A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) Poster

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Can I be honest? I think this is one of Spielburg's better movies
TheLittleSongbird29 November 2009
I was not kidding when I wrote that summary. Artificial Intelligence:AI is a very captivating and astonishing achievement from Steven Spielburg. And I do think it is one of his better movies along with Schindler's List, ET and Jaws. For one thing it is beautifully filmed; the cinematography was gorgeous and the special effects were absolutely jaw dropping. The direction is very refined, and while reminiscent of Pinocchio the story driving this film is resolutely dark, ambitious and even daring. The acting is extremely impressive. Haley Joel Osment proves that he is a fine child actor in a truly astonishing lead performance, and Jude Law in one of his better performance matches him perfectly as his protector. Many complained of the character of Monica, personally I had no problem with her and Frances O'Connor makes the most of what she is given. There is terrific support also from Brendan Gleeson and Robin Williams (as the voice of Dr Know). That teddy bear, voiced by Jack Angel, is really rather cute. Some of the film is intensely moving thanks to the remarkable and eerie score from John Williams, however there are some parts of the in-general well written screenplay that are close to over-sentimental. My only other complaint is that the "feel-good" ending felt rather tacked on. In conclusion, a rather bleak, ambitious but daring and compelling movie. 8.5/10 Bethany Cox
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Spielberg's sci-fi art-house flick and maybe the lost Kubrick movie
Leofwine_draca25 February 2015
Compelling, slow-paced, lengthy, intelligent, thoughtful, wise and occasionally profound. Steven Spielberg's sci-fi drama is definitely not your average "crowd pleaser" and lost its way when released as a general Hollywood blockbuster, turning off the crowds who perhaps expected action and thrills instead of the leisurely paced, almost "art house" type film that Spielberg finally delivered. I'm not sure what I expected of this movie, having little knowledge about it beforehand, but I was desperately hoping it wouldn't be a new-fangled E.T. again.

At the end of the two hours and twenty minutes I came away with a lot of thoughts and a lot of questions, so Spielberg must have done something right. Of course, Kubrick's beyond-the-grave involvement hangs over the movie like a watchful shadow and some sequences in the film are pure Kubrick. Others are pure, emotional Spielberg (the sentimental ending, for instance) and the pairing of the two directors is one to be seen. It at least makes for a totally unique movie with big aspirations, and one which genuinely questions the nature of the robot/human relationship in a way few (if any) other science fiction films have done so.

The film has tons of themes and layers to it. A full analysis would come to twenty pages or more. Some will be picked up by the individual viewer, others missed until a later screening. The central character of David is utterly complex and his character arc is interesting – a blend of the futuristic and the fairy-tale that is pulled off well. Worried about the casting of a child as the lead, I half-expected this to be a kid's film with kiddie trappings. In some instances, it does feel a little childish (the image of the blue fairy, although representing much much more than just a fairy tale character – more like a miracle or an impossibility) and has that undeveloped Spielbergian touch to it. Ironically, the biggest kiddie trapping – the animated Teddy that follows David through his various adventures – became the most enjoyable part of the film for me. This has got to be the most lovable non-living creation in a film since we saw Wilson in CASTAWAY.

The film is more than watchable – despite lengthy scenes in which little happens – thanks to the technical proficiency and the casting. Technically, the film is superior. Spielberg pulls off some spectacular shots – an underwater Manhatten – and fills the movie with authentic robotic creations. The opening where the woman's face comes off is astounding and Stan Winston and his pals create some of the best-looking CGI that I've ever seen. Watch out for the arena-style thrills of the Flesh Fair, which is pretty disturbing and would garner an X-rating if the participants were human instead of mecha. The super-cool "aliens" which appear in the final act are also highly impressive creations.

Cast-wise, the film is sound. Haley Joel Osment is incredible as the robot kid and I don't believe his performance could be bettered. He is thoroughly realistic as a robot struggling to be human. This is even better than his breakthrough performance in THE SIXTH SENSE. Frances O'Connor is also effective as the flawed mother, David's object of fixation, and her presence adds to the warmth of the film considerably. Other fixtures like Brendan Gleeson and William Hurt fill out smaller roles with adequacy, but its Jude Law who steals his scenes as the robotic Gigolo Joe. Law is fantastic and lives the character he plays. By the end of the film I had cried thanks to some spellbinding scenes of emotion and felt like I'd witnessed a great work. And that's everything I have to say on the matter.
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Not harsh or dark enough
SnoopyStyle26 January 2014
In a future world, there are mechanical robots called mechas. After Monica (Frances O'Connor)'s son Martin is put in cryo-stasis, her husband brings home a super realistic child robot David (Haley Joel Osment) home. She hates it at first but she starts to get used to him until his son is suddenly revive. Martin dismisses David as a toy and plays cruel jokes on him. David is more and more relegated to second class until he is abandoned on the roadside. On the road, he finds fellow robots including Gigolo Joe (Jude Law). He goes on an odyssey to become a real boy inspired by the story of Pinocchio.

I almost feel like this could be a great horror story idea. But Spielberg is doing his child like wonder thing. It loses much of its possible tension. It's as if Spielberg has deliberately soften all the rough edges to make a morality play. On the good side, Spielberg once again shows that he is a master craftsman. This movie is beautifully put together.
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Hitchcoc10 January 2017
First of all, this was done very well in the most technological way. The CGI are outstanding. Hailey Jo Osmet is wonderful as the young robot, having grasped the movements and the actions of artificial intelligence. That's a first positive. But what is really the strength of this film has to do with a plot involving parents who have been devastated by the impermanent loss of their son who is being kept in a suspended state until he can be brought back. The result is a sentient robot that can take on the role of the son. The scientists have produced a "child" that is sentient and can experience emotions like love and loyalty. When the actual son is revived things start to snowball. This is a movie that had limited success. See it if you have a chance.
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Mecha World
Prismark106 July 2016
AI is inspired by British science fiction writer, Brian Aldiss short story 'Supertoys Last All Summer Long.' It was a project initiated by Stanley Kubrick and then taken over by Steven Spielberg who directs as well as write the screenplay. It is a mixture of Spielberg's wide eyed childlike wonder from his ET era with Kubrick's cold gaze of adulthood. It is a modern version of Pinocchio.

The film is set in a future where the ice caps have melted and eradicated the coastline. Robots of increasing sophistication have become part of the fabric of society. Professor Hobby (William Hurt) has created an android with programme to love and be more human like.

Monica and Henry Swinton (Frances O'Connor and Sam Robards) have a terminally ill son and take in David (Haley Joel Osment) almost as a substitute son to love. David as he is programmed is fixated on his mother and projects his love.

When their son Martin (Jake Thomas) miraculously recovers and returns home, the new family of four becomes fractious. Martin is mean to David who cannot interact with other kids. It is not in his programming. An incident means that like a dangerous pet, he could be dangerous in the house. However Monica is not willing to send him back to the corporation where he would be presumably terminated.

Monica cares enough for David to abandon him in the woods with a Teddy Bear who is also an AI robot for companionship and wisdom (his Jiminy Cricket.) From there David befriends other robots such as Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a sex-bot on the run after being framed for murder. They evade resentful humans and journey to find the Blue Fairy whom David believes can turn him into a real boy so his mother can love him.

David is a boy who becomes accepted quickly by becoming part of a family only to find that he is not afforded their protection when he is gauded and provoked by Martin. Once in he wilds with Gigolo Joe he is living in fear in a society where robots have no rights.

Spielberg creates two sound stages for the middle of his film. Flesh Fair a gaudy, sleazy place where robots are destroyed in front of cheering humans but David pleads for his life and swings the crowd his way. Then there is Rouge City, A Vegas type place where the holographic Dr Know points them to the top of Rockefeller Center in the flood hit of Manhattan where he meets his creator, Professor Hobby.

The final act set in the submerged Coney Island which is then frozen over in an oncoming ice age until David is rescued by advanced beings.

I have to confess. I liked the ending. It bought an emotional crescendo to a flawed film. It moved me as it allows David to find he is the recipient of love and can finally grow and become human even if it is all a projection from the beings that rescued him. Without this ending, I would had found this to be a dull, uninvolving and grim experience. Humans treating robots like pets who are soon discarded once they are no longer fulfil a useful function.

I understand that this ending was part of the Kubrick draft and not added by Spielberg. Kubrick finally showed his sentimental side.
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A schizophrenic film that ends up being an OK mixed bag with a terrible ending (spoilers)
bob the moo3 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In the future robots have been developed to become normal and fully fitted with normal society, but the next step is to produce a robotic child – one that can love a parent with a real and intense love. The prototype is David, who is taken in by Henry Swinton in an attempt to win back his wife who is trapped in an emotional limbo of semi-mourning for her own child, Martin, who has been in a coma for many years. Monica eventually warms to David and he becomes part of the family, even when Martin recovers and returns home. When Martin 's influence causes David to behave erratically, Monica decides to abandon him rather than have him destroyed – putting David on a quest to become a real boy and win her love.

At its best this is a thoughtful and interesting look at the morals of artificial intelligence; at its worst it is an indulgent piece of sentiment that would rather spoil the film than have an open ending. The most interesting sections are early on when the real human part of the story is told. In this section we see grief, acceptance, fear and the disposability of these new "people". We also see the desire to be human in David and, although it is a theme we have seen many times in other films, it is one that is still interesting here. So far so good, and I was ready to dismiss the opinions of those that dislike this film, however then the film started a slight slide that would turn into a car crash. The story then becomes less about exploring the emotions of the characters and more about a Wizard of Oz/Pinocchio style journey that is about the new world that this story is taking place in. It is interesting enough and looks great but it never really gets beyond superficial stuff and it never seems set in any sort of reality (something the first section had managed to do). However it still just about works and had a great ending where David sits at the bottom of the Ocean with the quality that makes him closest to humans – hope.

The problem is, the film doesn't end there. It jumps thousands of years into the future, brings in a war between robots and men, the fall of man, futuristic robots and cloning all for the sole reason of producing a horribly sentimental "happy" ending where an open one would have been much better. I'm not going to moan about how Kubrick would have made it much better (he made bad films too you know) but this ending is pure Spielberg and it is about as bad as I've seen his schmaltz get. It is a real shame because, for all its flaws, it had actually been OK up till this final section, even if it could have been darker and more interesting. The cast are more than up to the task if only the material had been better. Osment is great here and it is a real shame that he doesn't have more time to work into his character. Likewise O'Connor is interesting but ultimately just forgotten by the script. Law is OK but only a plot device; meanwhile support is passable but poorly used in the form of Hurt and Robards. Visually the film looks great; plenty of imagination in many forms – be it the hellish red light district or the simple pleasures of Teddy, it is only a shame that the film never gives the brain as much to do as it does the eyes.

Overall this is an OK film – neither as good nor as bad as many people say. It starts out with plenty of interesting ideas but then shelves them for a bit of a Wizard of Oz story, that gradually brings the ideas back in with it. Sadly the film is dragged down a considerable way by a final twenty minutes that are unnecessary, sentimental and almost unwatchable. Despite the very sour taste this leaves, the majority of the film is actually OK but it is hard to watch it and think about what it really could have been if it had met its potential.
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"If you let me, I'll be so real for you."
classicsoncall13 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
If you consider it a strictly sc-fi film , "AI" is fairly passable; it has great cinematography, stunning visuals and a compelling look at the potential future of robotics. Where it goes off the rails is when it comes time to wrap up David's (Haley Joel Osment) quest to find his mother and become a real boy. The business with the future robots, disguised to look like advanced Whitley Strieber aliens, did provide a reasonable way for David to accomplish his mission, but I had a hard time getting past the idea that his mecha body could stand the ravages of salt water exposure over a period of two thousand years. For me, that wasn't consistent with the damage done to his mechanical workings when he chowed down on all that spinach dining with his adoptive 'parents' and brother Martin (Jake Thomas). Same thing when he fell into the swimming pool with Martin, though on a smaller scale. You can't really have it both ways and I find some movies do that more than I would like and expect.

The movie does make you think though about the future of robots and how realistically human they might become, the female mecha introduced by Professor Hobby (William Hurt) early in the story attested to that. That was a neat piece of filming. A future war between robots and humans was given some resonance in the 'Flesh Fair' sequences, and it brought me back to all those 'Magnus, Robot Fighter' comics I read as a kid. And I couldn't help making a comparison between Dr. Know (voiced by Robin Williams) and Professor Marvel in "The Wizard of Oz", you know, the man behind the curtain. What's even more obvious in terms of an homage is the Pinocchio/Blue Fairy portion of the story. All that gave the picture somewhat of a surreal quality that's a hallmark of cool sci-fi.

Overall I thought it was a decent movie, but would have preferred more consistency in theme and presentation. The dynamic between David and his human mother Monica was excellently depicted, but it did offer a singular distraction. The actress Frances O'Connor who portrayed Monica Swinton looked so similar to a young Mary Tyler Moore that I couldn't think of anyone else in the scenes she appeared in.
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more Spielbergian than Kubrickian
lee_eisenberg27 December 2005
"Artificial Intelligence: AI" would have been better had they ended it a few minutes earlier. Focusing on robot David (Haley Joel Osment) seeking to become a real boy, it certainly looks at some interesting things - namely global warming and fear of the "other" - but about the last twenty minutes made it kind of lousy; that's where you can tell that it was no longer Stanley Kubrick's idea and Steven Spielberg took over.

Still, you can see connections to other Kubrick movies, namely during the first few minutes of Gigolo Joe (Jude Law). While dancing Gene Kelly-style, he passes by the Korova bar - all alluding to "A Clockwork Orange". Also, there's the omniscient narrator (although it seems to be Gigolo Joe).

A particularly interesting character is Robin Williams as holographic Dr. Know (there's nothing he doesn't). Other cast members include Frances O'Connor and Sam Robards as David's human parents, William Hurt as David's inventor, Brendan Gleeson as an anti-robot crusader, Chris Rock as another robot, and Meryl Streep as a fairy. Not a bad movie, but it should have been better given what went into it.
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A.I. Artificial Intelligence
jboothmillard1 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This film was due to be made by Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange) just after he finished Eyes Wide Shut, he did start it, but Golden Globe nominated director Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E. T. the Extra- Terrestrial, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan) took over direction when he died. Basically, Professor Hobby - The Visionary (William Hurt) has the idea to create a robot who can love, i.e. Creating a child robot that will love in the way a real child loves its parents. The couple that take the robot child, David (Haley Joel Osment), months later are Monica (Bedazzled's Frances O'Connor) and Henry Swinton (Sam Robards), as a replacement for their real son Martin (Jake Thomas), in a coma. Monica can't cope with trying to love a robot, and when Martin returns home all healthy she just can't take it anymore, and she sumps her in the woods. When David eventually finds civilisation, he finds a community of Mecha robots, and he forms a friendship Gigolo Joe (Golden Globe nominated Jude Law). Remembering the story of Pinocchio, David wants to find the Blue Fairy to make his dreams of being a real child come true. Somehow, this Blue Fairy does appear to be reality, but he cannot be transformed into a real boy to be loved by his "mother" Monica, she instead grants him the wish to have a day with her loving him like her own. Also starring Brendan Gleeson as Lord Johnson-Johnson, Ken Leung as Syatyoo-Sama, Sir Ben Kingsley as Specialist, Robin Williams as Dr. Know, Meryl Streep as Blue Mecha, Chris Rock as Comedian and Jack Angel as Teddy. It is very odd viewing this film, I felt uncomfortable during the mother trying to love a robot child, I got confused with the Blue Fairy thing - even with robots being reality in the story, and I felt a little sickly during the wish granted sequence. I will say it has got some alright performances, and an okay story I suppose, but it is the special effects that are the only good reason to see it, I think it is a little boring, but an average science-fiction drama. It was nominated the Oscars for Best Visual Effects, and Best Music, Original Score for John Williams, it was nominated the BAFTAs for Best Special Visual Effects, and it was nominated the Golden Globes for Best Original Score. Worth watching, at least once!
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Stunning Visuals, Involving Story But Typical Spielberg/Kubrick Bias
ccthemovieman-120 November 2006
This has to be Steven Spielberg's strangest film. Maybe that's because he collaborated with Stanley Kubrick on it, and Kubrick's movies are almost all bizarre. It was another of those films I found fascinating on the first look but increasingly unlikeable on subsequent looks. It went from a "9" on the first viewing, to a "7" to a "5." In fact, I didn't even finish it on the third look.

Nonetheless, it's the typical Spielberg or Kubrick film in a number of areas, meaning great visuals, just stunning at times; a definite anti-Christian bias (that you see more and more in the carnival segment as you watch this multiple times); a very secular humanist outlook on life but a nice sentimental ending with the message that everyone needs to feel loved.

Haley Joel Osment gives one more example of why he is one of the best child actors of any era. His role is memorable and just the looks on his face would soften the hardest heart. The first of the three segments in this film was hard for me to watch in spots as the innocent Osment ("David") was framed for things by his "real brother" and then abandoned by his mother. Those are difficult scenes because the film is involving right off the bat. You really care about this young boy

The rest of the film offers fantastic visuals and an interesting, but a too Liberal- slanted story, for me to watch again. Sorry, but Spielberg and Kubrick - two men who have made some extremely entertaining films - are too bigoted for my tastes, at least in this movie.
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A modern Pinocchio
Tweekums9 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
In the not too distant future global warming has caused the ice caps to melt flooding coastal cities and necessitating strict rules on the number of children people can have. Human looking robots have taken over many tasks and now a robotics engineer has come up with a new idea; to create a robotic child that will love the person it is imprinted on. The prototype, David, is given to a company employee whose wife Monica can't get over the fact that their child is in a coma. They are warned that once imprinting has taken place it can't be undone; if they decide they no longer want David he will have to be scrapped. All goes well until their son wakes from his coma; he sees David as a rival for his mother's love and it isn't long before an accident happens and they can no longer keep David. Unable to have him scrapped Monica leaves him in a remote location. David, remembering the story of Pinocchio that Monica read to him, he decides that he must find the Blue Fairy from that story so she can make him into a real boy and he can go home. He meets up with Gigolo Joe, a robot on the run, and together they try to find Blue Fairy although it won't be easy; on the way they will have to face people who revel in the destruction of robots and David will have to confront the fact that he is not unique.

This is a fine film with a real emotional pull. Young Haley Joel Osment is great as David; he manages to make him not quite human without slipping into uncanny valley. Jude Law is equally good as Gigolo Joe; the robot who knows just how to please a woman. Both characters are sympathetic as are the other robots… the scenes where some are destroyed at the 'Flesh Fair' is both tragic and rather shocking. The special effects are top notch and even now, fifteen years after the film's release, they don't look dated. Given that the story is clearly both inspired by 'Pinocchio' and also directly references it things could get too self-referential but thankfully it works very well. Some people won't like the ending but I found it both effective and emotional. Overall I'd certainly recommend this even though I know it won't be to everybody's taste.
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Fantastic movie
paul_haakonsen26 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"A.I." is one of the better movies I have had the pleasure of seeing.

The story told in the movie is very captivating, and it does raise some questions and issues. And it gives you something to think about, which I personally think is very good in a movie. It means that it has a deeper meaning than just shallow entertainment. The movie raises questions such as our own mortality, how do we deal with advanced robotic technology, and such. And of course, you have the aspect of intolerance to those different from ourselves (discrimination) - I am referring to the 'Flesh Fair' part of the movie.

Haley Joel Osment puts on an amazing performance as David, and he does so with strong commitment and an amazing level of creditability. And you honestly do believe that he is an artificial creation. The performance of Jude Law as Joe was also amazing. He was so well cast for this role, and his appearance was so cool. He really had a very artificial look to him, and it was marvelous. Oh, and it is always nice to see William Hurt in a movie, despite his role was a mere supporting one.

The scenery in the movie was great as well, having a believable future-like appearance to it, and it portrayed the difference between high-end living and the daily-run-of-the-mill lives by common people with less money. The rich environment was very sterile and neat, while the ordinary man was living in neon colored districts, and it was often grimy and rundown. That contrast between the two worked very well.

Oh, and before I forget; TEDDY! That robotic teddy bear was so cool. Despite being only a minor side character, he was the one that stood out the most in my memory after the movie. He was simple awesome.

Now, the only bad part of the movie was the last 30-45 minutes. The movie should have ended when David was trapped underwater, facing the Blue Fairy. I just didn't get the whole aspect of bringing aliens into the fray. At that point the movie became annoying to look at, and it took a turn for the worse, becoming a parody of itself. Had the movie ended when David was sitting trapped underwater staring at the Blue Fairy, the movie would have been 100% amazing. Why Spielberg chose to throw aliens into it is beyond me. But hey, that is what you get with artistic freedom, eh? I would have rated the movie higher, but this last part of the movie makes it a drag and thus pulls down the score. I usually end up stopping the movie at this point. I just can't take it serious.

But all in all, "A.I." is an amazing movie that will stay with you for a long, long time once you have seen it. There is a lot of emotional scenes in the movie, lots of memorable scenes, and I think you will be returning to this movie again at a later time. It just have that 'repeated watch value' to it. If you haven't seen "A.I." yet, you definitely need to buy the movie and sit down and watch it. You will thank yourself for doing so. Trust me.
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Quite good...until they go "off to see the Wizard"
moonspinner5529 September 2002
In the 22nd century, with robots commonplace in society, a couple grieving their ill child receive a replacement: the first robotic boy! Director and co-screenwriter Steven Spielberg works peculiar magic with this story (initially conceptualized by his late friend Stanley Kubrick from the short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long" by Brian Aldiss), setting up the pieces very carefully and then surging forth with dark adventure. The Flesh Fair sequence is masterful, as are some of the shots of Haley Joel Osment (doing fabulous work in the lead). But Spielberg stumbles early on with a birthday party scene which reveals the parents to be stupid and cruel (it's a cringe-worthy moment). Another dire sequence occurs later, when the kid and his traveling companion (a robot stud, who is wanted by the cops in a murky, unnecessary subplot) ask questions of an animated wizard with the voice of Robin Williams! Just when you feel Spielberg has grown up and taken stock of his strengthens, he throws in a corny curveball (perhaps to placate "E.T." fans?). The picture is ultimately unsuccessful in its storytelling--particularly with an epilogue that takes place 2000 years later!--however, much of the acting is fine and the art direction is incredible. Two Oscar nominations including Best Visual Effects, with no wins; the visual effects team were also nominated for a BAFTA. ** from ****
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"A.I." is a pretty good movie, if you accept it for what it is -- a contemporary fairy tale.
TxMike6 March 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Intelligent readers, don't let the few and vocal disgruntled viewers spoil your fun with this film, "Artificial Intelligence." The largest number of votes so far are "10", and in second place are "8". Plus, there are lots of "7"s and "9"s. A bad movie doesn't get votes like that!

Other popular movies are "fairy tales" -- "Shrek", "E.T.", "Bicentennial Man", just to name a few -- and it is in this vein that "A.I." must be watched. It is an unspecified time in the future, global warming has melted polar ice caps and coastal cities all over the world are flooded. Population is strictly controlled and robots, "Mechas", are in widespread use, intelligent and capable but without feeling. Prof. Hobby (William Hurt) asks, "What would happen if a child robot were built and programmed to "imprint" and really love its parents?" One is built, David, and this is his story, his quest to become a real boy, like Pinocchio, so his mother can really love him as her own child.

some SPOILERS follow...

Early in the film one of the scientists asks, "Can a human love them back?" And that is the thesis of David's quest. When her comatose son returns home, mom finds herself distrusting David and fully realizing he is a machine leaves him in the forest rather than having him destroyed as policy dictates. However, David has imprinted on mom, loves her, will not be satisfied until he finds a way to become human. He takes the Pinocchio story at face value and believes there is a Blue Fairy that can change him. So the rest of his existence is looking for that fairy.

The film in large part is subtle commentary on man's inability to foresee the results of true "artificial intelligence." If you can build it (a.i.), then you really have no control on which directions it will take. In this story David makes a number of unpredictable choices which get him "evicted", and through the rest of the movie his developing "intelligence" is not normal, compared to real humans. In that sense, artificial intelligence may be more of a millstone than a milestone.

The part of the movie "Flesh Fair" is there to show that humans have not changed over the course of recorded history. The Romans had the Gladiator games, we have ice hockey and football, and the future humans get their kicks from rounding up and destroying robots for entertainment, and because they fear they will survive selectively over humans. Entertainment and jealousy, the strong overpowering the weaker, a human constant.

After David finally gets to Manhattan in the Amphibicopter, finds the Blue Fairy statue at a submerged Staten Island, gets trapped by a falling ferris wheel, eventually gets frozen, spends the next 2000 years asking over and over, "Please make me a real boy." In this frozen world all humans have long ago died, an alien race finds David, are able to reconstruct a human form from a bit of DNA. Using a lock of hair hidden in the smart teddy bear, mom comes back, but for only one day. This reconstructed mom rejoices in being with David, he believes he is a human, they both nod off at eveningtime.

At about 1 hour 42 minutes on the DVD, Prof. Hobby and David are talking, and Hobby says to David, "The Blue Fairy is part of the great human flaw to wish for things that don't exist, or the greatest single human gift, the ability to chase down our dreams." It was his joy that a robot did those things, validating the success of his personal quest. There are elements of the "Wizard of Oz" when talking to "Dr. Know" (voiced by Robin Williams), elements of "E.T" when the aliens come. The whole film has the feel of a fairly tale, which it is as Spielberg explains during the one short "extra" on disk #1.

The Osment kid does his usual good job here, as does William Hurt as the visionary Prof. Hobby. But the best job is done by Jude Law as Gigolo Joe, the robot "love machine" who helped David track down Dr. Know, and educate him as to some of the ways of the world. Not a perfect movie by any means, still it is a very good one, highly entertaining in spots with clever writing and superb effects and John Williams music. However, it is mainly an adult fairy tale that gets us to think about our own existence. A "must see", if only to witness the Kubrick/Spielberg collaboration.
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Spielberg's (ah, er, Stanley Kubrick's) latest work of art
Quinoa19841 July 2001
A.I. Artificial Intelligence is indeed a very memorable motion picture. It is also, ambitious, visually exceptional, well acted, and also sometimes confusing and weird. It is a plum with some flaws, to say the least.

David (Haley Joel Osment) is the first child robot, created by a group of masterminds (headed by William Hurt) that want to have a robot who will feel affection for a human. And indeed it seems as if the robot does have affection for his new "parents" played by Sam Robards and Frances O'Connor. But after he is abandoned, we follow him on his journey to become real.

That's the little scoop on the movie that I knew before the movie began, but unlike many of the films that have come out recently, I had no clue what to expect from this film. That was the first part of the appeal of this project that originated from the viruoso (albiet late) Stanley Kubrick and went along to Spielberg. And I've got to hand it to the wonderkid of Hollywood that he has done a very splendid job with this movie. The second half of it has some of the most creative and brilliant visual images I have ever seen in a contemporary film. The feeling is perfect and the acting is also very, very good with Osment being great as always, Law bringing fine vivacity to his Joe, Hurt's small yet significant role is heart-rending, and probably the most saddening of the performances by Frances O'Connor as the mother Monica. All of this comes together to make a highly watchable, and often questioning movie that will make many people think after the movie.

However, there are a couple of things keeping this from being one of Spielberg's best and tougher films. For instance, you can tell near the end of the film that Spielberg was a little desperate (why else would he revert back to the same type of creatures he used in Close Encounters, his last writer/director project) plus, he tries once again to go for our hearts instead of our minds, and even though sometimes he is successful in other projects in making us cry and feel sadness for a character, it isn't needed here when David should be thought of but not cried over.

But that is just personal squabbles; that shouldn't stop the average movie-goer to see this film in a season where films this visually breathtaking aren't good to come by (I mean that none of them that come out are as good as this). One of the better films of the year and also contains the best visuals and special effects of the year. Kudos also go to once again to Spielberg, Photographer Janusz Kaminski, editor Michael Kahn and visual effects supervisors Dennis Muren and Scott Farar. A
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You Can Make It If You Cry
wes-connors15 August 2008
After his stunning 1990s success, Steven Spielberg satisfied those salivating to despise him, with "A.I. Artificial Intelligence". The poised knives could be released, at last! So, the initial reactions took an undeserved negative tone, while, still, offering praise to individual efforts too obviously evidenced in the production to ignore.

This is really an excellent, thought-provoking film.

The beginning of the film could have been improved by combining the character "Professor Hobby" into "Henry Swinton". The resulting "Henry Swinton" would, then, more closely resemble "Geppetto" from "Pinocchio". This would, necessarily, make "David" the image of their dead son. Then, the parents' conflict would be the focus of the film's first act. This would have made the relationship between the parents much more dynamic; and, it would throw the mother "Monica" (Frances O'Connor) into incalculable conflict with the robotic "David", resolved in the film's already powerful ending.

Mr. Spielberg marvelously breathes life into Stanley Kubrick's unrealized project (he died before realizing this dream work); and, he directs Haley Joel Osment (as David) to a peak performance level. Mr. Osment, Jude Law (as Gigolo Joe), and "Teddy" (voiced by Jack Angel) are an unforgettable "mecha" (short for "mechanical") trio of humane robots. Janusz Kaminski and the Spielberg crew are magical.

Good night, David.

Pleasant dreams.

********* A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) Steven Spielberg ~ Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, William Hurt
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An Emotionally Accessible Film
sunwarrior1318 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A.I. Artificial Intelligence, also known as A.I., is a science fiction drama film written and directed by Steven Spielberg.It was based on Brian Aldiss's short story "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long". It stars Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Brendan Gleeson, and William Hurt. Set sometime in the future, A.I. tells the story of David, a childlike android uniquely programmed with the ability to love.

David is a robot of the future, when the polar ice caps have melted and submerged many coastal cities, causing worldwide starvation and human dependence upon robotic assistance. The first robot designed to experience love, David is the "son" of Henry, an employee of the company that built the boy, and the grief-stricken Monica. David is meant to replace the couple's hopelessly comatose son, but when their natural child recovers, David is abandoned and sets out to become "a real boy" worthy of his mother's affection.

Along the way, David is mentored by a pleasure-providing robot named Gigolo Joe and a talking "super toy" bear named Teddy. His adventures take him to the Roman Circus-style "Flesh Fair," where robots are destroyed for the amusement of humans; Rouge City, where Gigolo Joe narrowly avoids capture by police; and finally a submerged New York City, where David's creator, Professor Hobby reveals the secrets of the boy's creation.

The movie is surely flawed, to be sure, but beautifully crafted, unimaginably complex, visually dazzling, rich with metaphor and deeply affecting.The film tried to achieve too much by mixing a confined domestic drama, a considerable morality tale, a fleeting futuristic noir, a persecution parable and an on-the-nose fairy tale adventure. But nevertheless,it is a technically dazzling yet emotionally accessible to the inner child in everyone from 9 to 90.
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Bladerunner meets Monkeybone
tedg30 June 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

Biblical scholars spend a lot of time looking at the text to tease out who inserted what part in order to change the meaning of the rest and thus promote their own point of view. One can do that here as well.

Spielberg's style is to completely design everything ahead of time in storyboards. The film is designed as a comic. Then in production, he's blam blam blam. Kubric's notion of filmmaking is to just start and muddle about until the film emerges. Spielberg notion is to deal with comfortable realities (yes, even -- especially -- in Schindler), to abstract emotions and motivations to the simplest, and exaggerate their effects. The camera is invisible in his films. Kubric's camera is always acknowledged. His films are self-consciously films and he likes to posit uncomfortable emotional physics. It is not complex so much as sophisticated. Spielberg is inherently optimistic, Kubric is the opposite.

These two notions cannot mix, so we have bits of one, then another. The problem is that Kubric is such a powerful cinematic thinker that even dead he overpowers Spielberg, even though poor Stephen is doing all the work. The editing is poor here, but shortening the film would make the jarring shifts in world-views more apparent.

Incidentally, in 200 years, we have evolved AI, but our computers and screens are the same as now? And doorknobs and roads and food and beds and clothes (even including those neck labels)? Even pills are the same? At the demo derby there aren't more clever ways of destruction (probably the single most innovative sector of industry)?

Osment is interesting in playing a machine that plays a child. But Law uses a completely different, radically different acting approach to portraying a robot. David's basic mechanism is supposed to be the same, but these guys are in different movies. Francis O'Conner did the best acting; she did a superb job in "Mansfield Park" too. Someone to watch.

I think the boss must have known he was in trouble. At about the third false ending, the kid is trapped by a falling ferris wheel oddly reminiscent of his biggest (until now) failure, 1941. This isn't bold filmmaking, it is incompetent filmmaking because Spielberg tried to do something that wasn't simple and wasn't up to it. "Hook" was a competent execution of an odd view, just that the odd view didn't connect with viewers. It is a better film than this one which never finds its world.

I've been in AI for 30 years now. The term is obsolete now as the various factions coalesce around different theories and goals. In fact, the notion behind this film is from the 70s, in scientific terms placing this at the Jules Verne level. The notion of a single scientist working essentially alone always was a film conceit, and seems to here be reference to Bladerunner which itself referenced Frankenstein. That also puts the film in a quaint distant past.

A strong theory now has it that emotions may be the among the FIRST basic capabilities required to adaptively learn and support abstract reasoning, and that the human model of reasoning is clearly not a superior option.
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Heart, Brains and Wires.
hitchcockthelegend13 July 2008
David is a robot boy programmed to experience human emotions, after a series of unfortunate home life events he embarks on the ultimate voyage of discovery.

Spielberg and Kubrick! Hmm ,well on first glance they appear to be odd bedfellows, but strip away the formers' high concept blockbusters and you can see traits that bring the two giants together. Debate will rage forever about if Spielberg's finished product is in line with what Kubrick had envisaged before sadly passing away to witness what he had asked Spielberg to mould. You can find hundreds of comments and philosophical arguments about the merits of Artificial Intelligence: AI, this site alone has been party to aggressive discussion about its intelligent worth, with the ending alone particularly causing consternation to many. So with that in mind I don't wish to over do my brainiac leanings on this bleak and cold masterpiece, I just wish to jot down my emotional thoughts about how this film makes me feel.

I love this film so much, I really do, which considering it leaves me feeling quite desolate, makes it even more of a interesting statement. What Spielberg has done here is take Kubrick's cold eloquent style and fused it with a sort of edgy Pinocchio meets 2001's meaning, this is in short the polar opposite to his own E.T fable. Considering that this story is played out thru a robot child's point of view, the subject matter is shatteringly adult, it resonates with grim violence as it poses many unanswerable questions. What does it mean to be real? Can we replicate ourselves into a synthetic being? And just how close can that being be to being perfect? Love and it's power, where is the cut off point where we can say they are only human traits? You could go quite mad thinking too hard about it, and this is one of Spielbeg's masterstrokes with the picture, he is not here to spoon feed us {those thinking the ending is syrup are seriously misunderstanding it}, he outlays his grim tale and asks us if we dare to ponder these prevalent questions.

Hayley Joel Osment is David and it's a hauntingly brilliant show from the youngster, intensely creepy and borderline freaky. David demands empathy as his loving family union comes crashing down around his newly emotive life, and it's here when the film takes a tonal shift that Osment excels. This then brings the excellent Jude Law, as mecha sex robot Gigolo Joe, into David's world, and here the film on the surface goes jaunty, but it's merely a brief diversion from the film's core bleakness and is in fact adding to the head scratching nature of the beast. The visuals are wonderful, from the colour explosion that is Rouge City, to the underwater sequences in the final third, Spielberg not only dazzles with his tools, but also shows that he can fuse CGI with a serious storyline and let them benefit each other. Must give a nod of approval to John Williams' score, nominated for an Oscar but not winning, it is however memorable and intensely touching.

Artificial Intelligence is not for everyone, I can see quite easily why it is so hotly debated time and time again, but the work on the film is brilliant, almost as brilliant as the dark grim nature of the picture's heart. I firmly believe that in time this film will be revered as a classic, while I'm also convinced that they will dissect it in film studies classes long after I have left this mortal coil. I just know that it's poetically beautiful and that come the end credits I have a multitude of questions in my head and a multitude of tears in my eyes, it's an incredible movie experience. 10/10
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Don't see it
preppy-326 June 2001
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!! Just what the world was waiting for--a combination Spielberg/Kubrick movie--what a disaster! A couple get a robot boy David (Haley Joel Osment--very good) to replace their "dead" son. They grow to love him and vice versa. Then (with no explanation) their "dead" son is alive and living. They get rid of David and he's on a quest (with a walking, talking teddy bear) to find out how to be a real boy. He's helped by a way over the top Jude Law playing Gigolo Joe.

The film is too long (2 1/2 hours), boring and confusing mishmash of previous Kubrick and Spielberg movies--that's a real problem, it prevents this film from having an identity of its own. There's the robot boy (Kubrick), the loving family (Spielberg), the walking talking teddy bear (VERY Spielberg), a city called Rouge full of sex and womens bodies (think a PG-13 version of "Clockwork Orange"), a very eerie NYC under water (Kubrick) and a snoozy half-hour ending with aliens (direct descendents from Spielberg's "Close Encounters") and endless, deadening moralizing about him being a little boy (Kubrick again). The movie could have lost 20-30 minutes easy--way too slow. The tone of the film is very cold and clinical like "2001: A Space Odessey" (Kubrick). I didn't give a damn about any of these people or their problems. A few things kept me in my seat: the incredible special effects; Osment's quiet restrained performance (this kid is a wonder); Law going over the top constantly (and enjoying it) as Gigolo Joe and (I hate to admit this) the walking talking teddy bear. Just completely adorable!

Still, I can not recommend it. Too slow, too cold and a boring, absolutely stupid ending. And what was William Hurt doing here? A big disappointment. Not a horrible film, but considering the talent involved a real disappointment. Avoid.
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Spielberg's Most Underrated and Under Appreciated
LeonLouisRicci1 June 2015
This Movie is as Underrated as E.T. (1982) is Overrated.

Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick, Two of the most Admired Directors, combined Visions and worked Together until Kubrick's Death. Spielberg Took Over the Project but did Not Cheat on Kubrick's more Cynical and Pessimistic Approach.

The Result is this Great Film that is an Emotionally Exhausting, Visually Exciting Fairy-Tale. It is Disturbing and Delightful. Basically it is "Pinocchio", Restyled and Revisioned in a Sci-Fi-Horror-Cautionary-Allegory for Modern Times.

Not for Everyone, it may be too Unsettling at times for very Young Viewers. It is Heartwarming and Heart-Wrenching and Deeply Depressing. The Futuristic Visual Template is Amazing.

Only the most Hardened of Hearts could be Unmoved by its Sentimentality seen through the Eyes of a Robot Child. The Parallels and Direct Links to Real Children are Painful to Watch as the Artificial Boy must go through Parental Rejection and some of Real-Life's Horrifying Realities.

A Good Cast all Deliver Searing Performances in Difficult Roles. Overall the Movie is Not a very Pleasing Entertainment for those Wishing for the Usual Spielberg Scrubbed Suburbanism.

Although the Movie does have an Abundance of Heart. The Viewer will find His/Her Heart Warmed and then Frozen, Filled with Love then Broken and Drained, only to have it Filled Again.

For some it may be just Too Much of an Emotional Roller-Coaster Ride, but for others Willing to be Shaken and Stirred, Caressed and Cuddled, Shocked and Stunned, all at the Same Time, this is Just the Thing.

An Under Appreciated Masterpiece of Manipulation, with No Pull Back along the Road Trip Search for Enlightenment.

The A.I. Child, Prays and Searches for, the "Blue Fairy" His Whole "Life". Organic Types Frequently do the Same Thing. Orga = Mecha = Orga
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grantss15 August 2014
I know I am supposed to like this movie - it is directed by Steven Spielberg, based on concept of Stanley Kubrick's, and has all these themes of what makes us human (a la Bladerunner), but I simply found this boring. The plot was unfocused and too schmaltzy. Worse than that, it goes for 2 1/2 hours!

Special effects and cinematography are brilliant, as you would expect from Steven Spielberg, but that is it. Acting is overly syrupy. After admiring Haley Joel Osment's work in the The Sixth Sense (one of my favourite movies), he simply irritated me here.

Not worth the time.
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Artsy and Bizarre
view_and_review13 September 2015
I recently watched a couple of really good A.I. movies and wanted to add to that list by watching "A.I." I'd seen part of it a decade ago and wanted to watch it again to compare. Steven Spielberg screenplay, Spielberg directed, Spielberg produced... Should be great right? As we used to say as mischievous kids, "psyche!"

Sometime in the near future many of Earth's largest cities are under water due to the effects of climate change. Hundreds of millions in poorer nations die of starvation. With only wealthier people remaining and birth control laws in effect, robots become the go to resource for labor. Although the robots are intelligent and humanistic they don't have the breadth of emotions to make them truly like humans. That is until the creation of David (Haley Joel Osment).

With a run time of nearly two and a half hours I felt nearly every minute of it drag by. David was the central character and his plight the central theme, but the drama of this lifelike boy was too rehearsed and pretentious. It was as though Ang Lee directed it. I could sense that Spielberg was trying make the viewers empathize with David much like viewers may have empathized with the robots of Blade Runner--and even more so here because the robot in play is merely a boy. For the most part Spielberg was successful but maybe not for the reasons he wanted. In other words, any emotions or compassion or empathy for David may have simply been because the movie was about him, much like "Red Balloon" or a movie about any other inanimate thing that's given human characteristics. Do you feel that strongly about robots, their survival and their "dreams" or have you grown a relationship with the one on screen because you're given its story?

From the inflated budget of this financial flop was John Williams. Although Williams is a masterful and accomplished composer, his omnipresent musical score really grated on me. It was seemingly unending and belied what was going on on-screen. Many of the moments weren't portentous enough to warrant the somber mood given by the music.

I don't want to be overly critical because the CGI was good as well as Osment's acting. As I mentioned before, it was impossible not to identify with the boy bot. And the story itself was a very credible one that could have worked if done better. But ultimately the artsy bizarre course of the movie made it distasteful.
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A Spielberg Movie That Earns Its Tears
evanston_dad27 July 2010
Steven Spielberg does sci-fi in the style of Stanley Kubrick, and the result is an intensely original and fascinating movie that seamlessly blends the best attributes of both.

Spielberg's penchant for maudlin sentimentality is kept in check by Kubrick's clinical distance, while Kubrick's lack of humanity is tempered by Spielberg's warmth. The final product, about a little boy (albeit a robotic one) searching for a parent figure in a world full of things and people who want to hurt him, is mesmerizing. The final 20 minutes or so made my heart literally ache, but in a way that for once didn't make me feel cheaply manipulated.

Haley Joel Osment gives an astonishing performance as the little boy, and Jude Law, as a robot gigolo, and Frances O'Connor, as Osment's human "mother," do terrific work in supporting roles.

Grade: A
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What a pity about the end
neil-47612 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
AI is a film with much to appreciate. The story is good, the performances are excellent (with Osment being startlingly good), and Spielberg, who rarely disappoints on the visual side of his movies, does not do so here - it looks fabulous and the effects are flawless. And, in David's abandonment, it contains one of the most emotionally horrifying scenes I have ever seen in a movie.

If AI had run 10 minutes shorter then I would have loved it unreservedly. Had David been left, trapped underwater, looking up at the Blue Fairy and asking her to grant his request to turn him into a real boy, Pinocchio-style, then that ending would have been satisfying and right - uncomfortable, horrifying even, but right.

But instead there is this coda tacked on whereby David is thawed out from frozen underwater New York by benevolent aliens and given a happy ending. It is corny, it never convinces and, to be frank, it goes some way towards dissipating the goodwill built up by the rest of the film.

Cut it off, throw it away, and slap "The End" on the fade before the coda, Mr S, and then you will have something bordering on a masterpiece instead of something which leaves you with the sugary taste of schmaltz in your mouth.
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