Ever since Fritz Lang’s Metropolis from 1927, robots have fascinated movie makers and movie goers. For nearly 100 years of film history robots have been at the centre of sci-fi films, action films, drama films, and even sometimes romance films.
Over the years there have been many great science-fiction action films that have graced the big screen. There are even many upcoming sci-fi movies, such as Godzilla vs. Kong, that many movie fans can’t wait to watch. One of the most popular post-apocalyptic video games, Fallout, is even starting to enter the world of bigger screens. Earlier this month, it was announced that there was a Fallout TV series being developed for Amazon Prime.
While there are films like I, Robot and Power Rangers, that have come and gone, there are also some classic iconic sci-fi films that fans will remember for a long time. If you’re wondering what to add next to your watch list, then here are some great robot films for you to add to it.
- The Terminator
“I’ll be back”. It is hard to imagine there was a time before this phrase was uttered everywhere, but it took until 1984 for the world to meet the Terminator in his own jaw-dropping action film. Arnold Swarzenegger plays a cyborg assassin, an indestructible machine sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor.
Schwarzenegger’s performance made him an instant icon, and the film's massive success spawned not only legendary catchphrases, but also multiple sequels, Terminator toys, and Schwarzenegger-inspired fashion along with a whole range of official merchandise. There are even online slots at sites like LeoVegas to play with a Terminator theme, such as the Terminator 2 slot by MicroGaming.
- The Matrix
In 1999, under the direction of the Wachowski siblings, the world was introduced to the stunning action set pieces, revolutionary camera work, and nail-biting concept of The Matrix. From the film’s iconic leather coats and shades, to its centrepiece slow-motion, bullet-time shots, and fight scenes, The Matrix epitomises, and transcends, the guns-blazing cool of action films in the 90s.
The Matrix will often make an appearance in lists of the best robot movies of all time because of its huge popularity, both when it came out and now. In this futuristic film, giant robot creatures are in control of the world and humans are its slaves. The human mind is only kept alive with a virtual simulation of the world we know, known as the Matrix. The film cast and crew would later reunite for two more exuberant sequels, forging a trilogy of high-octane, special effects extravaganzas that have left their footprint in film history.
Michael Bay put it on himself to resurrect the Transformers in 2007, creating an action-packed smash of breathless racing, warring and titanic brawling. With Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox in leading roles, the film doesn’t stop for a minute, and its massive success spawned four more films in the main franchise.
On top of the main run of Transformers films, 2018’s spin-off film Bumblebee, directed by Travis Knight, dials back the anarchic chaos of the other films for an action-packed but comic exploration of the much loved yellow Transformer, yielding surprisingly touching moments of friendship between man and machine.
- Ex Machina
Ex Machina, a recent 2014 film made independently, is a modern classic of the sci-fi genre. In this part sci-fi, part psychological thriller, a young programmer is called upon to psychoanalyse advanced humanoid A.I., and find out just how human they are. The understated thrills of this film show that writers have come a long way since the days of the villainous, marching metal creations of older movies.
With a small intimate set and a limited budget, alongside a stellar cast with sensitive acting, this film sheds new light on what it means to be human. With the advanced intelligence of humanoid A.I. ‘Ava’, it’s unsettling to consider just how far technological advancements will go in the future and what it would mean for humankind.
- Blade Runner
Though they can be easily mistaken for humans, the beings that Harrison Ford comes up against in Blade Runner are actually synthetic humans, known as replicants. This fantastic 1982 film from visionary director Ridley Scott asks what it means to be a robot and a man. With stunning performances from Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, this film is an understated sci-fi treat no to be missed.
The recent sequel, Blade Runner 2049, with Harrison Ford reprising his role as a reluctant bounty hunter alongside Ryan Gosling’s new character, was an underrated gem of 2017, and is sure to keep fans and critics talking for many years.