Those annoying pop up ads could be the basis for this movie.
Oscar Isaac (Drive, Inside Llewyn Davis) as Nathan has this creepy, contemplative, calculating vibe. Which is surprisingly not an insult - he turns in another truly solid performance as the "mad scientist" who drinks himself to sleep every night. Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Unbroken) as Caleb is perfect as the sheep being led to the slaughter - I mean as the winner of a company contest. Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair) as Ava is hauntingly beautiful. She kept pushing the boundaries of what is real - for the audience and for Caleb. She's flirtation, she's emotion, she's sex.
The small cast of 3 (4?) are mesmerizing on screen and Caleb and Ava have an electric chemistry on-screen. Wait what?
For Caleb, Ava is everything that he wants in a woman - and there's a reason for that. It's because she is built to his liking - based on years of his personal information, search terms and even adult video history compiled into one female AI specimen. From your personal (read: public) life to your thought process when surfing the web and search queries, there is so much information about everyone available online that this idea hits close to home for our "hero" Caleb and us.
There are so many allegories and warnings about technology going too far and the paradox of human intellect creating something new, something better - the final frontier, and this is no different. Humans wanting to create their own story, turns into humans creating their own end. In the film's Google, Blue Book has 94% of all internet searches go through it. Think about all that info that is being stored and filed, saved and sorted! Really good sci-fi is something that can evoke emotion and tell a tall tale, while keeping the audience/reader/viewer enthralled and engaged because it's so believable that it might just happen. Every new technological discovery brings us one step closer to this movie (and other sci-fi scenarios) being a reality. That's the key to a great sci-fi film, making us believe that this world is just a few small steps away from being all too real.
This is an all around fun, interesting, and exciting film that takes some unexpected turns and keeps you thinking throughout. For those wondering if they should spend $8 and go see it, I highly recommend it.
A few fun notes that I also wanted to mention:
The contrast of a gorgeous landscape sets up the mechanical interior of the building (apartment? office?) that most of the movie takes place in.
I rarely touch on or even really notice the score of a film, but it was rising and falling exactly when it needed to and was clearly, hauntingly absent and silent when it wasn't needed.
Finally, there's just enough nudity to make the old folks in the theater squirm. Someone in the audience audibly said "That's gross!" when the idea of Caleb and Ava having sex came up.