use of special effects were stunning and were utilised in a clever way that added to the atmosphere rather than overshadowing the plot.

The Machine is an interesting, dark sci-fi that focuses on character and mood rather than flashy guns and action scenes. I heard it described as a kind of prequel to Bladerunner, and agree this could be true. It has a good script with unexpected plot turns and no excessive dialogue. The delicacy it deals with with issues of loss and mourning was great.

It is a new take on the classic Frankenstein story, is beautifully shot, and was an entertaining film to watch at Tribeca this year.

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98 out of 131 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable Sci Fi flick

10/10
Author: Tom
22 March 2014

For a movie made under a small budget, this was a thoroughly enjoyable movie with some interesting thoughts on AI and what may ultimately serve to differentiate humans and machines. I found the acting to be superb. Toby Stephens did a good job of handling his role without too much angst. Caity Lotz played two separate roles as the scientist (Ava) and the machine. The machine character evolves from a developing child to a bad ass machine. If you watch the movie more than once, you will notice the subtle changes as the character develops I was impressed to learn that she did all of her own stunts! Pooneh H is the director's wife and did a good job as a menacing guard and her Farsi served as the language of the robots. Dennis Lawson was also quite good as the villain.

There are 34 external reviews also listed for this movie and I found them helpful in giving a more comprehensive (and in many cases, a more sophisticated) review of the movie. Although I wholeheartedly recommend this movie, it couldn't hurt to get a bigger sampling of reviews if you have any questions.

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66 out of 83 people found the following review useful:

Stylish, atmospheric, refreshing

8/10
Author: FreakNumberOne from United States
9 April 2014

It is such a relief to see an honest to god B-movie these days. A film with a somewhat flawed script, limited budget, tons of vision and the balls to take itself seriously.

The machine is about a future where elite scientists are able to re-animate the dead into powerful robot bodies, or graft advanced thought-controlled prosthetics onto the living. The robot's intelligence is the final hurdle, trying to make a subject that is both intelligent and entirely controllable. One of our protagonists is a scientist hoping to bring back his daughter as a machine. He's working with a mysterious corporation to achieve that goal. The rest of the movie is the movie.

If this sounds like a cheesy predictable premise, it is. But many many productions would take this story and do far less with it.

The Machine understands why Sci-fi was so vivid and memorable in the 70's and 80's, it's about art. Bold, heavily featured, skillfully realized art design-much of which here is brought to life through skillful practical effects. It really shows. Things feel real. Sets feel real, violence feels real, CGI is used well and, as the case should always be, doesn't draw undue attention to itself. It also has a fantastic synth-score that gets that synth-scores weren't great because they were cheesy, they were great because they were cold, otherworldly and isolating. Also that the good ones kicked ass.

In the final act, the Machine does what B-genre films do and turned into a gun-fight; but who cares, I'd already seen a good film.

I'm not sure what it was trying to say about artificial intelligence. It was sort of about innocence and sort of about man's inhumanity to man, sort of about procreation and creation. In the end it was mostly about kicking and punching. But it doesn't really matter if a movie wraps things up in a neat package. As long as it presents a premise, gives that premise a little room to breathe, and presents you with bold iconic imagery, I'm in.

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83 out of 122 people found the following review useful:

Amazing, you should see this film

8/10
Author: Iolo Caudy
21 March 2014

This film was amazing very thought provoking and enjoyable to watch. As it was an independent film I feel it is worth of more praise.

If you like Sci-Fi thriller type films you will not be disappointed. I felt it was very well directed and cast excellently. The story is very innovative in my opinion and it made me think about how people would really react in a world like that. I believe the film perfectly depicts how humans exploit their environment and creations.

I thought that Caity Lotz' performance was particularly excellent, I feel she acted a human in a robotic body very well. Her mannerisms were very machine like with the added flair of humanity. The facial expressions she uses are very mechanical but still show feeling, which is how I imagine a machine learning how to become more human would act.

This is my first ever review so that shows how much I enjoyed it, and this is only my opinion so you should go see it your self so you can make your own judgment. Well done to everyone involved in the film I want to see more films like this. Thank you for reading.

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70 out of 105 people found the following review useful:

Let's begin with the bad sides

10/10
Author: bmradux from Romania
9 April 2014

I met an old lady on Sunday in the vegetable market. She was smart, friendly, smiling, tastefully dressed, but when she walked by, she smelled a bit like pee, so I smacked her in the face! ...NO. It does not work like that. So yes, there are flaws in the scripting, and they are perfectly and amusingly laid down in the longer 1-star reviews here. But if you are not suffering from over-infatuation with your own intellect, or from the professional deformations of a self-proclaimed art critic, it's certainly a great sci-fi. Alone the fact that people compare it to so many other movies, or liked so many divergent aspects about it, should tell you that it's not simple, not predictable, and well executed. So if you crave for one of those, oh so rare, good scifis with a bit of everything, you certainly want to watch it. And if you start watching it, you may want to enjoy it. So do yourself a favor - switch off a few neural connections, if you suspect you own many, let the fear go, lay back and enjoy it. It will be a warm, dark, comfy ride into some future.(!The plot summaries for this movie on IMDb are a failure)

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47 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

A stylish thought provoking smart movie about humanity & Artificial Intelligence

10/10
Author: smashingbaby from United States
18 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just saw this movie at a London screening this weekend, and it delivered on many levels. The 3 Critic Reviews posted (by Dread Central, Sound on Sight, and The House Next Door) have done a very good job of describing the movie, plot, positives (many), and shortcomings (few), which I won't repeat because they are spot on.

This is a smart movie, thought provoking, and has numerous twists and turns that take you in different directions than you anticipate. Solid acting and performances by all, excellent casting, appropriate motivations & emotions for all characters (not clichéd, but nuanced, and sometimes guarded, sometimes unchecked & raw, as situationally appropriate when one is working and being monitored in ultra secret MoD environments on a high tech war footing, when lives are at stake, and government paranoia is omni-present), especially Vincent and the Machine, and the damaged soldiers being experimented upon. Vincent is a world weary brilliant scientist who is using the MoD to save his daughter & to carve out some semblance of a "normal" family life against an uncertain and dangerous global Cold War, and has to walk a dangerous tightrope. This is one of Toby Stephens best performances of his career, and he is completely believable as the tortured protagonist.

The film looked great, excellent special effects, makeup, stunts, very moody & stylistic sets, lighting, & cinematography, and it was edited as a tightly paced story that didn't lag or drag. No bloodbath, and what violence there is in the movie is appropriate for the plot line and not gratuitous, which was refreshing. You care about the characters and are fully vested in how the story develops, surprises, unfolds, and leaves you pondering profound questions about the evolution of hybrid human/A.I. in potentially positive directions. Surprisingly, the film does not end on the expected dark note, but leaves you intrigued and eagerly anticipating a sequel to further explore these questions.

A timely thought provoking movie, with themes to current day world affairs, and humanity, that is accessible to all audiences, whether you are a Sci-Fi fan or not. Something for everyone, and ticks all the right boxes for an excellent movie. You'll get your money's worth.

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44 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

Blade Runner for a new generation

8/10
Author: scottmannen1 from Canada
8 April 2014

This was a fantastic thought provoking vision of a dystopian cybernetic and robotic future. The movie was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish; however, you must watch very close to fully understand what is really happening in this flick. The soundtrack was phenomenal, the visuals were very, very good and this movie did not skimp on the sci-fi budget. If you enjoyed Blade Runner then you will more than likely enjoy this movie as well. What this movie truly needs is a sequel. One with a larger budget showcasing what happens next in what could potentially be a cult classic series if the makers of this movie were to pursue making sequels! If you are a true sci-fi fan than this movie is for you. I give it a solid 8/10.

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28 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Artsy without being overly dramatic. Asks deep questions without being pompous. The special effects are good too.^^

10/10
Author: lord-leovuld from Sweden
19 April 2014

The premise or the science fiction genre as a whole presents many pitfalls incautious screenwriters may fall into, I think. This movie avoids said pitfalls elegantly. I watched this movie without having read much about it and I urge you to do the same. Caity Lotz really shines as the character Ada and I had only seen Toby Stephens in the movie Severance previous to this one. I love it when filmmakers know that the role of Main Character, Hero and Protagonist can be defined by multiple characters in the story. Speaking of the characters of the plot, they are all well written and have motives that are believable, which is imperative to make the movie believable. It's easy to see the love the makers of this film has for the genre and they treat it with respect and great care. I see elements from many of my favorite sci-fi movies and TV-series (Bladerunner, The Matrix, Terminator, Ghost in the Shell and Ergo Proxy to name a few...) not to mention much from some really great science fiction literature out there. I'd love to discuss the plot deeper but I will not as I don't want to impair your viewing pleasure. Now go and watch it.

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36 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Better than I thought it would be

7/10
Author: getbobt from Ann Arbor, MI - United States
8 April 2014

I just wanted to say to anyone that was thinking... hmmm... is it worth spending the 90 min to watch, I would say, Yes. It was actually better than I thought it would be. So many movies now a days are just simply painful, it is no wonder they are remaking every thing in sight. Can't Hollywood come up with something original. I mean are vampires and zombies the only thing you can come up with???

This movie make me think of the movie - Her. Not only is it similar in subject matter, it also has some shared weaknesses.

However, while both of these movies have there problems, some plot holes and such, they also have some good things as well. They have surprises, they have some unexpected, they have some good camera work and especially this one has some good special effects.

These two also have something in common that most robot movies do not have. But, if I told you what it was, it may spoil the movies.

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38 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Impressive

10/10
Author: Paalnesm from Norway
10 April 2014

I have looked forward to this movie for a long time and today I finally got to watch it. And I am very pleased. As others here have pointed out, it is beautiful artistically executed.

The visual and the details in the movie is stunning. I wasn't bored for a minute, and the run time was perfect.

Also good performances by Toby Stephens and Caity Lotz.

Like Paul Frankl said in his review, it has been described as a prequel to Blade Runner and that's something I could believe!

Been a long time since I saw such good sci-fi thriller like The Machine. This is a must see for people that like this genre.

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