Eight films that deliver the ultimate clash between humans and robots.

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Since the creation of automated machinery, humankind has questioned if man and machine can peacefully coexist. If not, when would machines rise up and fight against their creators? January 25, 1975 is a day that kinda lives in infamy. In Michigan, an industrial robot crushed a 34-year old auto worker (Robert Williams), resulting in the first robot-related death of a human being.

In memory of the first robot-related death (dare we say ‘homicide’), DMG Entertainment has compiled a list of the top man vs. machine films. So get ready, this means war!

 

THE TERMINATOR (1984)

Director: James Cameron Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn

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Summary: In an apocalyptic future, Skynet, a computer system, fights a losing war against the humans who built it. In an attempt to change the war’s outcome, Skynet sends a robot assassin, named “The Terminator” (Arnold Schwarzenegger), back to 1984 to seek and destroy Sarah Conner, a woman whose unborn son will lead the human resistance. If the Terminator locates Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton), Skynet will exterminate humanity. Can Conner survive against the indestructible cyborg?

Best Quote: “Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

Fun Fact: During a filming break, Arnold Schwarzenegger went to a downtown L.A. restaurant for lunch. Restaurant patrons greeted Schwarzenegger with gasps and screams. Little did Schwarzenegger realize he was still in the terminator makeup, which featured a missing eye, exposed jawbone and burnt flesh.

 

THE MATRIX (1999)

Director: Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

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Summary: Computer hacker Thomas A. Anderson (Keanu Reeves), also known as Neo, finds himself a target of Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) after being contacted by legendary computer hacker Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). Morpheus recruits Neo to join his group of mysterious rebels and introduces Neo to the real world: a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Humanity has been held hostage by a mind-controlling machine known as the Matrix. The only way to save humanity is for Neo to plug himself back into the Matrix and fight Agent Smith, a powerful computer program designed to destroy any rebellion.

Best Quote: “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

Fun Fact: Although the Wachowski brothers requested an $80 million budget from Warner Brothers, the studio only gave them $10 million. The Wachowskis spent the entire $10 million on the film’s first ten minutes, which included advanced special effects and six months of combat training. When the Wachowski brothers showed Warner the film’s first ten minutes, the executives were so impressed that they agreed to give them everything they asked for.

 

TRON (1982)

Director: Steven Lisberger Starring: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan

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Summary: Hacker and arcade owner Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) finds himself sucked into a digital world by the diabolical software pirate Master Control (David Warner). In this 3-D graphical cyberspace, Master Control forces Flynn to participate in a series of gladiatorial computer games.

Best Quote: “On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy.”

Fun Fact: The Academy Awards refused to nominate TRON for special effects because, at the time, they considered computer graphics as “cheating”.

 

BLADE RUNNER (1982)

Director: Ridley Scott Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah

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Summary: In a dystopian future, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) specializes in terminating androids, also known as a “Blade Runner.” When four androids, known as replicants, arrive on Earth, Deckard must come out of retirement and eliminate them. However, as Deckard pursues each one, he begins to questions his own identity and viewpoint on humanity.

Best Quote: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.”

Fun Fact: The Voight-Kampff Test is based off of Alan Turing’s famous “The Imitation Game” test, which is considered by most to be a first step in recognizing an artificial intelligence. The test has a person communicate with another person and a computer, without seeing either, and must figure out which one is a living, sentient being.

 

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

Director: Stanley Kubrick Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester

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Summary: In the hyper-futuristic version of the year 2001, Captain Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea), Frank Poole (Gay Lockwood), and an onboard computer system, HAL 9000, fly the spaceship S.S. Discovery in search for an artificial object buried on the moon. During their quest, Bowman begins to notice odd malfunctions of HAL 9000. As spaceship nears closer to the object, Bowman discovers more than he wanted to know.

Best Quote: “The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.”

Fun Fact: During a screening for 2001, an audience member suddenly stood up, ran down the aisle and yelled, “It’s God! It’s God!” The audience member ran into the screen before the theater’s security could stop him.

 

TRANSCENDENCE (2014)

Director: Wally Pfister  Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany

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Summary: When anti-technology terrorists poison famed artificial intelligence scientist Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), his best friend Dr. Max Waters (Paul Bettany) and wife Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall) work on transferring Will’s consciousness to the internet before he dies. However, after Will’s “soul” is uploaded online, he takes control of the worldwide system and becomes an omnipresent power.

Best Quote: “For 130,000 years, our capacity to reason has remained unchanged. The combined intellect of the neuroscientists, mathematicians and… hackers… in this auditorium pales in comparison to the most basic A.I. Once online, a sentient machine will quickly overcome the limits of biology. And in a short time, its analytic power will become greater than the collective intelligence of every person born in the history of the world. So imagine such an entity with a full range of human emotion. Even self-awareness. Some scientists refer to this as ‘the Singularity.’ I call it ‘Transcendence.’”

Fun Fact: DMG co-produced TRANSCENDENCE after finding its screenplay on the 2012 Blacklist “Most Liked” unmade scripts.

 

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1999)

Director: Tim Burton Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall

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Summary: In on isolated castle on top of a hill, an inventor attempts to create a mechanical person named Edward (Johnny Depp). Just before the inventor could finish the Edward, the inventor dies, leaving Edwards with scissors as hands. Edward lived alone in the castle until a saleswoman Peg (Dianne West) discovers him and brings Edward to her home. Edward quickly adapts to modern life and wins the community’s admiration. However, things turn for the worse after a misunderstanding.

Best Quote: “You see, before he came down here, it never snowed. And afterwards, it did. If he weren’t up there now… I don’t think it would be snowing. Sometimes you can still catch me dancing in it.”

Fun Fact: Johnny Depp only says 169 words in the movie.

 

WARGAMES (1983)

Director: John Badham Starring: Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood, Dabney Coleman

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Summary: A smart but lazy high school student David (Matthew Broderick) decides to hack a toy company’s computer system in search for new video games. However, instead of hacking the toy company’s game, he accidentally hacks into the USA military’s war operation system. Believing he hacked into the toy company, David challenges the computer to play a nuclear war game between the USA and the Soviet Union. What David doesn’t realize is this game could start World War III.

Best Quote: “The only winning move is not to play.”

Fun Fact: Because the actual NORAD command center is restricted, the producers had to construct their own. As it turned out that the actual NORAD command center didn’t look nearly as advanced as the film’s command center set.

 

Based on the state of robotics today, don’t worry, you can relax… for now.

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