9 Memorable Robots in Movies and on TV

July 18, 2019

Artificial Intelligence is already smarter than us. It is winning the best players in debates, chess, Go, StarCraft, and keeps on learning. However, AI still lacks some significant advantages we as humans have. We can desire and fantasize, love and hate in contrast to the algorithms, the essence of which is to execute sequences. But what would happen if AI and humanity were much closer than today? There are some great movies and series which show how things could unfold if it ever happens.

1. Ex Machina – 2015


Subtle, suspenseful and believable – these are the best words to describe the film. This independent science fiction flick from Alex Garland explores the potential pitfalls of creating an Android with intelligence far more advanced than our own. The programmer invited by his boss to test Ava, soon figures out that humanoid robot has got its agenda. Ex Machina is a thought-provoking thriller with outstanding dance scenes.

2. The Matrix – 1999


When Neo chooses the red pill, he wakes up to discover another creepy world. He figured out that he is a human battery for robots that have taken over the world. But it wasn’t always like this. According to The Animatrix (2003), once upon a time humanity and machines lived in harmony until mistreatment prompted robots started to rise against their masters. Sisters Wachowski created an intriguing theory: what if the real world is an illusion? They combined it with groundbreaking special effects, fight scenes, and left an indelible mark in modern cinema.

3. Wall-E – 2008


In Pixar’s Wall-E humans become their own worst enemies as they have turned the Earth into a toxic garbage dump. But it is the robotic autopilot of the starliner that transports human survivors through space. Pixar’s environmental fable consumerism waste and manmade catastrophe had a powerful message and charming protagonist in Wall-E.

4. 9 – 2009


The movie 9 showed us that the only beings to survive the robot revolution will be the tiny sack people with cute steampunk goggles and big zippers. The story takes place after the extinction of mankind, but through flashbacks and exposition, we see how a dictator’s intelligent fabrication machine created war machines that exterminated the people of Earth. The story was on the simple side, but outlandish premises, splendid visuals, and solid voice acting made it stand out.


5. I, Robot – 2004


In this sci-fi action movie about artificial intelligence robots and Will Smith – a supercomputer dubbed VIKI seeks to enslave our species to protect us from ourselves. She wiggles her way through a loophole in the Three Laws of robots intended to prevent robots from harming humans.


6. Avengers: Age of Ultron – 2015


It’s a classic tale: a man creates the monster. In Avengers: Age of Ultron the Victor Frankenstein of the story is Tony Stark. He designs an artificial intelligence Ultron. Unfortunately, Ultron’s solution involves the extermination of the entire human race. To uproot the whole city he marshals an army of robots.


7. Alita: Battle Angel – 2019


The film is based on the manga series Battle Angel Alita. The story tells about the post-apocalyptic future and focuses on the teenager cyborg named Alita who lost her memories. Step by step she understands that she possesses many weapons and skills that are long time gone. The filmmakers made the teenager powerful in the first place. There is enough story in Alita: Battle Angel to fill several movies. For just one film, Alita investigates a serial killer, becomes a bounty hunter, falls in love, joins deadly professional cyborg sporting league, and uncovers the truth about her existence.


8. Love, Death & Robots – 2019


When Tom Miller and David Fincher set out to create Love, Death & Robots, Fincher said: they just wanted to make something cool. So, mission accomplished. Netflix’s anthology series is the epitome of a cool, ambitious, dazzling fever dream that hops between genres and animation styles to deliver an all-you-can-eat buffet of weirdness. This series about robots contains everything: from sentient yogurt to ghost fish. Some stories are dark and nihilistic, other poetic and hopeful, while some are surreal or openly comic. No two short series look the same.

9. Her – 2013


“Anyone who loves is a freak” is the keynote of the film Her. Filmmaker Spike Jonze shows the world where artificial intelligence can replace a close friend and even a girlfriend. This is a vision of the future we’re walking in. The main character, played by Joaquin Phoenix, gets an OS system. He installs it on his computer and picks up a female voice for it – Scarlett Johansson’s voice. They strike up a relationship together. This relationship goes on a lot of interesting ways. The film shows much about humans and technologies, the way those two things are starting to become one just because of voice.

All in all, robots could be a great part of our life. Probably, in the future, AI can become our best friend or worst enemy. Some of the screened scripts just mess with our minds. It is up to us, which way of our love-hate relationship to choose.