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The early scenes of Gabe Ibáñez’s impressively mounted but uneven thriller do some terrific dystopian world-building.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Yet another “Blade Runner” knock-off, a sci-fi dystopia about robots getting too smart for humanity’s own good on an already sun-cooked Earth.
The A.V. Club
Once the film hits the desert, a little before the halfway point, Jacq has the energy sucked out of him and so does the film, limping along while he repeatedly throws histrionic fits.
With all of its glaring faults, Automata has some shining moments, most of which come during the surprisingly emotional climax.
Automata has moments of tremendous visual and storytelling elegance which are punctuated with ham-fisted characterization and thunderingly terrible acting.
Automata approximates the look and feel of idea-driven science fiction, but it doesn’t have any actual ideas. That future looks bleak.
New York Daily News
The performances range wildly from high (Banderas) to low (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Jacq’s pregnant wife) to you-must-be-kidding (Melanie Griffith as both a scientific genius and a prostitute android).
Much like a spate of recent summer blockbusters, there's a tiring sense that every single facet of the narrative has to be rendered with truculent solemnity.
Even for sci-fi, some logic has to enter the plot, which also needs to be devoid of major holes if it’s not to fall into ridiculousness, and that, unfortunately, is where Automata lies.
The Hollywood Reporter
The overwrought, uncontrolled sci-fi thriller Automata is a disappointing example of a film which lacks the imagination to follow persuasively through on its engaging initial premise.
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