The Machine – film review

Toby Stevens creates robots in this sometimes trite British sci-fi thriller

Caity Lotz as Ava

There are tritenesses, but particles of promise too, in Caradog James’s The Machine, a low-fi sci-fi thriller from Britain. Screen futureworlds can be grimly predictable. Whenever a robot (Caity Lotz) is created by a well-meaning scientist (Toby Stephens), the military (Denis Lawson) is always nearby. It wants to make a grab for the robot for its own evil ends. The robot can only be saved – in this instance at least – by frequent if incongruous homages to The Red Shoes and a voice modelled, inexplicably but sweetly, on the breathy baby talk of Marilyn Monroe.

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