The Machine (film)

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The Machine
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Caradog W. James
Produced by John Giwa-Amu
Written by Caradog W. James
Starring Caity Lotz
Sam Hazeldine
Toby Stephens
Pooneh Hajimohammadi
Denis Lawson
Music by Tom Raybould
Cinematography Nicolai Brüel
Edited by Matt Platts-Mills
Red & Black Films
Distributed by Content Media
Release date(s)
Running time 91 minutes
Country United Kingdom[2]
Language English

The Machine is a 2013 British science fiction thriller film directed and written by Caradog W. James. It stars Caity Lotz and Toby Stephens as computer scientists who create an artificial intelligence for the military.


In the future, amid a cold war with China, two computer scientists employed by Britain's Ministry of Defence produce an artificially intelligent, self-aware and conscious android. The lead scientist sees his work as a stepping stone to help his diseased daughter, while the military sees the technology's potential for war. When one of the scientists is killed, the two sides clash over their plans for the new intelligence.



The budget was less than £1 million. Shooting took place mostly in Wales. Caity Lotz performed her own stunts.[3] Writer-director Caradog James prepared by reading books on robotics, AI, and quantum mechanics. He said that he wanted to ground the film in science rather than fantasy.[4]


The Machine premiered in New York City, New York, at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2013.[1] It was released on March 21, 2014, in the United Kingdom.[5] XLrator released it in the United States on April 8, 2014, on video on demand, and April 25, 2014, in a limited release.[6] It grossed $180,803 in Malaysia and $24,912 in the United Kingdom.[7] It was released on home video in the UK on March 31, 2014,[4] and in the US on June 17, 2014.[8]


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 78% of 27 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 6.2/10. The site's consensus reads: "The Machine proves an audacious debut for writer-director Caradog James and a solid entry in modern British sci-fi, with thematic heft to match its genre thrills."[9] Metacritic rated it 52/100 based on eight reviews.[10] Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter called it a "brooding, stylish, highly atmospheric future-noir thriller."[5] Matt Glasby of Total Film rated it 3/5 stars and called it unsubtle and derivative.[11] Anna Smith of Time Out London rated it 3/5 stars and called it "a smart, thought-provoking little thriller".[12] Kim Newman of Empire rated it 3/5 stars and wrote, "Brimming with ideas and laudable ambition, it's well worth a look."[13] Leslie Felperin of The Guardian rated it 3/5 stars and called it predictable but full of ideas.[14] Dennis Harvey of Variety wrote that it "works modestly well" but has trouble appealing to both science fiction and action film fans.[2] Nav Qateel of Influx Magazine rated it B− and called it an "entertaining if rather slow Sci-Fi effort."[15] Jon Espino from rated the film 8 out of 10 stars and wrote that despite some flaws, it compares favorably with major Hollywood blockbusters.[16]

The Machine won three BAFTA Cymru awards, Best of UK Film Award at Raindance Film Festival, and Achievement Against the Odds Prize by the British Independent Film Awards.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Siegel, Tatiana (2013-03-06). "Tribeca 2013: Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti and Julianne Moore Lead Spotlight Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b Harvey, Dennis (2014-04-23). "Film Review: 'The Machine'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Meet the Welshman behind low-budget, high-intensity sci-fi movie The Machine". Western Mail. 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  4. ^ a b Douglas, Ian (2014-03-21). "The Machine: director interview". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  5. ^ a b Dalton, Stephen (2013-03-06). "The Machine: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  6. ^ Turek, Ryan (2014-03-08). "The Machine, Starring Caity Lotz, Gets U.S. Trailer, Release Date". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  7. ^ "The Machine". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  8. ^ Barton, Steve (2014-05-12). "The Machine Running Perfectly at Home". Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  9. ^ "The Machine (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  10. ^ "The Machine". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  11. ^ Glasby, Matt (2014-03-17). "The Machine". Total Film. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  12. ^ Smith, Anna (2014-03-18). "The Machine (15)". Time Out London. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  13. ^ Newman, Kim. "The Machine". Empire. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  14. ^ Felperin, Leslie (2014-03-20). "The Machine review – madly uneven Welsh sci-fi flick". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  15. ^ Qateel, Nav (2014-04-25). "The Machine (Review)". Influx Magazine. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  16. ^ Espino, Jon (2014-04-24). "Jon's VOD Pick of the Week: The Machine". The Young Folks. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 

External links[edit]