Ex Machina (2015, Alex Garland)

Domhnall Gleeson (time travel kid in About Time) is invited to social-media mogul Llewyn Davis’s mountain tech-mansion to evaluate android Ava (Alicia Vikander of The Danish Girl and Testament of Youth). But who is evaluating whom? Who’s really calling the shots here? And who… ah nevermind, after much slow-paced intrigue, she kills Llewyn, locks Domhnall in the house and escapes.

I had such hope from the opening scene, most efficient setup/backstory ever, then pacing goes to hell in the saggy middle, consisting mostly of halting, whispered conversations in unadorned rooms. Nice throwaway bit on global surveillance, as Llewyn casually spies on the entire human race to get data for his AI. Suffers in comparison to Her, but Vikander and her Ava-body effects make the movie worth watching.

Also when Llewyn dances with his robo-assistant:


[Gleeson] makes a perfect fit for what seems to be Garland’s favorite role: the Nice Guy whose self-effacing charisma hides a deeply selfish, narcissistic core. But [Llewyn] is Ex Machina’s most important player, tasked with most reliably drawing and repelling Caleb and the audience, and giving the story its spine. He’s the one responsible for selling the film’s queasiest undercurrent: a feeling that if this is what humanity looks like, we’re definitely better off with artificial, alien, inhuman intelligences in charge.