CE: Best known for films like 28 Days Later and Sunshine, screenwriter Alex Garland's directorial debut is a small film about big ideas, revolving around a programmer named Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), his genius, billionaire boss, Nathan (Oscar Isaac), and Nathan's state-of-the-art robotic creation, Ava (Alicia Vikander). Ava's no ordinary robot through, she's self-aware. Or at least that's what Caleb is to help Nathan determine. As Caleb spends more and more time with Ava, however, he finds it harder and harder to remain objective, raising questions about her cognitive capabilities and Nathan's motivations. Ex Machina's mysteries are both numerous and unsettling, but of course, what makes or breaks a film such as this are the performances. It's tempting to think of Ava, Caleb and Nathan as remodeled versions of Blade Runner's Rachael, Deckard and Tyrell, but Vikander, Gleeson and Isaac bring such psychological depth to these familiar archetypes that any comparisons quickly fade. The end result blends blends sex, science fiction and horror into an entrancing, modern day Frankenstein tale. True, the subject matter may not be anything new, but Garland's take on it is certainly one that will stick with you.