Elegant, though- provoking and clever, the beautifully envisioned Ex Machina is the latest sci-fi thriller that takes, shapes and sends the already probed concept of artificial intelligence into a realm of its own, resulting in an excellent viewing experience well deserving in its own right.

Brought to life by famed novelist and screenwriter, Alex Garland – see Beach and 28 Days Later – the story is centred on Caleb (Gleeson); a gifted programmer and an employee at Bluebook - one of the world's most popular search engines - who wins an opportunity to spend a week with the company's eccentric CEO, Nathan (Isaac), at his luxurious retreat somewhere high-up in the Alaskan Mountains.

Upon his arrival, however, Caleb learns that his prize is no holiday as he finds out that he has actually been recruited to participate in an experiment – the Turing Test – which is hoping to examine the behavioural limitations of Nathan's latest artificial intelligence creation, Ava (Vikander).

See, Ava is a softly spoken, beautiful and a highly-intelligent humanoid robot that has the ability to talk, think and feel; her brain has been made up of all Bluebook's searches and her body, apart from her expressive and human-like facial features is entirely made of complex and transparent synthetic wiring.

The test, which includes a total of seven supervised 'talking' sessions between Caleb and Ava, is to determine whether Ava's way of thinking and behaviour is in any way different from that of a human; an examination that is soon followed by a dark exploration of human nature.

Alex Garland's feature debut – a notion which in itself is a little hard to swallow given that the film doesn't look anything like the work of a beginner - is sleek, seductive and effortlessly stylish. Chillingly effective, Garland offers his long-list of ideas - one of them exploring the threat of advanced technology upon humanity – and builds his theories through a series of interesting conversations and clever dialogue. Shot with great precision, the one-set location is suitably claustrophobic and the cool-colour palette used throughout plays as a perfect representation of Nathan's reclusive and advanced world of scientific philosophies and its immense possibilities.

Charming and at the same time absolutely petrifying, Isaac – recently seen in Coen Brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis – is riveting as a mad scientist type, who spends his completely closed off from the outside world but, well ahead in his very own. Gleeson's physical awkwardness is affable and his vulnerability makes him the perfect candidate for his role ,while Vikander – a trained ballerina – is the movie's heart and soul, however crazy that may sound.

Broodingly slow andintense, Ex Machina is a must-see and no matter how sluggish the movie may seem on the outside, its underlying complexities are endlessly engaging.