A lot of this movie is actually slow-paced. As I've said in my most recent review of True Story, having a slow-paced movie can go two ways. With True Story, there are parts of the movie that are slow that make the movie boring and thus take away from the quality of the movie. Ex Machina is a great example of a movie on the other side of that spectrum. There's a lot of movies out there that focus on special effects to make their movie great. With the summer season about to get underway, we're about to see a whole lot of these movies and I'm proud to admit that I love these types of big blockbusters. This is not the focus of Ex Machina. While the special effects are actually quite brilliant, the movie leans a lot more on ideas and theme to make the movie great. The power of the movie comes in these conversations between Domnhall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and the robot Ava as well as the consequences that follow the decisions made by each of these three. There are a lot of themes that I'm not even going to talk about because I want it to be a surprise for you, but I will say that these themes are deep. They are thought-provoking. This isn't the type of movie that is simply an entertaining flick, it's the type of movie that sticks with you long after seeing it because of the themes that are presented.
This is also a movie that is very meticulously crafted in terms of all the technical aspects and the production design. I'm not going to give you examples because, as I stated, I want to leave the themes a surprise. But once you think of all the major themes that are happening, you can sit there and analyze in depth each scene, each set, each outfit, each room, each prop and notice how all of these details, whether big or small, add something to the themes of the movie, To add to that, you have all of the cinematography adding to the themes of the movie. You can specifically pay attention to the lighting in every scene, the camera angles, the different shots, etc. All of it makes for an absolutely beautiful and stunning movie. But I'm not even done. The score in this is fantastic. A lot of the music is very subtle as the scenes themselves are also subtle, but when the movie gets to the really intense scenes, especially towards the end of the movie, the score just adds so much intensity and power to an already powerful film.
It's only April. I'm not going to try to predict how high this will be on my list of favorite movies of the year come December. First off, most of the highly anticipated movies from this year are yet to come. Second, there's always movies that show up out of nowhere towards the end of the year that blow my mind away. Last year at this time there were a couple of movies that I said were guaranteed to be on my end of year list and embarassingly enough, I left them off. What I will say, though, is that if there is a movie this year that is going to top Ex Machina, I'm super excited to see that movie because it will require a near perfect movie to top it. Right now I'm going to give Ex Machina a 9.5/10, but I'm going to put a figurative asterisk on that because this is the type of movie that will probably get better after time just by thinking about more and giving it additional viewings, but as of now it's been less than 24 hours. Just know that my mind was blown at the end of this movie. I understand that it won't be for everyone because this focuses more on theme and dialogue than fancy effects, but my reaction at the end of this movie was a similar to the reaction I had when I saw Inception for the first time. I'm not saying it's as good as Inception. I'm just saying I had that type of reaction at the end.