From “M3GAN” to “Black Mirror,” Here Are 13 Movies and TV Shows About AI
Movies and TV shows centered on science fiction always toy with the possibility of humanity evolving or being wiped out by unstoppable forces, ranging from catastrophic weather events to extraterrestrial beings (counting out E.T., of course). A recurring theme in sci-fi movies and shows is AI, or artificial intelligence, which often focuses on robotic machines with human-like intelligence and emotive capabilities. While many popular works highlight the downfall of humanity due to AI, others explore a different possibility that allows humans and artificially intelligent beings to coexist.
Though it seems to have only grown in popularity in recent years, artificial intelligence in film and TV has been around for decades. Peacock’s recently released sci-fi comedy-drama series “Mrs. Davis” follows a nun named Sister Simone (Betty Gilpin), who embarks on a global journey to destroy an evil AI named Mrs. Davis. Meanwhile, Netflix’s “Black Mirror,” which is set to premiere its sixth season on June 15, is at its best when its episodes explore AI.
If you’re looking for AI-themed entertainment, here are 13 movies and TV shows to add to your watchlist!
Movies About Artificial Intelligence
M3GAN is a childlike, artificially intelligent robot doll that is programmed to listen, learn, and become attached to its human counterpart. When 8-year-old Cady is gifted a M3GAN doll by her Aunt Gemma (Allison Williams), the doll quickly becomes hostile toward anyone who seeks to get in between it and Cady.
“A.I. Artificial Intelligence”
In the 22nd century, humanoid robots are created. David (Haley Joel Osment) is a robot that is capable of experiencing love and is given to parents Henry and Monica Swinton, whose child, Martin, is not expected to recover from a rare disease. As David grows closer to Henry and Monica, Martin gets better, which leaves David stuck between his identity as a robot and the human he feels he is.
“2001: A Space Odyssey”
Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” is regarded by many to be one of the greatest films of all time due to its exploration of artificial intelligence and human evolution. The film centers on a group of scientists, astronauts, and a supercomputer named HAL as they explore the presence of aliens on Jupiter.
In the year 2035, artificially intelligent, humanoid robots have positions in public service jobs to serve and protect humans according to the Three Laws of Robotics. When Alfred Lanning, the US Robotics founder, dies by suicide, Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) and robot expert Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan) seek to get to the bottom of his mysterious death and uncover an operation that has the potential to threaten the human race.
When computer programmer Caleb Smith wins a contest that awards him a week-long vacation at the estate of his firm’s CEO, he learns he is a part of a Turing test to evaluate the capabilities of a robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander). During the test, Ava slowly reveals she is more sentient than anyone initially imagined.
In 2019, the Tyrell Corporation creates humanoid robots called replicants to serve society and work on space colonies. When a rogue group of replicants return to Earth, a former police officer, aka blade runner, named Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) must hunt them down before they infiltrate the corporation in hopes of finding their creator.
No AI film had quite the impact on pop culture as “The Matrix” in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Written and directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, the film follows computer programmer and hacker Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), aka Neo, as he tries to uncover the truth about his reality, which is actually controlled by artificially intelligent evil forces using humans as energy sources.
After a catastrophic solar flare renders Earth uninhabitable, one of the last surviving humans, engineer Finch Weinberg (Tom Hanks), lives and works in an underground lab with his dog, Goodyear. Finch seldom goes outside, as the average temperature is over 150 degrees, and spends his time making a robot capable of doing human-like tasks. When Finch learns that a deadly storm is approaching, he takes Goodyear and his robot, Jeff, and travels in an RV to survive the next impending disaster.
A stark contrast to some of the unsettling and scary AI movies out there, Pixar’s “WALL-E” centers on a robot named WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter: Earth-Class) who has developed feelings and a personality over the course of 700 years. When his daily garbage-picking routine is interrupted by a robot named EVE, WALL-E falls in love and follows her across the galaxy.
Following his divorce from his wife, Catherine (Rooney Mara), Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) seeks companionship with his artificially intelligent virtual assistant, Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). Though things are awkward at first, Theodore falls in love with Samantha and discovers joy outside of normal human relationships.
TV Shows About Artificial Intelligence
In the acclaimed Netflix anthology series “Black Mirror,” themes of artificial intelligence, human development, and the consequences of advancing technology are at the center of each episode, like the season two episode “Be Right Back” and season four’s “Metalhead.”
Based on the 1973 film by Michael Crichton, HBO’s “Westworld” centers on the Westworld amusement park, which is overseen by artificially intelligent robots known as “hosts.” The park is a playground for elite, high-paying visitors who seek to live out their wildest fantasies without consequence or retaliation from the hosts that reside in it.
In this comedic take on a world overtaken by AI, a nun named Simone teams up with her ex-boyfriend and a resistance group to bring down Mrs. Davis, a powerful AI that helps humans with anything they need.