Arrogant scientists create something unnatural and then underestimate how powerful it is in ... well, in a lot of movies, but Morgan is the one we're talking about today. Livelier than its dull title, yet still derivative of similar movies, it’s a sci-fi thriller about an all-business risk-management consultant named Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) who’s sent to a remote research facility where the product of an artificial-intelligence experiment has turned violent. The A.I. is Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy), a lab-grown organism with the physical appearance of a teenage girl and vast, unspecified mental acuity. The scientists (including Toby Jones and Jennifer Jason Leigh) have become attached to her—or “it,” as Lee insists—and seek to downplay Morgan’s occasional sociopathic outbursts. Eagerly directed by Luke Scott (Ridley’s son), Morgan is reminiscent of films like Ex Machina (artificial intelligence) and Hanna (deadly teen girls), though not as thoughtful or as elegantly executed. But it’s not boring, either, even when it clumsily telegraphs its intentions, and it makes fine use of Paul Giamatti as a skeptical psychologist evaluating Morgan’s fitness. Movie scientists will never learn, will they?
Director: Luke Scott
Producer: Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Mark Huffam, Aidan Elliott, George Heller and Elishia Holmes
Cast: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Toby Jones, Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Leigh, Paul Giamatti, Michael Yare, Chris Sullivan, Vinette Robinson, Brian Cox, Crispian Belfrage, Amybeth McNulty, Jonathan Aris and Charlotte Asprey