The Machine

The Machine

Caradog James (2013)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This sleek and stylish thriller deals with artificial intelligence, but unlike its contemporary Her, which looked at AI from a social and romantic point-of-view, this puts it in a military context. Toby Stephens and Caity Lotz play computer boffins working for the Ministry of Defence, the former wanting to aid the disabled via cranial implants linked to hi-tech prosthetics, while the latter trying to create a machine that can make decisions for itself. Predictably, their ideals are in conflict with their shady MoD bosses, who simply want to create a robotic super-soldier. Writer/director Caradog James touches on some intriguing questions, such as what being alive actually means, and whether AI is the next step in human evolution - or its last. However, the film's content never quite matches its tremendous style (with visuals that belie a modest budget), and from an A-movie start it descends into a B-movie finish. Still, James does succeed in breathing new life into the old Frankenstein story.


A scientist working on a project to create robotic soldiers for the military creates an artificially intelligent android, but his employers fear its independence and order him to destroy it. However, the machine has developed its own objectives and will fight to achieve them. Sci-fi thriller, starring Caity Lotz, Toby Stephens and Denis Lawson.

Cast & Crew

Vincent McCarthy Toby Stephens
Ava / The Machine Caity Lotz
Thomson Denis Lawson
James Sam Hazeldine
Suri Pooneh Hajimohammadi
Paul Dawson John Paul Macleod
Paul Dawson's mother Helen Griffin
Lucy Siwan Morris
Mary Jade Croot
Tim Jonathan Christian Byrne
Dr Giwa-Amu Sule Rimi
Director Caradog James
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Red & Black FilmsReleased on: 21 Mar 2014