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The Machine

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
The Machine

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Good British sci-fis don’t come along very often, so this stylish slice of a dystopian near-future should be welcomed by fans of the genre. Toby Stephens is Vincent, a morally conflicted computer expert working on a robot weapon for his army boss (Denis Lawson), who wants one up on China in the arms race. Brightening up Vincent’s lab in a gloomy military bunker is clever new recruit Ava (Caity Lotz in ‘Mad Men’), who becomes the blueprint for a new artificial intelligence.

Cue The Machine (also Lotz), a sleek, strong, sexy robot who struggles to come to terms with her humanity (or lack of it). It’s an engaging story that owes a clear debt to the likes of ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Metropolis’, while an electro soundtrack adds to the retro sci-fi air. The characters could use more depth – Vincent’s backstory is told too swiftly, and his bonding with Ava is brief. But it’s still a smart, thought-provoking little thriller with strong central performances, marking second-time director Caradog W James (‘Little White Lies’) as one to watch.

Written by Anna Smith

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 21 March 2014
  • Duration:89 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Caradog W James
  • Screenwriter:Caradog W James
  • Cast:
    • Caity Lotz
    • Toby Stephens
    • Sam Hazeldine
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