This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of the actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.
In a year jam-packed with incredible movies across a vast diversity of genres such as Barbie, Oppenheimer, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and John Wick 4, science fiction has found its winner with The Creator. Artificial intelligence is arguably the most controversial topic on the planet right now, but that doesn’t stop the Rogue One and Godzilla director Gareth Edwards from delivering a beautiful story that challenges the foundations of right and wrong.
Coming in with a 133-minute runtime, The Creator wastes no time in establishing a compelling world, split down the middle with intriguing characters on both sides. As the story unfolds, it pushes the boundaries of human emotion to the limit and dares the audience to leave any preconceived notions of AI at the door. Edwards puts his stamp on this film with some of the highest quality directing in any movie this year.
‘The Creator’ Delivers an AI-Focused Story Unlike Anything You Can Imagine
Perhaps the most interesting part of The Creator is the world in which it takes place. For over two hours, the film continuously develops this now war-ravaged version of Earth, sprinkling in small details that work to add context to why every character is on the side they are. If you’re watching a movie set during a zombie apocalypse, there’s no added layer of realism because zombies aren’t real. But artificial intelligence is very real, and it dominates more and more of the conversation every single day. This movie is categorized as science-fiction, but it’s impossible not to wonder if this dystopian nightmare could one day become reality.
There’s a significantly less captivating story in The Creator if it opted to define the line between human and AI with prejudice. There’s a version of this fight that is much more black-and-white, but fortunately, this film achieves so much more. Edwards has been candid about his desire for the difference between AI and humans to be almost imperceptible, and this brilliant choice is starkly apparent in every scene. This level of nuance and ambiguity compliments a very well-written script to deliver one of the more compelling narratives from start to finish in any movie this year.
These very personal narratives fit seamlessly into an international conflict and somehow aren’t overshadowed by the gargantuan scope. There are several shots in this film that will leave every member of its audience awestruck, as The Creator contains some of the most artistic directing for any science-fiction movie ever. Edwards’ ability to capture the massive scale so eloquently and pair it with the personal journey of the characters that reside within it is worthy of unending praise.
John David Washington and Madeleine Yuna Voyles Both Give Strong Performances in ‘The Creator’
The classic “lone wolf and cub” trope, as seen in HBO’s The Last of Us and many other projects, is very present in The Creator. Just because this particular storytelling device has been used countless times doesn’t make it any less effective when executed properly. Watching Joshua’s (John David Washington) and Alphie’s (Madeleine Yuna Voyles) relationship develop is a treat. As the pair explore the world and peel back each other’s layers, their growing bond adds tremendous weight to the emotional climax in the third act.
Washington adds another strong performance to his résumé here, portraying a character with immense psychological trauma. This role demands he crank up the emotion to the highest level on several occasions, and he proves more than up to the task every time. Voyles is the perfect companion to pair alongside Washington, as the two have an authentic chemistry that is necessary to make a complex father/daughter dynamic like this work.
‘The Creator’ Is the Best Science-Fiction Film of the Year
There are, however, a few plot reveals that are designed as surprises but come off quite obvious. Fortunately, the emotional weight behind those reveals and the context they add to the characters and the story leave them feeling more like additions than subtractions. Thanks to its beautiful visuals, and touching story, The Creator is undoubtedly one of the best films of this year, and unequivocally worth the trip to the movies, particularly if you have an IMAX theater close by.
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'The Creator' Review'The Creator' Review
- Unbelievable directing from Gareth Edwards
- Strong performances, especially John David Washington
- Beautiful visuals
- Incredible storytelling
- A few predictable moments in the plot
- Takes a little while to find its legs