Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), the world's foremost authority on artificial intelligence, is conducting highly controversial experiments to create a sentient machine. When extremists try to kill the doctor, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed. Will's wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), and best friend, Max (Paul Bettany), can only watch as his thirst for knowledge evolves to an omnipresent quest for power, and his loved ones soon realize that it may be impossible to stop him.
Release Date: April 18, 2014
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Rated PG-13 Sci-Fi Action and Violence|Brief Strong Language|Sensuality|Some Bloody Images
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This movie turns out to be far more interesting than I thought it was going to be, because it asks not only those difficult questions, but offers a different twist on how an artificial intelligence might react if also given human frailties, emotions and a sense of longing and caring... See Full ReviewApril 18th, 2014 · Details1 Thank ·
If you go looking for the future of AI you will be disapointed. This is not about AI, This is a love story...look for that and enjoy.April 30th, 2014 · Details
While it was worth seeing, it wasn't as good as I had hoped for. Don't go with high expectationsApril 26th, 2014 · Details
Superbly crafted, TRANCENDENCE causes viewers to think. How far do we want technology to go? What keeps it from being misused? Can it be stopped? Should it? TRANSCENDENCE has a less than satisfying resolution, but the trip there is some of the best science fiction in years. It has less foul language and less violence than most science fiction movies... See Full Review
Despite its lofty title, the muddled sci-fi drama "Transcendence" (Warner Bros.) sinks rather than rises.
Among the burdens weighing it down are a host of misguided notions -- either embedded in the action or expressed in the dialogue -- that might be menacing to the impressionable if they were any more coherent... See Full Review
Movie Title: Transcendence
PG-13, 1 hour 59 minutes
In a Nutshell: This was a really interesting movie about awareness: both computers’ ability to become self-aware, as well as humans’ struggle to truly understand what’s inside each other’s hearts.
Dr. Will Castor (Johnny Depp) explains in the beginning of the movie at a technology conference: “For one hundred and thirty thousand years, our capacity to reason has remained unchanged. The combined intellect of the neuroscientists, mathematicians and engineers pales in comparison to the most basic A. I. Once online, a sentient machine will quickly overcome the limits of biology; in a short time, its analytic power will become greater than the collective intelligence of every person born in the history of the world. Some scientists refer to this as the Singularity. I call it Transcendence.”
The film addresses the haunting “unavoidable collision between mankind and technology.” The overall feeling of the movie is, ironically, a bit artificial, but I still enjoyed it. This is the first directorial effort from Wally Pfister, who is receiving some negative reviews for a few of the film’s clunky issues, but his cinematography experience (The Dark Knight trilogy) shows through and elevates the movie.
Uplifting theme: The movie tries to preach two simultaneous, yet opposing messages: Humanity is more important than technology; technology can help us heal the world. What role should artificial intelligence play in our lives?
Things I liked:
I adore Paul Bettany in any movie and who can’t say the same thing about Johnny Depp? My kids laugh that Morgan Freeman is in every movie ever made; sure enough, he’s in this one too.
I loved the small twist at the end. (No spoiler alert) The entire spark that sets off this artificial intelligence conundrum is the perfect love between two imperfect humans.
Things I didn’t like:
Some of the scenes are ridiculous with plenty of holes and uninspiring dialogue.
Things to notice:
Preppers will get a kick out of seeing the items listed as being in demand on the store door after all the power goes off the grid. Non-preppers should ask themselves what might happen if there were an EMP or some other trigger that knocked all of our power out and sent us back to the stone age. What would you do? How would you live? What would you value?
Someone hangs a computer motherboard of sorts on to a dream catcher.
An audience member listening to Dr. Castor’s presentation asks him “You want to create a god? Your own god?” Dr. Castor answers “That’s a very good question. Isn’t that what man has always done?”
“I don’t want to change the world. I just want to understand it.” - Dr. Castor
They’re short on logic, but there’s no shortage of irony.” - Dr. Castor
“The internet was supposed to make the world a smaller place. It feels smaller without it.” - Max
“Artificial intelligence is an unnatural abomination and threat to humanity.” – R.I.F.T.
Evelyn asks her husband “Where are you going?” He answers “Everywhere.”
Dr. Caster says to Evelyn “I can upload you. I can protect you from them.” A suspicious Evelyn replies: “I’m not afraid of…them.”
Evelyn worries about one of her employees who has become “transcended” and asks the anti-technology fanatics who beat him up “What did you do?” Max responds “We gave him back his mortality.”
“Human emotion…it can contain illogical conflict.” - Max
Tips for parents:
Any parent who has watched their kids get sucked into their cell phones or other electronic devices will question how well technology is serving humanity. The film has very little bad language, but some violence. Young children may get bored, but older children could be guided into an interesting conversation about the role technology should play in their lives.
During the first acts of the film, the script introduces a number of interesting scientific advancements that are under development right now. As in the movie, these will allow for all kinds of medical, financial and social evolutions—provided their use doesn’t get away from us. Transcendence raises the ethical questions of what might happen if they do. And the script is both engaging and thought provoking in that regard. Unfortunately trying to wriggle a love story into the impassionate world of technology doesn’t work and the movie’s conclusion ends up being highly improbable, even for a sci-fi... See Full Review
Cinematographer Willy Pfister, best known for working with Christopher Nolan, turns to directing for a story set in the world of the highest of high tech but grounded in hubristic themes that go back to Icarus and up through “Frankenstein,” and “The Unknown Known.” Even with Nolan as producer, however, he is weak on narrative, pacing, tone, and working with his talented cast. Moran Freeman, Clifton Collins, Jr., Kata Mara, Paul Bettany, and Rebecca Hall have never appeared so toned-down and disconnected, just plain under-used. Depp appears mechanical even when he is still human. And the film has the unmistakable flavor of a recut following disappointing early audience responses... See Full Review
This thoughtful but windy and winded sci-fi thriller shortchanges the science
– understandably — and the thrills. The directing debut of “Dark Knight”
cinematographer Wally Pfister is a mopey affair with indifferent performances,
heartless romance and dull action. It transcends nothing... See Full Review