The Machine – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Thriller
Director: Caradog W. James
Distributor: Splendid Film

The Machine – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Great acting performance from leading roles
Bad: Lacks a bit of depth
User Score
(3 votes)
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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Machines are all around us, be it at home or at work. There is no denying that progress cannot be stopped, even if sometimes progress means replacing human beings with machines or even create machines that harm one and other. The Machine gives us a glimpse of what might be in store, if we take it one step too far.


War is not far off and robotic programs seem to be a priority all over the world. The Chinese are starting to act hostile against other countries and this is why there is a great pressure to be the first one that successfully creates the perfect soldier.

The story brings us to Vincent, a man that occupies himself with robotic technology, implants and what not. Vincent, a man in service of the army, is tasked with designing prosthesis for wounded soldiers to make them fully capable of combat once again. To support most of these prosthesis, special implants are needed to control them, or even repair brain damage for those that suffered from serious head trauma during their service.

Of course, this kind of technology needs time to be perfected and thus it has its amount of bugs and glitches. Those with implants seem to lose their ability to speak after a while and some seem to be more of a zombie than fully alive once again. Whilst all of this may seem like Vincent is just another devil’s advocate, he is actually developing these implants to cure his daughter, who happens to be suffering from ‘Rett’s syndrome’, which cause serious brain damage.

Vincent is still looking for the perfect artificial intelligence to be able to fix his daughter’s brain, an intelligence that is able to learn or ‘repair’ broken brain tissue. During his search, the military allows him to check out numerous civilian projects, in order to find the perfect ‘brain’ for the military their future android soldiers (Of course Vincent has other plans for the brain as well). During this search Vincent encounters Ava, a young scientist that has created her own artificial intelligence that seems to be learning on its own. Ava gets offered a job, to develop her project even further, with military funding. Even though all of this looks like a great chance at first, the military soon finds out that Ava is too nosy when it comes to their plans and quickly dispose of her, leaving Vincent in charge of creating the perfect android soldier. Vincent still unaware that the military wants to achieve their goals, no matter the cost.


Soon after an android is created, with the looks of the deceased Ava, but it seems she does not meet the expectations of the army, when it comes to her own unique thinking patterns. It seems the ‘machine’ is able to make up its own mind and thus the military feels the need to start ‘educating’ her as they see fit. In the meanwhile Vincents daughter condition seems to be worsening and this is pretty much where the story lifts off.

The overall story value of the movie is fairly great. This is not only due to the fact that we are treated to a decent storyline but also the fact that this is something that could actually happen in the near future. Projects like these, especially for prosthesis are already gaining progress each day, which makes this movie that extra tad more realistic. Even with the slow flow of the movie, the story never gets dull. You’ll sometimes want a tad more information or a few extra details, which will become a feeling that sometimes get in the way. If the movie was a little bit longer, it could have been a tad more fun, or have a few more twists.

Acting performances are top notch, for this fairly unknown movie especially the roles of Vincent (Toby Stephens), Ava (Caity Lotz – also the Machine) and the evil Thomson (Denis Lawson) were of outstanding quality. The supporting roles were pretty much just that, but they well succeeded in their task to give the movie that extra edge.

Performing an android that is just discovering the world is also not an easy task, yet Caity Lotz pulls this off quite successfully. You’ll start feeling for the ‘machine’ that seems to have a doomed life, in the depths of the military complex. Perhaps violence is truly the only way out of this horrible situation.


Action scenes were also quite well in the movie, whilst some took away the realistic mood the movie had going. Also it’s fair to say, that the trailer or even the description will give you the impression the movie is filled with horror elements and action scenes. This might be disappointing for some, but this is not the case. Whilst the ending has a decent amount of action scenes, there are no real horror aspects available in the movie, except for the ghoulish soldiers and perhaps the dark and grim atmosphere in the military complex. Nonetheless, the movie has a great atmosphere that will easily draw you in.


The Machine is a fairly unknown title and it’s fair to say that this dark and grim movie deserves a decent place in the spotlights. Whilst some details could still be improved, the atmosphere will get a hold on you until the end credits start to roll. Prepare yourself for a glimpse of what could be the future of the human race.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Machine - Movie Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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