10 Movies like Ex Machina That Are Sci-Fi Thrillers

By Miguel Fernández
Published: September 27, 2023 (Last updated: March 22, 2024)
10 Movies like Ex Machina
Ex Machina (Credit - A24)

If you need that sci-fi fix, then this is the film list that will catch your attention — this article breaks down 10 movies like the popular movie Ex Machina. Alex Garland’s Ex Machina continues to captivate audiences many years after its release, thanks to its stripped-down approach to the sci-fi tagline and where the talent in front of the camera has gone over the years.

10 Movies like Ex Machina

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

This iconic and ever-referenced anime film by director Mamoru Oshii follows a cyborg public security agent hunting down a hacker in Japan in 2029. Just like other similar movies to Ex Machina, it explores the idea of identity inside the framework of the rise of technology in the 1990s and how it could affect humanity going forward.

AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001)

The best part about 2001’s AI: Artificial Intelligence is the story behind the film. Stanley Kubrick tried to get the film off the ground for years but found some of its visual effects challenging, among other things. He handed it off to Steven Spielberg in 1995, but the project didn’t go full-steam ahead until Kubrick passed away in 1999.

The story focuses on a dystopian future where climate change has wiped out almost all existing cities, and artificial intelligence has all but taken over. It doesn’t sound too far-fetched, does it?

I, Robot (2004)

In a dystopian future where robots are essentially dominating the planet, filling in public service roles. But after the mysterious death (alleged suicide) of the head of US Robotics founder Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), detective Del Spooner (played by Will Smith) launches an investigation of his own to get to the bottom of it.

Source Code (2011)

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a soldier in this science-fiction thriller who is part of an experimental program by the US government in which he’s transported back to a recreation of the explosion inside a train and given eight minutes to find out who did it.

Under the Skin (2013)

Scarlett Johansson stars as an alien creature who can take human shape and, over the course of the film, travels to Glasgow and Scotland, taking in the human experience from an outsider’s perspective. Directed by Jonathan Glazer, the film is a down-to-basics science fiction film that has earned a cult following over the years.

Her (2013)

Written and directed by Spike Jonze, Her stars Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely man who develops a relationship with an artificially intelligent assistant on his phone, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. It is also hailed as one of the great sci-fi films of the 2010s about AI and our relationship as humans with it.

The One I Love (2014)

Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss star in this 2014 sci-fi film about a couple going to a secluded estate where they realize they have been interacting with doppelgängers of each other from time to time. That will lead to some discussion and also the setting of basic ground rules for their future interactions.

Arrival (2016)

Denis Villeneuve’s self-exploration of what it means to be alive in the universe and how insignificant we all are is truly one of the greatest sci-fi films of the 21st century. Amy Adams leads a stellar cast and spearheads a story about what would happen if aliens came to Earth, but we had difficulty communicating with them.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

The sequel to the iconic sci-fi film from 1982 is set 30 years later. Denis Villeneuve is at the helm this time and delivered one of the best science-fiction films of all time, not just of this century.

With Ryan Gosling at the helm, Villeneuve explores what it means to be human in a dystopian future where robots are walking among us and are nearly indistinguishable from us; he explores those themes with far more elegance and depth than any other filmmaker on this list.

Annihilation (2018)

If you are looking for similar movies to Ex Machina to watch, you might as well go down its director’s filmography. Alex Garland’s follow-up film was this enigmatic sci-fi film that stars Natalie Portman as a biologist who is called to a secluded region nobody really understands and where the traditional laws of physics don’t apply.

Do you have any other recommendations for movies like Ex Machina? Let us know in the comments.

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