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A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
Academy Award® Nominee
In the 21st century, the polar icecaps have melted and mankind now depends on computers with artificial intelligence to maintain a way of life. Haley Joel Osment plays a boy robot who strives to be...  View more >

Starring Haley Joel Osment, William Hurt, Jude Law...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jun 29, 2001
A great story. There was a seriousness to the movie that was refreshing (compared to the other movies being released, eg: Pearl Harbor, Tomb Raider). I would agree, it may not be the best choice for those under the age of 13. There was a couple of scenes that were a bit violent and disturbing. Although, there are a couple of lighter scenes that would be considered comic relief, however, and it's not bad. If this story was a book, I'd want to read it.

If I were to guess whether this was a Steven Spielberg movie or a Stanley Kubrick movie, I would guess Stanley Kubrick. It definitely gives off that sense. Spielberg did an excellent job. Driving home after the movie, I didn't listen to the radio, only to think about what I saw. It was a wondderful story.
I could only hope more movies could make me think as much as this one did.

Then again, you might have your own opinion.
Jun 30, 2001
What a movie........I'm still crying and I've been home for a hour.

If you are a science fiction fan......you've got to see this one. Directed by Steven Spielberg......it's awesome. See it right now!!!!!
[--- Good ---]by  
Jun 30, 2001
I don't consider this movie light or fun. It does make you think. I don't know how everybody else felt when they left the theatre but I felt some what depressed. All in all though, it was a good movie.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jul 1, 2001
Bring your thinking caps. This movie is very much unlike any Spielberg movie you've ever seen.

Spielberg adopts Stanley Kubrick's style to finish the project Kubrick had started before his untimely death. It is oddly cold and harsh and yet forcefully challenges the viewer to ponder the issues of emotion, acts of inhumanity and the concept of religion/spirituality.
[--- Good ---]by  
Jul 1, 2001
This movie has a Kubrick feel to it, but, Speilberg has to throw in some of his typical fluff humor for kids. If he wants to make a serious thought provoking movie, make it, but leave out the E.T. crap.

The movie moves slow, but, it does keep your interest and it makes you think. The problem is that it reminded me of a smaller version of Bicentennial Man. Alot of potential but not enough substance. Worth seeing at the cut-rate cinemas or video. Will probably win a ton of awards, don't let that fool you, it is not an E.T. or 2001.
Jul 1, 2001
This is a slow moving movie, the ending is especially slow. I think it could have been done a little different to keep it moving along, but still it was entertaining.
[--- Good ---]by  
Jul 2, 2001
The first part of the movie was great! Engaging and quality all the way around.

Haley seemed on his way to another spectacular performance. However, towards the end the script weakened, the premise became too far fetched and I nearly fell asleep. This movie is worth seeing though, in spite of a weak finish!!
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jul 3, 2001
I was slightly disappointed by the lack of dialog. My friend, who saw it with me, thought it was nothing but "Ye olde music". Good acting, with some funny scenes. This film made me cry a lot towards the end.

The only thing that was really stupid about this film was the unnecessary narrative towards the end of the film. It didn't really make sense, but hey it's Steven Spielberg. Other than that it was a good flick. Not one that I recommend for children under 13, due to the content of the movie.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jul 4, 2001
Because Kubrick and Spielberg talking about this movie in great detail before Kubrick's death -- to the extent of faxing script pages and sharing 1000's of storyboards -- Spielberg has faithfully created Kubrick's vision of the film.

It is a familiar story, one we saw recently in Bicentennial Man, but told with stronger conviction and higher moral awareness. Strong performances all the way around, beautiful cinematography and careful manipulation of real human emotion congeal into a powerful, thoughtful film.

At almost 2 1/2 hours, this is a big story, one that could have been told in 3 hours or more, so I'm hoping a special edition DVD includes deleted scenes to enhance the impact.

See this movie knowing you probably won't learn anything new. See this movie with someone you love knowing it will probably make you love him or her more. See this movie for the sheer spectacle of vintage Spielberg. Just see this movie.
Jul 5, 2001
The film is "A.I." and it combine the intelligence of Director Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kurbrick. the film takes place in the 21st Century where mankind must depend on computers to survive. Out of the brink, machines are created, one inventor, played by William Hurt, has created a little boy robot, played by Haley Joel Osmont. One couple who took him in, have many doubts about the robot. But his dream is to become a real boy, to be loved by real parents.

But when his adapted parents had abandoned him, along with a life-like teddy bear, he met a male prositute robot, played by Jude Law, as the three robots began to search for answers to his orgin and someone that will love him.

As the movie open, the film has the feeling of a Stanley Kurbrick movie (Kurbrick started on the project before his death) but towards the end that the movie has the feeling of a Steven Spieldburg film. Also you can compare Haley Joel Osment's character to the robot Hal 1000 from "2001:A Space Odyssey," you can make great comparisons. Both the little robot boy and Hal wanted to experience with things like emotions and they way they deal with them.

"A.I." is a work of two of the greatest geniuses in film, Kurbrick and Spielberg, something we'll never see again. "A.I." is a journey to the soul of mankind.
[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jul 6, 2001
Actually, my feeling for this film is between "Wait for Rental" and "Stay Away", but I went with the lower rating because...well...read on.

I am a great Spielberg fan, and A.I. is the first of his films I've seen that I would have to call dishonest. The robotic boy, David, was created to "love", not created to "desire love" or "require love". This was not setup in the beginning. David could "love" Monica while in the closet or in the woods, it didn't matter that he was physically close to her.

The "father", who works for the company and presumably understands the David project, comments to Monica that if David "can learn to love, he can learn to hate". This is ludicrous. One does not necessarily follow the other.

The ending...oh my.

Jude Law is excellent and criminally underused.

A few great scenes (the flesh fair--but what father would allow such an innocent little girl to accompany him to one, even though he worked the light and sound boards?) and the robot shantytown...but otherwise...

A dishonest movie.
Jul 6, 2001
The themes are not thought-provoking and many of them have been done before - and with far better results. A couple people in the theater walked out after the 2 hour mark (2 1/2 hours total), and I was tempted to myself. I did not because I was hoping for something awesome near the end to make up for 2 boring hours. Didn't happen.

You'd be better off seeing 2001 or Close Encounters again. Perhaps even Battlefield Earth.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jul 7, 2001
Although I cannot call this a perfect film, it does deserve in plain language the top rating of "See now!" Nothing else showing at the same time in the suburban multiplexes looks half so inviting. I wouldn't have seen it but for the advice of a friend (the same friend who sent me to "Sixth Sense" a couple years ago). I'd like to be that friend for you.

The plot is rather awkward, but the acting is superb, the cinematography and special effects dazzling and visionary, Williams's score rich as always, and (last but not least) its heart is in the right place. Like Spielburg's "Empire of the Sun" and Osment's "Sixth Sense", I even daresay that it has quite enough depth to repay seeing more than once and studying the observations of other critics. Some apparent weaknesses may be revealed as missed meanings and ultimate strengths.

Detractors may say that A.I. is derivative. A kinder and fairer word would be allusive. There are, at any rate, many cinematic influences. Foremost I'd name D.A.R.Y.L. and Blade Runner, which have also explored the question of what it means to be human, and when/how an android might rise to such a stature. (As a contrast, see "The Stepford Wives," in which a humans are forced to degenerate into robots.)

In Daryl's case, the android is also a child. Unlike David in AI, everyone loves Daryl except a few generals in the Pentagon who must protect their budgets and military secrets. He is so realistic that, despite his sometimes strange behavior and amazing abilities, people do not realize that he is a robot. In A.I., however, although David's appearance is very lifelike, he cannot do everything that humans can do, such as eat, drink, or sleep; and one can usually distinguish humans from "mechas" easily. These differences pose great problems for him because real boys in his peer group never include him, but constantly insult him and try to get him into trouble. David (the choice of a name meaning "beloved" cannot have been accidental) was designed simply to love and be loved by one or two lonely adults. Real life overwhelms this naive niche. D.A.R.Y.L. is a heartwarming but relatively ham-handed and caricatured children's film with some gaping plot holes. Alas, A.I. did not entirely surmount the latter, but on the whole its treatment is much more sophisticated and developed. It has eclipsed its predecessor.

This evaluation is less clearly reached, to say the least, vis-a-vis Blade Runner, which, too, is about rebellious androids banished and brutally destroyed by a suspicious human regime, in a technologically advanced but stratified and degrading future dictatorship in the erstwhile U.S. The brilliant but nightmarish scenery and cinematography (complete with flying police cars), supported by Vangelis's gorgeous yet creepily decadent score, contribute to this film's cult-classic status. Furthermore, the motto of the Tyrrell Corp., the androids' manufacturers, is "more human than human." So they sometimes prove to be: the image of most of the human race here is hardly endearing. An android is disappointed even when he "meets his maker" personally. One must seriously fear (especially if one has arrived at the cinema in time to see the previews of its own coming attractions), that such a portrayal of our future is prescient.

A.I. follows in the footsteps of all these leads like a hound dog. By taking on such an exemplar, Spielberg, Williams, Osment et al. have much to live up to. My opinion is that, to their great credit, they have succeeded in further mining the same veins, enough that the explanations of any admirer of Blade Runner who does *not* like A.I., at least as a footnote, on the same grounds would be interesting to hear. They'll have something to say, no doubt: the appreciation and analysis of Blade Runner by its aficionados (of whom I am surely one of the less erudite) runs very deep. I await their verdicts not supinely, but respectfully. Listen for them.

The idea of a submerged Manhattan in which those who wish to live beyond their allotted brief time must run for it is presaged in the (much inferior, IMHO) Logan's Run. The idea of a mysterious alien civilization's placing a character in a simulacrum of his earthly surroundings at the end of a quasi-death experience has been broached already in Contact and Kubrick's own 2001. Finally, the opportunity to live or re-live a single day of a past life exquisitely and fully, with the knowledge that it is the only day to be granted, was a device of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town."

Spielburg's ambitous amalgamation of all these themes, together with several others, is not entirely coherent. But I've gotta love it anyway. Hope you will, too!
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jul 7, 2001
I thought this movie was okay. The first hour or so was very good and had all my attention. After that I felt it just went downhill. The ending was streched out a little to long.

Steven Spielberg, as director, had some very good ideas and Haley Joel Osment did a very excellent job, as young as he was. I am not a very sci-fi fan so if you are, you will probably think differently about this movie than what I did!
[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jul 8, 2001
this was the worst movie I ever saw. I am surprised spilgburg put his name on it.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jul 13, 2001
I was dissapointed in the film, AI. I expected more from Steven Spielberg.

I would have left the movie part way through, but kept hoping it would improve, or something exciting would happen. Not so. Thumbs down on this one.
T & C
Jul 15, 2001
Disturbing, in a good way. Probably not going to be popular with most people, however. It is deep and thought provoking; not a popular way to make a movie at this time in history. I come to this conclusion because as I walked out, I noted people's reactions. You don't have to fly too high to go over people's heads these days.
Jul 16, 2001
Other than special effects this movie is not very impressive. It was as if the creators were sitting around thinking of the most gut-wrenching, emotional scenes they could think of to exercise your tear ducts, which, in my opinion, were not very compelling because the story line is just too bizarre to identify with in the first place. An abandoned little boy running around crying for his mommy? Come on! I could do better than that!
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jul 17, 2001
Technically brilliant and a marvel to gawk in awe at, the movie sweeps through a world of the future that is a sight to behold. But A.I. isn't just eye candy.

In the Kubrick tradition, questions abound about human nature, our place in the world and universe, our moral responsibility to our creations, and our importance (both real and perceived). Ambitious in scope, all questions are not answered and will force the viewer to think (shudder) after the movie is over. This is when you'll have to do it, as when the movie is taking place you will be too busy following David (our robot boy protagonist) on his epic quest of self-discovery (I just had an Eyes Wide Shut flashback...life is good).

Haley Joel Osment is David, and he is the reason I have awarded A.I. its seldom given fourth star. At any point in the movie, Haley expresses to us exactly what David is feeling, usually without words. His facial expressions are priceless. Watch David's eyes and count how many times they blink. They don't. Through the entire movie.

His shift from mood to mood, from emotion to emotion is what Oscars are given for. The Academy undervalues child performances but this is one they should not ignore. The merging of the styles of Kubrick and Spielberg may seem odd. Is the result Spielberg's homage to Kubrick or is this the way he intended to make the movie? What would Kubrick have done differently? We will never know that, but the movie that I saw is an extraordinary dark fairy tale that I will never forget, nor do I want to.
[--- Stay Away! ---]by  
Jul 18, 2001
Artificial Intelligence begs the question of whose intelligence is artificial? Speilberg and Kubrick's or the mindless way Speilberg and Kubrick fans show up for their movies.

Aside from some interesting scenes and the effective acting of Joel Haley Osmont, the film is a waste of time. Once the young robot starts to seek his meaning, the Pinocchio story emerges - slightly, but then the film turns into a alien movie. The movie wants to end in several places and should have.

One effective, if not satisfying ending, could have been when the robot finds the blue lady. But the final ending of the film has one wondering how one could have been suckered into sitting in the theater this long for something as non-intelligent as "the place where dreams are born."

In reality this film is quite depressing: human beings will one day not exist. Human beings die along with their consciousness and only their machines can tesity to their existence. This is not a hopeful message, but Kubrick was not one to raise hopes.
[--- See Now! ---]by  
Jul 24, 2001
A very powerful and visionary movie, emotionally and intellectually, which challenges the viewer on many levels. I consider it one of the best films I've seen in a year; it left images seared in my head that I carried with me in for days after seeing the film.

Even more remarkable is the fusion of minds that must have taken place as Steven Spielberg took a Stanley Kubrick idea and rendered it in a way that reflects each of these film auteur's points of view.

Spielberg has always been the eternal optimist. At this very serious-minded stage of his career, he has stunned and revolted us at times with searing images of human suffering that can never be forgotten, as is his intention. But he always finds hope and a positive future in his message.

Kubrick, on the other hand, has seen fit to destroy the human race at least once in his films, or find such denigrating features in humanity as to wonder whether it (humanity) merits redemption. His view is of the pessimist.

Wondrously strange, then, that both points of view can be found in A.I. Love makes it, even though humanity may not. In fact, LOVE is the enduring theme of this movie. Love is all that matters. And to find it is to be fulfilled.

The movie challenges the viewer to look at things from an other-human perspective. It doesn't spoil the plot, of course, to reveal that the star is a robot with the capacity to love. What it does take, to fully appreciate this film I think, is the willing suspension of disbelief to see the story from the robot's point of view. The interpretation of the ending could be either sad or glad, depending on the perspective one takes.

In the final analysis, though, it's the eternal theme of love that bears reflection. If those of us who are parents can see how we love our children through the eyes of a robot, then we can also, perhaps, see how that love may be wanting at times. I can imagine how powerfully therapeutic this movie could be for troubles families with young children; especially for parents.

The special effects (ILM) and the music score by John Williams are both top drawer.

I would like to see this movie remembered, with deep and abiding affection, come Oscar time.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jul 25, 2001
After having a fantastic run of hits in the 90's, Steven Spielberg crashes back to earth with A.I. This movie is long and slow. Long isn't always a bad thing. but it is when there isn't much happening.

Spielberg should stick to making Spielberg movies and not trying to do a movie the way another director would do it. (Kubrick) I don't imagine myself seeing this movie again, and I'm a big fan of Spielberg movies.
[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  
Jul 31, 2001
i don't know if anyone else had or will have this experience but watching 'AI' i felt like i was watching two seperate movies that had somehow been mistakenly spliced together. i remember hearing somewhere that kubrick had originally been involved with the movie so i can only guess that's where the films split personality originates.

one movie, darker than the other but infinitely more satisfying, had some interesting moral questions and insights and some really great scenes (the flesh fair, the mecha junkyard and gigolo joe's entrance). the other movie was tedious, overly sentimental and went to ridiculous and irritating lengths to deliver the happy hollywood ending.

i think jude law fans like myself will enjoy seeing him play so well a comical and unique character -- gigolo joe's character definitely benefits the movie and jude law is awesome as usual.

if the special effects were more intense or the ending less time-consuming and painful i'd recommend seeing this in the theater but as it stands i think 'AI' is better off viewed at home with the merciful options of 'STOP' and 'FAST FORWARD.'
Apr 29, 2003
I didn't get it, but maybe you will. When you rent it, make sure to pick up something else as a backup so that you can turn it off if you find it as incomprehensible as I did.

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