Ex Machina (2015)
In Alex Garland's updated man-against-machine fantasy, the machine is sexy and sensitive, driven by the same essential needs as all humans: survival, intimacy and reproduction. In his directorial debut Garland creates a near perfect hybrid of stylish, simmering suspense and taut thematic theses. It's always a strength for any mystery movie when the potential antagonist's enigma is narratively based, i.e. driven by a character's – as opposed to the plot's – need to obscure things. And the result here is an edge-of-your seat interplay between the three lead characters, through whom Garland displays, demonstrates and discusses an impressive range of what it means to be human – or in touch with humanity, at least. Great acting by all the implicated bolsters this to-be-classic.