#071 – Ex Machina and a Programmed Soul

#071 – Ex Machina and a Programmed Soul

On this episode of the Reel World Theology Podcast:

em002Sometimes limited release films fly under the radar until they just get enough buzz that they can no longer stay there. This is the case with Ex Machina. We thought about talking about this on the podcast when it was in limited release earlier in the year but enough of us simply could not catch it while in theaters. With its release on streaming, it has finally developed a wider audience and deservedly so. A thrilling sci-fi story about AI and man’s relation to it unfold in what ends up being a very simple, yet very beautiful smaller film. This film gives us plenty to try chat about– especially the ending.

Download Episode 071 Here:
Reel World Theology #071 – Ex Machina and a Programmed Soul
Reel World Theology on Stitcher
Reel World Theology on FeedBurner


This week’s panel included Blaine Grimes and Josh Larsen.

Blaine Grimes (@Dept_of_Tourism)
Reel Thinking

Josh Larsen (@LarsenOnFilm)
Think Christian

Podcast Notes and Links:

[youtube url=”https://youtu.be/bggUmgeMCdc”]

Ex Machina on IMDB

Ex Machina on Rotten Tomatoes

Ex Machina Review at Reel World Theology

Ex Machina, Human Freedom, and the Garden of Eden at Norville Rogers

Ex Machina and What It (Might) Mean to Be Human at Think Christian

Ex Machina Review at Christianity Today

Ex Machina Review at Patheos

Ex Machina and the Art of Character Identification at Birth Movies Death


I enjoyed your discussion of this undeniably compelling film. I especially appreciate how you all can entertain various readings of the movie, without arguing that one must be “right” and others “wrong.” Here’s my own reading to add to the mix, if you’re interested:


I saw this film with a friend who very vehemently objected to the ending – “Caleb’s a nice guy, he deserves better than that!” And he does, but I ultimately think the film plays fair. It tells us in the first reel that AIs are going to make humans obsolete; and, sure enough, in the final reel, the only real human we’ve seen — the only character with any empathy — is as good as dead, while the AI is out there in the world, ready to inherit the earth. It’s a pretty bleak take on who we are and what we deserve as a species. Maybe it can profit Christians to view it as a prophetic parable: If we continue to treat each other (let alone any new life forms we might create) the way Nathan treats his AIs, we’re sowing the seeds of our own destruction.

It is usually a lot more fun to entertain different views of a film– especially when the film doesn’t seem to back up the director’s own words about his intent! Films like this are why I love film & theology so much. Infinite and weighty discussions. Your thoughts were great too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *