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‘Morgan’ Critical Roundup: Reviews Have No Spark For Kate Mara’s Sci-Fi Thriller

Critics agree the film lacks substance.


20th Century Fox

Luke Scott’s “Morgan” is an A.I. horror thriller about an artificially created humanoid who’s existence is threatened after she attacks one of her creators. Starring Kara Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy and Paul Giamatti, the drama will be released this Friday, September 2. Here is what the critics are saying.

IndieWire’s Kate Erbland wrote in her review that “Morgan” is “another sci-fi film that’s only engineered to disappoint.” Giving it a D grade, she writes, “‘Morgan,’ for all its ambitious sci-fi trappings, is really a film about how being human is hard and messy and weird, a message that’s difficult to deliver by way of wooden lines, worse delivery and a series of cheap, gotcha! ‘twists’ that do its audience no favors.”

READ MORE: ‘Morgan’ Review: Limp and Lackluster ‘Ex Machina’ Clone Needs More Brain Power

Owen Gleiberman of Variety notes that “‘Morgan,’ in the end, takes enough overwrought and even ridiculous turns to seriously compromise its chance of finding an audience.” He adds that “all science fiction is metaphor, and a thriller about a hellion ingenue with a dead stare who is really a thing but has feelings anyway, and will kill you if you threaten to take them away, is expressing something about the state of girlhood today. If only it could figure out what.”

Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty gave the film a B grade, but thought the script was subpar. “Is Morgan hardwired for violence, or is ‘she’ just a synthetic naïf with a bloody glitch? Taylor-Joy and the rest of the ace cast make you care about the answer to that question. The script? Less so.”

READ MORE: ‘Morgan’: IBM Creates the First Movie Trailer Using Artificial Intelligence

“‘Morgan’ is neither very insightful about artificial intelligence or very entertaining as an action B-movie,” writes Michael Snydel of The Film Stage. “Films like ‘Her’ and ‘Ex Machina’ already asked whether humans could love artificial intelligence. ‘Morgan’ just wants us to feel guilty about it.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Sheri Linden‘s bottom line is, “It loses its bite in the final stretch, but this is a sharp, smartly cast sci-fi thriller.” Noting that the thriller lacks substance, Linden concludes: “As the film kicks into high-throttle action mode and the bodies pile up, the suspense gives way to generic action. But until its letdown of a final stretch, ‘Morgan’ is a gripping group portrait of menace and vulnerability, each punch to the solar plexus a burning question, timeless and of the moment.”

“Where ‘Morgan’ disappoints is in offering up too many endings, including a final twist that the movie treats like a big reveal. It’s information that the audience will have already put together; the effect is not unlike having someone repeat a punchline,”states The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde.

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