Let’s ease into 2021 and catch up on our Top 10 Robotics and AI movies / TV series. Strangely enough, we see common themes of a world and human race in destruction and despair. Don’t worry, they are just movies. Are our robots, the O-RX, O-R3, TransCar and Camello any closer to the modern-day fantasia of robots depicted in the past?
1. The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix is a Sci-fi action film starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss. Written and directed by the Wachowskis, it depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality, the Matrix, created by intelligent machines to distract humans while using their bodies as an energy source.
2. The Terminator (1984)
With 6 movies under this franchise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is immortalized as a robot legend. Sent back from a dystopian 2029–where the cold machines have conquered the entire world–to 1984 Los Angeles, the indestructible cyborg-assassin known as the “Terminator” commences his deadly mission to kill humankind’s most important woman: the unsuspecting, Sarah Connor.
3. Wall-E (2008)
Possibly one of the most lovable Pixar robot characters. In the near future where mankind has abandoned earth because it has become covered with trash from products sold by the powerful multi-national Buy N Large corporation, WALL-E, a garbage collecting robot has been left to clean up the mess. Sounds a little too close for comfort, this movie certainly triggers one’s emotions on the fate of mankind.
4. Robocop (1987)
In this Oscar nominated movie, the very thought of integrating robotics into humans sent chills through us. Set once again in a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories. Classic, but mostly playing on our fears.
5. Westworld (2016)
We’ve been told there is a 1973 version, but the 2016-2018 version is fresh on our minds. We were all little confused and unsure after the first episode, but we were hooked. With the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, Westworld explores a world in which every human appetite can be indulged with robots that pass for humans. They say it’s a theme park without consequence, but that’s what they think.
6. Ex-Machina (2014)
One of our favourite movies, it’s a science fiction psychological thriller film, that starts rather casually. The story soon unfolds to follow a programmer who is invited by his CEO to administer the Turing test to a highly advanced humanoid robot. It’s a shocker.
7. Bicentennial Man (1999)
Bit of a weeper this one. This robot will touch every human emotion. The film is about how an android endeavours to become human as he gradually acquires emotions. Perhaps far from reality, but if it were true, this is how we would imagine it . Tagline: One robot’s 200-year journey to become an ordinary man. Robin Williams. Was perfect for this role.
8. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Haley Joel Osment was hot off the press for kid actors back in day. Funny enough, he gets immortalized as a child robot in this movie. Apparently, the polar ice caps have melted, and the resulting rise of the ocean waters has drowned all the coastal cities of the world. Withdrawn to the interior of the continents, the human race keeps advancing, reaching the point of creating realistic robots (called mechas) to serve them. One of the mecha-producing companies builds David, an artificial kid which is the first to have real feelings, especially a never-ending love for his “mother”, Monica. Monica is the woman who adopted him as a substitute for her real son, who remains in cryo-stasis, stricken by an incurable disease. David is living happily with Monica and her husband, but when their real son returns home after a cure is discovered, his life changes dramatically.
9. Blade Runner (1982)
Definitely a fan of the original, its set in the early twenty-first century, the Tyrell Corporation developed robots, called “replicants”, that were supposed to aid society, the replicants which looked and acted like humans. When the superhuman generation Nexus 6 replicants, used for dangerous off-Earth endeavors, began a mutiny on an off-Earth colony, replicants became illegal on Earth
Police units, called “blade runners”, have the job of destroying – or in their parlance “retiring” – any replicant that makes its way back to or created on Earth, with anyone convicted of aiding or assisting a replicant being sentenced to death. Yes, Harrison Ford acted in other movies and not just Star Wars.
10. The Imitation Game (2014)
The plot is simple, story is true but perhaps slightly exaggerated, every but thrilling. During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians. You’ve got to watch the enormity of this computer he built. Love him or hate him Benedict Cumberbatch, oozes Britishness in every scene.