Before we get started: Ex Machina is a great, haunting film but one that pivots on a number of twists. It’s going to be impossible to talk about this story without mentioning those twists, so consider this your official spoiler warning.
Alex Garland’s Ex Machina is a gorgeous, subtle and powerful movie about what it means to be human, the nature of intelligence and the hubristic desire for man to transcend his limitations and to become a god.
It’s also an interesting example of the conflict between two different, yet equally toxic forms of masculinity. Oscar Isaac’s Nathan and Domnhall Gleeson’s Caleb both represent opposing forms of manhood – a yin and yang of manhood that orbit around around Alicia Vikander’s Ava. In both cases, their idea of manhood forms the lens through which they see the world and, ironically enough, leaves both of them blinded to the truth. And that blindness ends up dooming them all.