Movie Review

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual content and violent images

Reviewed by: Carole McDonnell
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Fantasy Drama
Length:
2 hr. 25 min.
Year of Release:
2001
USA Release:
June 29, 2001 (wide)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE
Relevant Issues
Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

Eternal life—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

The Origin of bad—How did bad things come about? Answer

What kind of world would you create? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

Life Before Birth (stories and articles with a pro-life perspective) Index

Why aren’t my prayers answered? Go

Am I good enough to go to Heaven? Go

What is the being of light encountered in near-death experiences? Answer

Suicide—What does the Bible say? Answer

Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

questions and answers about the origin of life

Featuring: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, William Hurt
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Warner Bros. Pictures
DreamWorks SKG
Amblin Entertainment
Stanley Kubrick Productions
Kathleen Kennedy
Steven Spielberg
Bonnie Curtis
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

In today’s movies, characters routinely discard and shrug off people who love or need them. “A.I: Artificial Intelligence”, the Steven Spielberg film, will touch most people… all but the most adrenaline-addicted unfeeling moviegoer… because it shows us the pain and consequence of love.

Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law in A.I. When the film begins, we see Martin, the cryogenically frozen son of Monica and Henry. Because her son is in a state that is neither life nor death, Monica is unable to grieve. Meanwhile, in a Mecha (android) think tank, Professor Hobby (William Hurt in his usual cold performance) has shared his new plans with his colleagues: he wants to create a mechanical boy who can love. One of the professor’s colleague asks the question: “Can humans truly love an android?” The professor answers that God made Adam to be loved. But this, as any audience member knows, does not begin to delve into the murky waters of creating a loving child whose object of affection is mortal and has free will. Monica and her husband are chosen to be the parents of the mechanical boy, David. Initially upset, she comes to like David and makes a fateful decision that will begin to make David a living soul, much to the audience’s grief and sorrow.

Haley Joel Osment as David in A.I. Like Pinocchio, David ends up in the cold hard world. With Haley Joel Osment playing the character so wonderfully, David the Mecha becomes an object of care and love for the audience. He is not only a motherless child, but a rejected adopted child—even worse… his lack of normalcy makes him seem like a special child… someone who might be slightly autistic, deaf, or mentally retarded. This is a kid that will tear a woman’s heart apart. The audience’s worries for this child gets even worse when we discover what the real world is like. Apocalyptically speaking, the world is well on its way to hell or highwater. The Polar Caps melted and the human race—sinful and violent in its “ritual of blood and electricity”—has almost been destroyed by a flood of Biblical proportions. The only decent people left on earth are the androids—who with no free will—are loving and programmed to follow their prime directive. Even Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), David’s companion and polar (but obedient to his program) opposite. He is sensual and sexual, yet innocent and guiltless.

Jude Law as Gigolo Joe in A.I. “A.I.” will remind the viewer of many films and stories, including “Blade Runner”, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” “The Wizard of Oz” and primarily “Pinnochio.” It’s a film that asks several moral question: “Would humans be better if God had programmed and without free will?” “Are we responsible to those who love us?” “Does someone’s love for us make us responsible to them? Especially if we caused someone to love us because we needed love at a particular time? And should we drop someone out of our lives simply because they are no longer needed?” These moral questions are asked in a sci-fi/fantasy film but they are questions most people face at one time or another.

David’s journey towards a “defined” kind of boyhood that only focuses on being loved by mommy is problematical because there are times when the viewer wants him to give up his dream. He is, however, a boy. Forever a boy-toy, he has no other purpose but to be worthy of his creator, whom he believes is his mother. His purpose is seemingly futile—Boy-toys last for only a season and are discarded when something better comes along. Yet his childlike persevering faith in the blue fairy is so strong and innocent and the world is so cruel, that the viewer hopes against hope for a “fairy-tale ending.” The innocent, we feel, should not suffer like this.

There are two scenes that suggest sexuality and some snide cracks against the Christian God and the Christian community. Gigolo Joe comments on humanity’s belief in their own Maker and their need to pray. His commentary on those who pray to their Maker is that he usually picks up some people who exit the chapel. Humans do not pray as deeply or as intensely to the Virgin Mary as a mechanical boy will pray to the Blue Fairy. Gigolo Joe scorns the human faith but readily believes in the faith of a mechanical boy. In addition, some destructive dogmatic types who “celebrate Life” seemed like the usual Hollywood knocks at the Right-To-Lifers and the Christian Right. Young children might be disturbed by the theme of a lost mother and by the sibling rivalry.

As usual, savior-aliens are ever helpful in Spielberg’s films. Although, I find myself increasingly more annoyed at these saving beings of light, I accepted their presence in this film because I wanted some kind of happy ending for David. The ending will cause many discussions as to what actually happened and is the ending “happy” or not. How are we to react to what appears to be the end of his suffering? Christians will be on both sides of that discussion. It is good, however, to see a film that challenges us to love those who love us. This is one of the most memorable, meaningful and touching films of the summer. Definitely a tear-jerker.

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer


Viewer Comments
“A.I.” is a disturbing patchwork of Sci-Fi filmmaking. Stephen Spielberg has blended a tribute to many of the ground breaking elements found in Science Fiction. The film pays homage to the unfinished work of Stanley Kubrik. Mr. Kubrik has a long standing reputation of crafting scenes that the viewer finds unsettling (example: “Clockwork Orange” and “Eyes Wide Shut”). Kubrik worked on a short story, “Supertoys Last All Summer Long”, by Brian Aldiss for 15 years. Spielberg, who says “he does not do therapy, but uses his films to sort through problems in his life”, truly forces us to think and wrestle with this view of the future…

I do caution that although there is a child at the center of this film; it is not a film for children… Spielberg points out the historic direction that VCRs and Internet has taken. Both have been used to make porn more acceptable. It is not difficult to imagine that machines could be exploited for this use. David’s path is similar to Pinocchio, but when faced with temptation, he resists and sticks to his quest to earn the love of his mother.

The violent treatment of mecha’s and the trip through Rouge City are not scenes for young eyes. You cannot help but be drawn into every struggle David makes in his journey for unconditional love. David does not always make perfect choices. There is a disturbing scene of David killing another mecha and he also becomes depressed and tries to take his life. Spielberg is, however, respectful of God and scripture.

I do not agree with all the ideas of this film, but I do recommend it to discerning adults. It does not have any language or substance abuse. It is a compelling drama to discuss with your teen. I do highly recommend that you leave your children at home.

My age recommendation is 16 and older. My teenage son and I had a very engaging discussion after the film. I am not sure what audience this film will try to find, but Spielberg may have finally succeeded in making a commercially offensive film that will get the notice of the Academy.
My Ratings: [Average]
—Douglas Downs
Please read Mr. Douglas Downs’ review (above) of this movie, it is very accurate and I agree wholeheartedly with his review. I was expecting more from Mr. Spielberg to be quite honest. I realize that he was completing this film because Mr. Stanley Kubrick had asked him too. It must have been Mr. Spielberg’s idea to introduce the little bear “Teddie” into the story because I found the bear to be the most entertaining part of this movie. Definitely view this film on video and do not waste your money in the theatre.
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
—Eric Melby, age 33
Positive—Kubrick’s last two works happen to be his most misunderstood. First, there was his directorial swan song, “Eyes Wide Shut,” which is perhaps my favorite film of all time. Then there was his production of “A.I.,” completed post-mortem and directed by Steven Spielberg as he always intended. And make no mistake: this IS as much of a Kubrick film as it is a Spielberg film. He conceptualized a great deal of it, becoming so dedicated to making it a great film that he was even able to relinquish directorial control, believing that Spielberg’s style would better suit the sympathy that the story required. That is proof that Stanley Kubrick was not inspired by ego, as many claim, but by pure genius.

But what makes “A.I.” feel most like a Kubrick film is its uncanny ability to reveal more and more with each rewatching. You will discover whole thought lines that you missed the time before—multiple times! Quite a few movies do this, but none do it to the extent that a Kubrick film does it. Anyhow, I promise you this: if you have only watched “AI” once, you didn’t get it. Period. I loved it to death the first time I watched it, but I didn’t get it, either.

This movie is not about a robot feeling the greatest human emotion of love. This movie is about humans creating impossible ideals and, finding themselves unable to fulfill them, bestowing them upon robots. The tagline for this movie read: “His love is real. But he is not.” It is just that: a tagline meant to fill seats. In fact, David’s love is NOT real. It is the kind of obsessive love that we all dream about, but the kind that doesn’t really exist. Many people will not understand this, or will refuse to understand this, because we just can’t accept the fact that humans can’t love as deeply as David loves. After romantic twaddle like “Twilight,” the concept will be doubly hard to grasp.

This movie is all about human mistakes. Professor Hobby creates David not because he wants to give other parents a chance to have a child of their own, but because his own son died and he’s trying to create a child-robot to fill the void. Also, the review above completely misinterpreted the line he delivers about Adam. His female colleague asks, “If a robot could genuinely love a person what responsibility does that person hold toward that Mecha in return?” To which he replies, “In the beginning, didn’t God create Adam to love him?” He is not saying that Adam was created so God could love him, but that Adam was created so he could love God. So actually, that line was blasphemous, and the movie resonates with that theme: humans are the creators, and robots are their creation made only for the purpose of serving them.

Continuing with the human mistakes, at one point in the movie Monica (David’s mother by imprint) is forced by events and by her husband’s urging to take David back to Cybertronics to be destroyed. She finds herself unable to do it, however, and abandons David in the woods. Had she been truly thinking about David’s well-being, she would have realized that abandoning him would merely leave him wandering about in endless agony, unable to be with the mother he so desperately loves (which he does do). It would have been much more humane for her to destroy him.

Also observe Monica’s real son. He is something of a brat. From what we see, he never shows the same kind of devotion to Monica as David does. He never expresses gratitude, nor even love. And yet he is the one that Monica chooses. Is it because he is real, and David is a robot?

No. It is because, deep down, every human knows that real love is not about being perfect. Our society seems to have an addiction to perfection: watch any chick flick or read any romance novel, and you will see what concept of “true love” people will pay the most to vicariously experience. It is no wonder the divorce rate is so high--when people come to expect such ridiculous fibs in their own marriage, they are naturally going to be in for a severe disappointment. “AI” is an answer to this sad addiction. Especially telling, the line Gigolo Joe gives while seducing one of his customers: “Once you’ve had a lover-robot you’ll never want a real man again.”

However, for all its harsh happenstances, this movie is not trying to be pessimistic. It is merely presenting a problem in the human race and showing the consequences of not dealing with it. We must always try to improve our situation, but to search for a perfection that doesn’t exist is ridiculous. Take, for example, the businessman who works hard to earn money. That is not a bad thing. However, when he aims for insane wealth and riches and ends up ignoring his wife and kids, his situation has become an addiction.

Also take a man searching for a good woman. That is a wonderful goal. But if a man misinterprets the idea of the “perfect woman” and turns to porn for satisfaction, that is futile. And, of course, there are consequences. Heavy consequences. Acknowledging them isn’t pessimism, but wisdom and realism. “AI” is a very wise and realistic film.

Everyone should watch this. If it offends you, I am sorry, but you must watch it anyway. It is too important to miss. Remember, after all, that Jesus offended people in his own time, so if your knee-jerk reaction is to be offended, you’d better stop and think long and hard about exactly why you’re offended, and then you should figure out whether it’s your fault or the fault of the offender.

Oh, and this movie is a definite tearjerker. I have watched it four times already, and each time I cried to the point my eyes started stinging. I cried so much that I’m afraid I’d make even my family uncomfortable were I to watch it with them.

P.S. To the commenter above who said: “It must have been Mr. Spielberg’s idea to introduce the little bear Teddie into the story because I found the bear to be the most entertaining part of this movie.”—your crack against Kubrick backfired, because it was actually his idea to introduce Teddy.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—JM, age 19 (USA)
Reviewers continue to make the statement “this movie makes you think”. The only thing I was thinking as I left the theater was how bad the movie was! I am an avid moviegoer and Sci-Fi lover, as well as a born-again Christian. This movie was not a movie I would recommend to anyone let a lone a Christian. S

pielberg does not come right out and offend you with harsh language, but the couple of GD’s were absolutely unnecessary. A sexbot? Building entrances that look like you are walking between a girls legs?

A place of prayer in the middle of Rouge city, where the sexbot likes to pick up woman? Flesh fair? Dr Know? The few bible references were used sarcastically. Osment and Law played their parts great, and that is the only complement I can give this movie. The movie went from boring and dull to just plain ridiculous. Praying in front of the blue fairy? David smashes another AI, and ***WARNING: PLOT SPOILER*** soon after decides to just give up his life. Can an AI commit suicide? Hey the movie made me think! Save your money. I have never been so disappointed in a movie.
My Ratings: [Average / 1]
—John Bricher, age 26
It seems that we’ve become so accustomed to viewing films that package everything so neat and tidy that we forget how to appreciate movies such as this. You do not leave the theater after seeing“ A.I.” “feeling good.” It does however, stimulate thought and conversation, as the movie leaves the viewer with unanswered questions.

The movie is clearly more art gallery than amusement park-surreal and disturbing, beautifully lighted and photographed. From a Christian perspective, the most notable point that is missing is the absence of God in the love equation and origin equation. There is little here to make us laugh or even smile (except for “Teddy”). It is clearly adult fare. (Apparently, Haley’s mom won’t let his younger sister see it.) Rent it when it comes on video and watch it when the kids are in bed.
My Ratings: [Average / 4½]
—Jim, age 40
I am not going to get into a discussion of the moral merits of this movie, although I will say that if taken in context of what the movie is actually saying (it may require more than one viewing for some people as there are many subtle layers in this movie that are not apparent to most people on the first viewing) it is not as morally offensive, or even saying some of the things that people will at first believe, it is. In fact, I would venture to say that if one actually understands the ethical undertones of the movie they will find it very in tune with Christian values.

That said, it is a sci-fi movie and can’t be taken in the sense that one would a normal film. I will also say that production-wise it is one of the best of 2001 (and I obviously don’t have to point out the connotations of the release date). My actual reason for commenting on the film is in response to something the guest reviewer Carole McDonnell, along with some of the viewer commentators, have mentioned, the aliens at the end of the film.

***SPOILER WARNING*** That was not a scene about alien saviours (which goes without saying since there were no humans left to save) and those were not in fact aliens at all at the end of the movie. I do not want to give away their actual identity, but it is foreshadowed a couple times at earlier points in the movie (when we see David for the first time and Gigilo Joe’s comment about what is to come in the end).
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 5]
—Drew Costen, age 24
I found “A.I.” to be thought provoking and entertaining, and occasionally gripping. I disagree with the notion that a film, to be acceptable to a Christian audience, must be completely devoid of philosophies and ideas that challenge Biblical principle. When fear of difference takes center stage, the courage to spread the Gospel of Christ exits. On the other hand, good films that express Christian principles without dependence on shallow sentimentality are a joy to watch and just as hard to come by as their secular counterparts.

One comment on the review: The “alien saviors” are actually Mecha who have developed themselves in the absence of humans who are long extinct. This is why the boy-robot, David, is so special to them. He is their Adam, so to speak, and the only one who remembers a living human… and it is humans who originally “created” them. In the end, the boy, David becomes more than a robot, not only by virtue of his ability to imagine and dream, but also by the tenderness of concern he shows toward his “mother” during her last day on earth. Terrific movie for raising the hard questions and challenging us to dig into our own understanding of life in this modern world according to our walk of faith in Christ.
—Melinda Thorpe
…I was VERY impressed. Steven has hits and he has misses… this is definitely a hit! This is a very engaging film that will really get you thinking. The characters are fabulous, as are the talented actors who portray them. There are quite a few scenes that are totally unexpected. Several times I had to remind my friends that this is really a Kubrick film, which explains at least several strange but incredible parts.

Do not bring your kids to this film expecting to see an E.T. type movie… its not! Stick with the PG-13 rating and bring your teens… any younger than that and I think it would be too intense. Also this is a thinking movie; that is, it gets your mind working. If you like to sit back and simply be entertained without having to think about anything, don’t see this film.… Excellent film! Highly recommended! The ending is especially unexpected… but WELL worth the wait!
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
—Dustin W., age 21, non-Christian
I don’t know if I interpreted this movie incorrectly, or the advertisement of it was misleading, but this movie was nothing like I thought it would be. I was expecting a Pinocchio/learning-to-cope-with-differences type of movie that has some tears but leaves you feeling refreshed. But, this movie starts off drastically different and just gets worse.

First of all, there is no happiness—just sadness and pain. Then as the movie progresses the robots begin to get weirder and weirder (there’s even a scene with a male robot prostitute convincing a woman that she really is ready to experience a “real” man). Soon we see a chase scene involving many warped and mutilated robots who are grotesquely lifelike.

At this point, about an hour into the movie, my 15 year old sister asked if we could leave, it was just too disturbing. I was pretty grateful that she wanted to, since I also was not enjoying myself. I am an avid movie goer and this is the first time I have ever walked out on a movie. This movie is only for the science-fiction and oddity lovers.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3]
—Hunter, age 18
Totally Godless! This movie was insidiously disturbing because it exists in an absolute moral and spiritual vacuum. There is no recognition or reference to God, except by the offensive profanity. I am repulsed by Spielberg’s conspicuous omission of God.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 3]
—David Johnston, age 41
The bottom line of this film, weighing the consequences of the choices that we make and seeing the impact of those choices on one small life, makes A.I. one to bring your parents to see. It’s not a “happy” story but it does get its point across. If a classic is defined by a story with a strong moral this is one in the making and I strongly recommend it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 5]
—Steven Carver, age 43
My husband and two children ages 14 and 16 went to this movie. There are two G ’s in the movie that could have been left out. I went not knowing anything about this movie like most people because the plot was never revealed. This movie is disturbing in some parts—but will make you think. One lady at the theatre left crying. I still have mixed feelings about it. I will not buy it for my home collection. I do not recommend it for under 16.
My Ratings: [Average / 5]
—Garcia, age 38
…there is nothing in the trailers that suggests a friendly kid movie. The ads are weird, futuristic, disorienting and a bit scary. Haley Joel Osment generally appears in creepy films not made for young eyes. Also, the PG-13 rating should be something of a tip-off… I loved this film. The effects were awesome and Haley pulled off a stupendous acting job. I cried several times during the movie due to his touching performance.

This is a story that gets one thinking about the nature of love and humanity. I’d definitely recommend it. …Some of the scenes with the damaged robots could induce nightmares and would be too much for little minds. Bring the thoughtful teens and leave the babes at home with a sitter.
My Ratings: [Average / 4½]
—Sarah, age 16
This movie is long needed in Hollywood. Don’t listen to all the bad reviews out there, especially one if you like Spielberg flics and two like sci fi fantasy pics. I didn’t find myself losing interest at all. It was a heart warming story about love and losing those we love the most. About wanting to be accepted by others to fit in and be like the other real boys.

The acting is superb by Osment, Law, and the Teddy Bear which is absolutely hilarious. That was one the suprises is how funny both Law and the Teddy Bear are. I would not recommend this for the 13 and under crowd though. It has a smaterring of violence and sexual innuendo which was truly very tame for Hollywood. Go see this extrodinarly rare jewel.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
—Jason Wandel, age 22
A.I. left my wife and I feeling flat, indeed it seemed to have a similar effect on the packed house taking it all in on opening night. There was little laughter, little applause. I found it hard to really relate to a robot boy who (unlike Pinnochio) never does anything wrong in this movie. He is something like a mechanized “Edward Scissorhands,” innocent, yet pathetic. Should we blame people for not giving unconditional love to a machine? In my opinion, the best part of the movie was the awesome sets designed by Tim Burton and crew. The reviewer is certainly right in recommending that pre-adolescents not see this movie. It has strong rejection scenes that might be difficult to view and understand. There are sexual pleasure robots portrayed as a valuable part of the future society. The final question I found myself asking as I exited the theatre: how can I get a hold of that miracle pants and t-shirt fabric David wore? It lasted over 2000 years without one unraveled seam!
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4]
—Scott Wessling
I thought it was one of the strangest movies I’ve ever seen, but I enjoyed it. It was like “Pinocchio” meets “Blade Runner” filtered through “2001” (ironic that’s the year it came out, eh?) with a little bit of “Close Encounters” (Haley Joel Osment reminds me a little bit of that Cary Guffey kid) thrown in for good measure. Look at it as a Stanley Kubrick movie rather than a Steven Spielberg movie, and you may really find its meaning—it’s not a family film, but one calculated to make you think (and definitely a better sendoff for Kubrick than “Eyes Wide Shut”). As for whether it’s a movie for Christians to see, I would agree that there are positive references to God and scripture but there are some unsettling scenes and explanations that Christians would find on the unacceptable side.

We must remember that David is not a real person, and the scene in which he prays to the “blue fairy” (similar to Catholics praying to Mary, if you ask me) may be construed as one which says that prayers are not answered. But our prayers to the one true God are answered in real life. There’s also the issue of the “flesh fair,” in which humans delight in the destruction of their mecha counterparts—that’s also unsettling to watch as some of the mechas have become almost human. It’s a slight reminder that we must not become too attached to machines of any kind, because they fall apart and fade away, unlike the love of Christ for us. Watch with discernment.
My Ratings: [Average / 4½]
—Brian, age 32
This movie is fantastic but not for kids. It’s a very dark story and frightening at times. It moves slowly and has an eerie aura throughout. I believe it accurately portrays man’s use and abuse of technology. Man’s use of it for good and evil things alike. The film paints man as taking after his creator. When faced with the moral question of creating artificial intelligence to love humans without the guarantee humans will love back, Prof. Hobby replies, “Was not Adam created to love his creator?”.

It is easy to believe that if we had this kind of technology available to us we would use it for things like sex or replacing children. In our sinful arrogance we’d play God. Unlike other films A.I. shows mankind as he is not as he thinks himself to be.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 5]
—Rob Hubler, age 29
Movie suggests that robots can become as precious as humans. Cryonics, praying to a fairy and reincarnation are accepted and undisputed themes. As a born again Christian, you know this is all bogus but Spielburg still gets you emotionally exhausted because of the parent-child relationship issues.

Scripture states that God is the author and perfector of life, not mankind! If one were to compare the predictions of this movie with Revelation there is zero correlation (I went thinking there might be). What was I thinking? Much violence in a certain and lengthy scene.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 4½]
—Kim Hubbard, age 35
While I found this film visually stunning and engaging both intellectually and emotionally, I strongly reject its thesis: “artificial” life forms are superior to humans in that they are free from hypocrisy, selfishness, SIN; man is superior to God in that he creates a superior being than God did when He created man. Sound confusing? Watch the film carefully. It seems to me that Spielberg has woven a tale that pits man’s creation (mechas) against God’s creation (orgas) in order to show that man can do better and that God, as understood in the Judeo-Christian worldview, is not the only life-giver. Honestly consider the central characters in A.I. The humans are spiteful, self-serving and fear-driven; while the robots are sincere, selfless and dedicated. The Flesh Fair paints this contrast starkly.

Gigolo Joe exists only to serve women and fulfill their innermost needs which real men can never meet. David only wants Mommy to love him back and can see no other purpose for existing than to please Mommy. What a contrast to Daddy who is unpredictable in his attitude toward David: loving and supportive one moment, hostile and intimidating the next. It’s so obvious that the mechas are presented as more “human” than the humans. Even the actors (Jude Law and Haley) turn in vastly superior performances. Haley’s performance as David is outstanding and deserves an oscar nomination.

I do think, however, this movie is worth seeing. Its final third is dreadfully slow-paced and unnecessarily drawn out. DON’T READ THE NEXT LINE IF YOU DON’T WANT A SPOILER ON THE FILM’S ENDING. The whole 2000 year freeze, subsequent resurrection, and alien superiority angle was completely ridiculous and dissatisfying.

One final comment for thoughtful Christians. Take note of Prof. Hobby’s statement in the first scene. He proposes creating a robot that can genuinely love a human (we later learn that Prof. Hobby has lost his real son and that David is a reproduction of that lost son.) The ensuing conversation is most [thought-provoking].
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—John Bartos, age 37
I had been looking forward to seeing this movie for quite a while. It was very disappointing. This movie is a mess of different ideas and none of the films many conflicts are truly resolved by the end. Some scenes (such as the scenes played for humor) seem to drag on. On the other hand, some areas of the film (such as the scenes involving the abandoned mechas) feel rushed. There’s not really an ending, as the final scenes cause confusion rather than bring the story to a close. I think a story revolving around the abandoned mechas would have been more entertaining and insightful than this poorly crafted retelling of Pinocchio.
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Josh Johnson, age 20
This movie will go into the hall of shame. It has no redeeming quality or positive perspective. I can understand the attempt to “fairy tale” this movie, but after you throw in the polar ice caps melting to the “beings” at the end, the movie gets lost in an attempt to pull your emotional strings to believe the boy is real. The only real thing in the movie is the in-your-face attitude that God is NOT REAL. He is not needed. He is not wanted. He is not there…
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 1]
—Jody Kitts, age 40
…My wife Carol summed it up as we were leaving the theater: “That was 3 hours of my life I’ll never get back!” There’s a line of narration in the movie that includes the phrase “after 2000 years…” and I leaned over and whispered to Carol that it seemed like 2000 years had gone by for real!… Whatever impression you’ve gotten from watching the trailers for this movie, forget it. It’s not a family film by any stretch of the imagination; thematically and visually it’s certainly too intense for children.

Even for adults, the plot line is disjointed, much of the dialogue is literally painful to listen to, and the visual experience as a whole is just plain weird-Kubrickian, as a matter of fact. What passes for the film’s resolution is contrived and anticlimactic, mainly because any semblance of a coherent story line had long since disappeared.

The one bright spot in the movie is the performance of Haley Joel Osment; the youngster is a brilliant actor, no question about it. Unfortunately, he has a mess of a role to work with, and the supporting actors fare even worse. Very rarely does the audience feel a connection with the characters in the film, and all that’s left is to try to make sense of the movie on a strictly cerebral level, no easy feat in this case. You get the feeling that this is one of those movies that was made to impress the people who vote for Academy Awards. Nobody really understands what the movie is about, but thanks to the cachet of Spielberg and Kubrick, no one dares admit it.

Not being bound by such conventions, I can honestly say this was one of the most disappointing film-going experiences I’ve had in a long time. I was glad we went to a matinee so I didn’t have to add insult to injury by paying full price… All in all, “A.I.” was a negative spiritual experience. Don’t waste your time or your money on this mess.
My Ratings: [Average / 1½]
—Jay Vance, age 39
Positive—I found this movie to be quite entertaining, with excellent visual effects and acting, especially Osment. I think many people missed the point of the movie, and I don’t claim to understand the mind of the creators of the film, but, it seemed to me, they are saying something very profound about the human condition. You have someone who can define “Perfect Love” and program it into a machine, but this is a mistake, because we cannot give this kind of love to anyone ourselves.

It also speaks about the creation of this “Perfect Love” in quantities for mass consumption without the need to commit to the same. Even as we had ruined the planet with our need to “have more” we had created “disposable people” to interact with and ignored the (Real) people around us, because they can’t give us what we want without needing or expecting something in return.

The movie has many layers, and there is still more I could comment on, but, I will say this, it is positively scary how this seems to be happening right before our eyes when our kids would rather play a video game with someone who may not even be in the same country, than go out and play with someone in person. Or the kid who would rather “Text” or “Facebook” someone just down the block, rather than pick up the phone and have a real conversation with them or get up and go visit in person. The realities of this movie may be much closer than you believe.

I will say this in closing: The “Aliens” at the end of the movie are not from another planet, they are what the “Mecha” on earth evolved into, and David was special because he had “Touched the Creator,” so those who think this movie does not say anything about God are wrong; it speaks VOLUMES about God, you are just too blind too see it. The whole point of the movie is: “This is what happens when Man is God.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jim Huff, age 52 (USA)
Movie Critics
…DISCUSSION TOPICS—Mechanoids and robots, morality, longing for love, being real, alien life, death of a child and parent, cryogenics, being unique, spirit, the meaning of existence…
—Kids-in-Mind
…By the end, the “I” from the title is dropped, and the movie is simply artificial. Intelligence, unfortunately, is nowhere to be found…
—Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
…lacks the feel-good resolution of most of [Spielberg’s] films—how could it not, given its origin as a Kubrick project?…
—Ron Weiskind, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
…a provocative, personal and intensely engaging picture made with big-studio resources and technical magic…
—Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune