The Machine (2013)

logoDirector: Caradog W James

Writer: Caradog W James (Screenplay)

Starring: Caity Lotz, Toby Stephens, Sam Hazeldine, Denis Lawson, lee Nicholas Harris, Pooned Hajimohammadi, Siwan Morris


Plot: With an impoverished world plunged into a Cold War with a new enemy, British’s Ministry of Defence is on the brink of developing a game-changing weapon. Lead scientist Vincent McCarthy provides the answer with his creation, The Machine an android with unrivalled physical and processing skills. When a programming glitch causes an early prototype to destroy his lab, McCarthy enlists artificial intelligence expert Ava to help him harness the full potential of a truly conscious fighting machine.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: What Transcendence Wanted to Be


Story: The Machine starts by filling us in on the new Cold War from China which has created a recession the likes the world has never seen and the new arms race is in the idea of military intelligence. We then end up meeting Doctor Vincent (Stephens) who has been working on fixing brain injuries through technology. When the experiment goes wrong we are left with Vincent injured and his team killed.

Vincent continues to work in the field of artificial intelligence but is now in charge of working out who could come up with the best intelligence devices to use in the MOD. When young scientist Ava turns up she has bought the best intelligence Vincent has seen and hires her on the spot. We start to see how some of the previous creation are working and communicating with each other behind the scientist’s back.

One Ava’s first day she meets a wounded soldier named James (Hazeldine) who has been given new arms and warns Ava about Area Six which leads to the mystery about what is really being studied in that area of the base. After Ava investigates too much the head of the facility Thomson (Lawson) has her killed but liking what she has created Vincent continues on using her research and builds a machine in her likeness that will continue to evolve her program. What follows is Vincent trying to teach the new machine good and Thomson trying to use it for evil.

The Machine is a film that tests the old adage of man versus machine, where we as human decide to see how far we can push the artificial intelligence before it goes too far. We also get the traditional good versus evil when we see how the machine gets educated. I do think the story does a good job at not over complicating the science and technology side of the story because if we ended up going to techno you would lose the audience. I honestly think this film is what Transcendence wanted to be, because of how the machine gets used to bring a brilliant mind back to life. this is a film for the fans who like a realistic look at how things could change in the future but just don’t expect all out action. (7/10)


Actor Review


Caity Lotz: Ava is a brilliant young scientist who gets hired by Vincent but gets murdered by the head of the defence agency. She is bought back to life with the brain of her creation where she must learn the wrongs and rights of the world being instructed by both Vincent and Thomson. Caity does a great job as the scientist turned machine getting all the movements down in a learning style. (8/10)


Toby Stephens: Vincent works for the MOD who has had failed experiments but might have found the best chance for a future with his next talent Ava, but after she is murdered he continues her work while trying to save his daughters life. Toby makes for a good scientist trying to help the world even if his daughter is his first goal. (7/10)


Denis Lawson: Thomson is the head of the MOD is trying to turn the machine into a weapon which leads to an uprising from all of the experiments. Denis makes for the good traditional businessman villain trying to use technology for his own gains. (7/10)


Support Cast: The Machine has a supporting cast that mainly stays in the background but ends up getting involved in the final act showing which side they are fighting for.


Director Review: Caradog W James – Caradog does a good job giving us a smart sci-fi film that will tell a good story about what could happen with machines. (7/10)


Sci-Fi: The Machine uses the idea of artificial intelligence very well without over complicating the general terms. (8/10)

Thriller: The Machine does make you wonder what is going on but ends up letting the science take over more than the thrills. (5/10)

Settings: The Machine creates a very standard military base for most of the film to take place in. (6/10)
Special Effects
: The Machine uses very good effects to create the machines showing how the artificial can take over the look created with the machine. (8/10)

Suggestion: The Machine is a film that really should be watched by all the sci-fi fans out there. (Sci-Fi Fans Watch)


Best Part: The Dancing scene.

Worst Part: Will come off slow to the action sci-fi fans.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Transcendence


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: They rise. We fall.

Trivia: Costume designer Chrissie Pegg was given just two weeks to make 100 costumes with only £40 for each and had only one assistant.


Overall: The Machine is the Blockbuster we could have loved but ends up being the DVD we admire.

Rating 80


  1. I’ve been meaning to get round to this since it came out, but kind of keep forgetting about it. I actually quite liked Transcendence (I know I’m almost alone on that!), so hopefully will enjoy this even more.

    Also, I’ve ‘nominated’ for you for a Liebster Award! (People say “nominated”; it’s not so much “nominated” as “awarded”. But anyway.)

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