‘Ex Machina FAQ’ – What You Should Know Before Seeing Alex Garland’s Sci-Fi Thriller

If you haven’t had your fill of cinematic sci-fi, this one’s for you. Alex Garland’s British science-fiction thriller Ex Machina is coming stateside in just a few days, so we’ve put together a comprehensive cheat-sheet for folks who may not have seen or heard anything about it yet. 

What’s Ex Machina about?

ex machina

Ex Machina‘s plot revolves around a young computer programmer named Caleb, who is fortunate enough to win a week with reclusive genius and tech CEO Nathan, who lives in a tucked away house hidden in the mountains.

Nathan requests that Caleb perform a “Turing Test” on a humanoid AI named Ava, who is an android.

In a very sci-fi kind of twist, Caleb forms an attachment to Ava, but then learns that her failing the test will result in an “update”, which would wipe her memory, so he formulates a plan to help her escape.

Who’s in the cast?


The principle cast is as follows:

  • Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb, the young computer programmer.
  • Alicia Vikander as Ava, the android to whom Caleb forms an unlikely attachment.
  • Oscar Isaac as Nathan, the reclusive genius who resides in the mountains and Caleb’s “prize”.
  • Sonoya Mizuno as Kyoko
  • Symara A. Templeman as Jasmine
  • Elina Alminas as Amber

How was it received by critics?


Ex Machina is an interesting case because it actually came out way back in January in the U.K. and is only just now making its way over to us here in the States.

The film has been received well by critics, scoring an 8/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 73 out of 100 on Metacritic.

In a multipage review, New Scientist magazine had additional praise for Ex Machina:

 “It is a rare thing to see a movie about science that takes no prisoners intellectually.. [it] is a stylish, spare and cerebral psycho-techno thriller, which gives a much needed shot in the arm for smart science fiction.”

When does it come out in the U.S?

Ex Machina screened on March 14 at SXSW and is scheduled for a theatrical release here in the States on April 10.

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