6.3/10
217,406
565 user 376 critic

Transcendence (2014)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | 18 April 2014 (USA)
Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
A scientist's drive for artificial intelligence takes on dangerous implications when his own consciousness is uploaded into one such program.

Director:

Wally Pfister

Writer:

Jack Paglen
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Popularity
3,157 ( 46)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Will Caster
Rebecca Hall ... Evelyn Caster
Paul Bettany ... Max Waters
Cillian Murphy ... Agent Buchanan
Kate Mara ... Bree
Cole Hauser ... Colonel Stevens
Morgan Freeman ... Joseph Tagger
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Martin
Cory Hardrict ... Joel Edmund
Falk Hentschel ... Bob
Josh Stewart ... Paul
Luce Rains ... Roger
Fernando Chien ... Heng
Steven Liu Steven Liu ... Chiu
Xander Berkeley ... Dr. Thomas Casey
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Storyline

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed-to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can...but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him. Written by Warner Bros.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What if a new intelligence was born? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Noomi Rapace was an early choice for the role of Evelyn. The final choices were Emily Blunt, Rooney Mara (sister of Kate Mara who plays Bree) and Rebecca Hall. Both Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara have played Lisbeth Salander in the Stieg Larsson movies. See more »

Goofs

The doctor at the hospital says that the bullet which hit Will contained "an isotope called Polonium". Actually, Polonium is a chemical element, while an isotope is an atom with the same number of protons of a chemical element, but a different number of neutrons. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Max Waters: They say there's power in Boston. Some phone service in Denver. But things are far from what they were. Maybe it was all invevitable. An unavoidable collision between mankind and technology. The Internet was meant to make the world a smaller place. But it actually feels smaller without it. I knew Will and Evelyn Caster better than anyone. I knew their brillance. Their dedication to what they believed in. And to what they loved.
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movies that Ripped Off Anime (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Genesis
Written by Jorma Kaukonen
Performed by Jorma Kaukonen
Courtesy of RCA Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Human emotion can contain illogical conflict, can love someone, yet hate the things that they've done. Machine can't reconcile that.
1 August 2015 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Highly regarded Cinematographer Wally Pfister makes his directing debut with a fascinating story by Jack Paglen and a splendid cast. What this film did not register with the public is unsure – perhaps because it is less an action film (though there is plenty of that) than a thought provoking one.

A quote by the main character summarizes this challenging and intelligent film well: 'For 130,000 years, our capacity to reason has remained unchanged. The combined intellect of the neuroscientists, mathematicians and...hackers... in this auditorium pales in comparison to the most basic A.I. Once online, a sentient machine will quickly overcome the limits of biology. And in a short time, its analytic power will become greater than the collective intelligence of every person born in the history of the world. So imagine such an entity with a full range of human emotion. Even self-awareness. Some scientists refer to this as "the Singularity." I call it "Transcendence."

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed-to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can...but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.

The cast is top notch and in addition to the three mentioned above, includes Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Clifton Collins, Jr., Cole Houser, Chris Garten and many others. But one star of the film that is difficult to honor adequately is the ingenious special effects genius who makes this very strange film work wonderfully. Grady Harp, August 15


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | China | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Transcendence See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,886,386, 20 April 2014

Gross USA:

$23,022,309

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$103,039,258
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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