Robots and Artificial Intelligence

WALL-E
WALL-E

From the early days of cinema, the possibilities of the future and its technological advancements have captured the imaginations behind the camera. As technology increasingly intervenes in our everyday lives and the advances of science go beyond creating humanoid robots but towards cloning and the creation of artificial intelligence, cinema has followed in fear and wonder, predicting new advancements and reacting to current ones. 

Big Hero 6

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration98 mins

Big Hero 6(2014)

Action packed Disney animation with a lovable robot and a cool teenage scientist.

The development of robots and their many potential uses is explored in this thrilling film about a young robotics genius who comes up with a highly coveted new invention – but finds himself reliant on a cuddly robot to take care of him.

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WALL-E

CertU

Age groupAll ages

Duration98 mins

WALL-E(2008)

A small, rather hopeless looking robot is left alone on Earth to clean up the mess left by humans, in this wonderful Pixar animation.

This animation explores what earth may look like in the near future if humans continue to treat it as they do – with robots left behind to do their dirty work.

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The Iron Giant

CertU

Age group7–14

Duration86 mins

The Iron Giant(1999)

Superbly animated adaptation following young Hogarth's discovery of a colossal, friendly robot, and his plight to protect him from government agents.

This adaptation of Ted Hughes’s story The Iron Man transplants the action to 1950s America, with a backdrop of Cold War tension with the Space Race and advances in weaponry causing fear. When a huge robot appears in this atmosphere, it takes an innocent young boy to believe he’s capable of more than just destruction.

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Robots

CertPG

Age group5–11

Duration86 mins

Robots(2005)

Animation set in a world entirely made up of robots in which an inventor leaves his hometown to make a name for himself in Robot City.

This wonderfully creative and colourful animation engages with inventions and product design in a beautifully imagined robot world.

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Pinocchio

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration83 mins

Pinocchio (1940)

Animated fable about toymaker Geppetto and his wooden puppet Pinocchio, who is brought to life after he wishes for a son.

This classic traditional tale has provided the source material for many futuristic films that grapple with ideas about what it means to be human.

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Edward Scissorhands

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration105 mins

Edward Scissorhands(1991)

Tim Burton's update on the Frankenstein story is also a brilliant and strikingly-designed satire on suburban values.

The potential to create life is explored in this gothic tale transplanted into a candy-coloured landscape, where Edward must learn to negotiate the suburban society he finds himself in.

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Hugo

CertU

Age group7–16

Duration126 mins

Hugo(2011)

The sophisticated storytelling and lavish camera work in this superb family adventure combine to create a loving postcard to the power of film.

A mysterious automaton is just part of a series of fascinating clues that leads orphaned boy Hugo to the heart of a mystery that’s wrapped up in incredible inventions and the dawn of cinema itself.

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Ratchet & Clank

CertU

Age group7–14

Duration94 mins

Ratchet & Clank(2016)

Mechanic Ratchet is given the chance of a lifetime when he is recruited by the Galactic Rangers to help protect his planet from evil Chairman Drek.

Ratchet’s companion Clank was a robot on a production line designed to create evil machines, who was declared faulty and escaped to find allies against the villain who created him.

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Frankenweenie

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration83 mins

Frankenweenie(2012)

When Victor loses his beloved pet, he conducts an experiment to bring him back to life. When he succeeds, things escalate beyond Victor's control.

An eccentric disney update of the Frankenstein story with the monster replaced with a beloved pet dog. Shot in black and white and with lots of references to the original 1930s version, it offers an accessible way in to classic film for younger members.

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AI: Artificial Intelligence

Cert12

Age group11–16

Duration140 mins

AI: Artificial Intelligence(2001)

Beautiful science fiction fairy tale based on the future production of Mechas, humanoid robots.

Heartbreaking tale about the potential of artificial intelligence to create stand-ins for human relationships.

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Blade Runner

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration117 mins

Blade Runner(1982)

In the future human clones are sent to work in the outer reaches of space, when six escape and head to earth a blade runner is sent to hunt them.

Based on a novel by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, this iconic film investigates whether the personality and memories that a clone, or ‘replicant’ has developed are less valid than a human’s.

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Ex Machina

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration104 mins

Ex Machina(2014)

A taut sci-fi thriller exploring the popular debate about whether Artificial Intelligence could ever match humankind's capacity to think and feel.

This tense drama sets up a naïve but talented young programmer in a Turing test against a sophisticated and beautiful A.I.

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Metropolis

CertPG

Age group11+

Duration138 mins

Metropolis(1927)

This visually spectacular German sci-fi classic (made, incredibly, in 1927) sees the rich live in skyscrapers and the poor toil underground.

This classic of early cinema imagines a vision of the future with underground workers presided over by a clone they don’t suspect is controlled by an evil scientist.

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I, Robot

Cert12

Age group11–16

Duration110 mins

I, Robot(2004)

Nerve-jangling futuristic sci-fi thriller about a detective who suspects a robot has committed murder.

Set in the near future where robots are commonplace, and governed by rules that prevent them from turning against humans. When a murder appears to be have been committed by a robot, the delicate balance of society is dangerously undermined.

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Her

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration121 mins

Her(2013)

A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with a newly purchased operating system that's designed to meet his every need.

The pervasive extent of our dependence on technology is investigated in this film that imagines what it would be like if our operating systems had the freedom to form social bonds.

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Frankenstein

CertPG

Age group11+

Duration68 mins

Frankenstein(1931)

Based on Mary Shelley's classic Gothic horror novel about a misunderstood monster hounded through Transylvania's foggy graveyards.

This classic horror film is a poignant reminder of the dangers of interfering with nature, as well as the responsibility of the creator towards his creation.

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Pacific Rim

Cert12

Age group14+

Duration131 mins

Pacific Rim(2013)

An epic, action-packed movie about enormous man-made robots taking on giant alien sea monsters, with cutting-edge visual effects.

Humans have developed sophisticated robots, controlled (but also potentially undermined) by the minds of two pilots, who must maintain focus to defend against the large-scale alien attacks that are dominating the planet.

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Moon

Cert15

Age group16+

Duration93 mins

Moon(2009)

Clever, inventive sci-fi film about an astronaut running a mining operation on the moon, with a robot as his only source of conversation.

A lonely astronaut finds himself reliant on a robot named GERTY for company in his seemingly relentless solo mission on the moon.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration135 mins

Star Wars: The Force Awakens(2015)

Old and new forces combine in this continuation of the space saga, set thirty years after the events of Return of the Jedi.

Familiar android C-3PO is joined by BB-8 as once again the ‘droids are the guardians of vital hidden clues and messages from other planets.

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The Terminator

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration107 mins

The Terminator(1984)

A killer cyborg is sent back in time to murder the mother of the man who will save humanity in this Arnie-starring action thriller.

Can a cyborg programmed for destruction be halted in its mission? For the sake of humanity, the man tasked with preventing the Terminator is going to give it his best shot in this high-octane action picture.

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Prometheus

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration119 mins

Prometheus(2012)

Prequel to the sci-fi thriller Alien, in which the crew of the spaceship Prometheus hope to discover the source of human life on a distant moon.

A crew on a potent but dangerous mission that challenges previously held beliefs are assisted by a highly intelligent android, who helps them interpret clues.

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A Tree Of Palme

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration136 mins

A Tree Of Palme(2002)

Futuristic Japanese animation offering a sci-fi spin on the classic tale of Pinocchio, in which a naive robot must transport an egg to the land below.

In this anime, a robot named Palme who has been orphaned by his human guardians is given an important task which he hopes will win him the power to become human and allow him to connect with the girl of his dreams.

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Edward Scissorhands

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration105 mins

Edward Scissorhands(1991)

Tim Burton's update on the Frankenstein story is also a brilliant and strikingly-designed satire on suburban values.

The potential to create life is explored in this gothic tale transplanted into a candy-coloured landscape, where Edward must learn to negotiate the suburban society he finds himself in.

Read more
Silent Running

CertPG

Age group11+

Duration86 mins

Silent Running(1972)

A visually stunning sci-fi about a hippy caretaker of a space-station greenhouse, who turns against his bosses when he's ordered to return to Earth.

An intriguing 70s film with an environmental message in which a crewman on a spaceship befriends three robots called drones in his bid to save the plants he was cultivating.

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Forbidden Planet

CertU

Age group11+

Duration94 mins

Forbidden Planet(1956)

Classic sci-fi movie with an ahead-of-its-time electronic soundtrack about a rescue team that arrives on a distant planet in search of lost humans.

Featuring Robby the Robot, a 7-foot tall mechanical servant of Dr Morbius who is programmed to follow a system of rules, including not harming humans.

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