This Ex Machina Trailer Asks What Happens If It Fails Your Test

By Brent McKnight | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

One of the movies we’re most excited to see over the next few months is Alex Garland’s Ex Machina. The noted screenwriter of films like Dredd, 28 Days Later, and Sunshine, among others, makes his directorial debut with this artificial intelligence thriller. We’ve been anticipating this one since day one, but this tense new trailer and clip make us practically foam at the mouth. Check them out for yourself.

If you’ve been paying attention, there’s not much new information here, but there is some fresh footage, and this trailer drives home the tension and the ominous feel, and gives you a good idea of the set up. It’s more than enough to whet your appetite, posing the big questions the film is going to deal with.

Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at a massive internet company, wins the chance to hang out with the reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Gleeson’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens costar Oscar Isaac), at his remote mountain estate. When he arrives, Caleb learns he is to be the human component in a Turing Test designed to examine the capabilities and consciousness of Nathan’s latest creation, a stunning AI robot named Ava (Alicia Vikandar).

There is, of course, much more than that going on, as you can see in this trailer. There are ideas and themes of what it really means to be alive, mankind playing god, who is really being tested, and more, and it doesn’t appear that there are going to be any easy answers. For his first time out, Garland looks to have created a tense, escalating pot boiler, as well as crafting a visually unique film that makes excellent use of its surrounding and set up.

In this clip from IGN, you get to watch drunk Oscar Isaac boogie down with what I’m pretty sure is a robot. As strange and funny as this moment is, you can never quite escape the omnipresent tension that undercuts everything. There’s way more going in play than initially meets the eye. Sure, Nathan is going to tear up the dance floor, but why was he tearing up pictures of Ava? Does that mean she failed his test? Did Caleb?

Ex Machina opened last month in the U.K., where it’s getting fantastic reviews, and a select few will get to see the North American premiere at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas on March 14. Most of us, however, will have to wait until A24 releases the film properly on April 10 to find out the answers to these questions.