He is as much alien as the xenomorph, a creepy enemy who stands apart from humanity, and in many ways is a scarier foe, as he looks just like us, unlike the Giger creation. Ash turning on the crew is a nightmare scenario about being replaced by robots come true. Also of note is the fact that the androids in the Alien films are named alphabetically Ash, Bishop, Call, and of course David from the forthcomingPrometheus.
During its period of enlightenment, Bomb 20 learns philosophy from the crew before naturally assuming it is God and destroying the ship. Which is probably what would happen if a nuclear bomb became self-aware and questioned its role in the universe Brilliantly offbeat,Dark Staris an early John Carpenter classic, and Bomb 20 one of its best characters, human or otherwise.
An early entry into outstanding cinematic robots, Gort stands the test of time thanks in large part to his enigmatic nature. Accompanying Klaatu to Earth, his true role and motivation is never really revealed beyond the fact that hes part of some kind of interstellar police. He is however seemingly all-powerful and capable of destroying the planet if he so desires, which is pretty awesome stuff, as his motionless guarding of the flying saucer.
Okay, so hes heavily indebted to HAL in look and personality, the automated computer and pilot of the Axiom, Auto, lifts himself above the usual imitators by being a genuine threat to Wall-E and EVE. Voiced entirely by Mac in a nice touch, Auto is the seemingly helpful machine turned bad and driven by its own logic and previous orders. Menacing and creepy, yet with the veneer of helpfulness, Auto is one of the most effective baddies of the Pixar films, and helps liftWall-Es often overlooked second half into something thoroughly entertaining
Otherwise known as Data Analysing Youth Lifeform,D.A.R.Y.L.has long fascinated me I remember seeing the VHS at my Nans house and being transfixed by it. It was in one of those plush oversized video cases with a slightly squidgy luxury feel and the promise of electronic dreams come true on the cover image. A sophisticated micro-computer housed in the body of a boy (okay, I think you could argue he was a cyborg, but I like to think they have human brains, and are cybernetically enhanced organic intelligence, whereas D.A.R.Y.L. could be housed anywhere and still have the same personality), he was originally a military project, but soon turned his attention to being awesome at baseball and video games. Which is what any A.I. worth his salt should do. Read more on the film,here.
40. Unicron Transformers: The Movie
Armed with machine gun jubblies, these sexy but dangerous robots are almost the end of Austin Powers. One of the best inventions of the films, unleashed by the shrill command of Frau, they are only defeated by the disturbingly sensual dance of Austin Powers.
30. Evil Bill & Ted Bill & Teds Bogus Journey
One of the best surprises inAlienwas the moment where Ash is revealed to be an android. Up until that moment, you had believed him to be a loyal company man, a traitorous man, and a murderous man, but a man nevertheless. Then he stays alive after decapitation. Its a great scene, and a stand-out one in the film, and in a movie of the calibre ofAlien, that is high praise. But Ian Holms performance as Ash is one of the highlights of the franchise.
Firstly, hes the perfect example of ramping up the scale and threat of a villain when a popular TV show makes its big screen transition. He gets an entire prologue sequence entirely dedicated to showing just how badass he is. If you were a fan of the show the fact there was a bad transformer capable of eating entire worlds would have blown your tiny mind. Plus hes the puppet master of previous big bad Megatron (well actually Galvatron but theyre the same robot in essence), thereby enhancing his own status.
One of the most stylish parts of this incredibly good-looking and gorgeous film is the sections set in the fictional future world of the train leaving 2046. In it, a Japanese man named Tak is running away from his memories when he falls in love with one of the trains beautiful android assistants. Believing that the androids responses have slowed down over time, he waits patiently for it to tell him it loves him back, before realising the android is already in love with someone else. Mirroring the plot of the main film, this is a heart-breaking and stylish way of getting your point across, usefully using robots as a metaphor for people not returning your feelings.
Is he a robot? Well I guess in the book origin hes more of a cyborg, but in the classic 1939 movie its implied that hes always been a tin man, thereby making him a robot with artificial intelligence. Well, at least with my admittedly loose definitions anyway Either way, hes a pretty great character while the scarecrow and lion may get the better lines and action, the Tin Mans quest for a heart is the more moving story to me, and really is the core essence of many human/robot stories. They just want to be more like us, and never can be. Plus he has a pretty wicked axe for slaying flying monkeys.
Johnny 5 is alive! Designed as a state of the art military killing robot, a lightning storm gives life to SAINT 5 and he goes on the run, gaining full sentience and an understanding of the human condition along the way.Short Circuitis a classic 80s science fiction, with a nice moral message about the wonder and precious nature of life, delivered via the medium of a robot who enjoys the Marx Brothers. It also succeeds in making a metal machine one of cinemas most likeable characters (although a lot of this is due to the fine voice work of Tim Blaney) and creating an iconic robot design not easy to do in an over-saturated market.
Brought to artificial life by the brilliant Alan Tudyk, Sonny is the robot at the heart of the Will Smith blockbuster, which really bears no resemblance to the seminal short story collection by Isaac Asimov, other than acknowledging his three laws of robotics (for those who dont know: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.). However, Sonny is the best thing in the film, with a subtle motion captured performance hinting at the humanity lurking within, and for a film about robots, its probably a good thing its most memorable character is one
What did the remake ofClash Of The Titansmiss the most? Thats right, Bubo. When Zeus orders his daughter Athena to give up her pet owl Bubo so it can help Perseus, she creates a mechanical version of it instead, which turns out to be far more useful to our hero. Not content with showing Perseus the way to the Stygian witches, Bubo also fetches Pegasus for the weakened Perseus, and then takes on the Kraken solo before helping kill it with Medusas head. Not bad for a comedy sidekick. And proof that robotic versions of living things are better.
One of those bonkers Japanese films that really has to be seen to be believed. I sadly cant include the RoboGeishas of the title due to them actually being cyborgs, but I can include the baddies headquarters which turn into a giant robot at the end in order to walk to Mount Fuji and deliver a device 17 times more powerful than the atomic bomb. Nope, I dont know why it was specifically 17. But what I do know is that the two RoboGeishas have to fuse together in order to defeat this behemoth. Quality.
The all-powerful big bad of theTerminatoruniverse, Skynet is essentially the internet after it turns on us. Which is a) a scary, scary thought, and b) going to happen for sure one of these days. Pretty much undefeatable, Skynet always finds a way to exist and just keeps on coming. Like all good puppet masters, Skynet doesnt actually feature in the films that much, being far more threatening as a concept than its reality (a big computer). Instead it just keeps on sending Terminators after everyone.
Joshua wasnt an evil harbinger of doom, merely an implacable one which would use the very human need to retaliate in order to win the game, before seizing control of the nuclear missiles itself in order to see the war game out. It is only after Joshua is made to see the futility of mutually assured destruction that it realises there is logical gain or victory from launching the missiles a super computer made to see reason.
Then of course, he gets a scene which has gone down in cultural folklore, responding to the phrase with a hundred meanings, Klaatu Barada Nikto, which had been theorised as being anything from I die, repair me, do not retaliate to Theres hope for Earth if the scientists can be reached.
The top 50 robots and AI computers in the movies
So consideringTheMatrixis heavily indebted toTron, why do they get a higher placing? Well its because theyre just a lot more effective.
The classic robot. Probably your parents idea of what a robot should be, and possibly your grandparents too, if theyre cool and like thinking about robots. Although famous for his role inForbidden Planet,where he portrayed the Ariel role of the Tempest, he got some great lines and was generally pretty helpful (despite the posters inference he was going to steal women away), Robby has been one of the more hard-working robots on our screens, appearing inThe Twilight Zone, The Addams Family, Mork & Mindy, andGremlins. He was rewarded for these efforts with a place in the Robot Hall of Fame in 2004.
However, theyre the gift that keeps on giving as Liz Hurley is revealed to be one in the sequel, as well as Britney Spears inGoldmember. Which kind of explains a lot Theyre the ultimate 60s retro-future dream made real, and a great nod to the campy Barbarella tone that made the first Austin Powers such a joy to watch.
One of the most iconic and recognisable robots for many people, Rosey the Robot was the helpful robotic maid of the Jetson family.
In the 1980s, the fear of imminent nuclear war was till very real, and it didnt help peoples fears to learn that supercomputers with minds of their own were running the show. Channelling our natural mistrust of technology,WarGameshad Joshua learn to like playing games so much, and wanting to see them out to a victorious conclusion that it nearly triggers World War III.
There are many, many reasons why this planet sized transformer deserves a place on this list. Here are just two of them.
It doesnt get better or cooler than this, Yul Bryner as a cowboy duellist android running amok and shooting down guests in a future amusement park gone wrong. The premise ofWestworldhas androids designed to be as close to humans as possible, and designed entirely for our pleasure and service. Added to this is the fact that Bryner is essentially playing his Chris Adams character fromThe Magnificent Seven,and the lines between man and machine begin to get increasingly blurred, as is exactly the intent of this morality tale. Hes one of the most implacable android baddies on the list, not even letting a little thing like acid being thrown in his face deter him.
Drawing heavily on a steam-punk aesthetic, the titular Golden Army are initially incredibly rendered in the films amazing animated opening sequence, where their power is demonstrated, before appearing in full live-action glory at the end. The best bit is when you think theyve been easily defeated by Hellboy and the others, before reassembling and showing themselves to be unstoppable clockwork killing machines which will conquer the world for their master.
In my humble view the superiorBill & Tedmovie,Bogus Journeyfeatures six different versions of the titular characters, four of them robotic. While Stations creations may look more like robots, and be pretty damn powerful, it is evil Bill and Ted who steal the film, and get all the best lines. Pretending to be a future version of the slacker heroes, they swiftly kill the originals before proceeding to be total arseholes and wreck Bill and Teds lives. You can see Reeves and Winter really enjoying playing the baddies, and engaging in such activities as trying to run over cats and getting a bit fresh with the princesses. Evil Ted also gets the best line of Keanu Reeves entire career, Ive got a full on robot chubby.
Part of Disneys dark and interesting late 70s/early 80s phase,The Black Holeis a pretty weird and terrifying film. Full of some notable hero robots, as well as lobotomised cyborgs, its the hulking evil robot Maximilian that earns a spot in my top fifty. Going against the cold emotionless stereotype, he almost seems to enjoy being the baddie, killing humans and robots with glee and generally causing mayhem for the crew of the Palomino. Hes Reinhardt in metal form, a plot device made startlingly appareant when the two are merged together in the films crazy black hole sequence which sends the characters to Hell. Yep, thats right; Maximilian is so damn evil he ends up in hell!
Secondly, hes voiced by Orson Welles, in the legendary mans last ever film role! If that doesnt elevate Unicron to greatness, I dont what does
Otherwise known as the Master Control Program. An AI computer program which grew far beyond its initial programming, the MCP took control of the virtual world of Tron and forced the programs into gladiatorial games against each other. Not content with that, the MCP then blackmailed David Warner into doing its bidding, before trying to exert control of real-world computer systems. Like a virtual Sauron, the MCP was all-seeing, all-powerful, and an ever-present non-corporeal threat to our heroes.
Its nice to know that not all AI is a) created by us, and b) destined to turn on its creators in a murderous rampage. Max is one such being, initially a dry, emotionless alien ship who likes to collect and perform dubious experiments on various lifeforms he encounters, but is then transformed by a scan onto our human hero David into the stubborn but rather funny AI we all remember from the film.
41. MechaGodzilla Godzilla Vs MechaGodzilla
Who doesnt love robots? Our metal friends have long been a source of inspiration, wonder and fear for filmmakers and audiences. A way to examine our own humanity, and view emotions or lack of them from a new perspective, artificial intelligence has been in films for almost as long as weve been making them. We seem drawn to them, more often that not casting them as our creations gone rogue and seeking to rise up against us, but sometimes as tragic figures wanting to be more like us. Either way, theyre fascinating, and pretty damn cool.
14. Marvin The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
Oh Data, so you may have started and ended your on-screen life as a Spock substitute, but you were so much more than that. Using the seven seasons of back story, Data was able to shine in theNext Generationmovies. InGenerationshe activated his emotion chip and gained the insight into humanity he had always sought, while his finest hour was arguably inFirst Contact,where he was captured by the Borg Queen, and tempted with the promises of flesh.
Probably the only French New Wave artificial intelligence on this or any list like it. Alpha 60 is the dictatorial sentient computer that rules over the dystopian city of Alphaville, in Jean Luc Godards 1965 sci-fi of the same name. Alpha 60 has outlawed emotions in the city, and orders the executions of any who show love, sadness or happiness. Voiced by a man with a mechanical voice box, Alpha 60 narrates the film with a hypnotic intensity which almost sucks you into its way of thinking. Built by man but without any more need for them, its a classic AI subverting of us, and a terrifying glimpse into a computerised logical future world. For those who havent seenAlphaville, it heavily influenced a certain George Lucas and his early effortTHX-1138.
Voiced by Paul Reubens, Max is the star of the show, despite the film being about David, the navigator. You can almost overlook his awful treatment of people in his quest to carry out his mission and return home, plus his argumentative nature because hes just so entertaining. If alien life was like this, Im all for contact.
I enjoyed the firstHellboyimmensely, but I loved the sequel. For me its the perfect fusion of Guillermo del Toros two disparate careers, the larger budget Hollywood fare, and the more personal dark fantasy work.
Heres Barbarellas computer from her ship Alpha 7. Alfie doesnt actually do a great deal, but he does enable Jane Fonda to float around naked while he flies to Tau Ceti. Which he then promptly crashes into, maybe because he was a bit distracted… However, Alfie redeems himself by getting to fly through the core of the planet. To be honest, Alfie gets his place on this list for being one of the campest sounding things in one of the campest films ever made. I salute you Alfie, good job.
Its also a warning about himans playing God, as our desire to create artificial intelligence gives rise to Skynets existence, despite repeated warnings about the consequences, and quite naturally it realises man is a threat to its own survival and proceeds to terminate us via nuclear weapons. Its our fears of A.Is murderous potential perfectly realised.
Youre pre-conditioned for it, and it distracts you from the real twist ofMoon. Only someone as well versed in understanding robots and computers in films as Duncan Jones could have pulled it off quite so well, as on a second viewing there is nothing to suggest Gerty is anything but as helpful as he seems to be, apart from your own mistrusting nature
18. Robby the Robot Forbidden Planet
In this sci-fi classic, about one mans determination to save some of Earths last remaining living plants and animals, it is strangely fitting that three of its most memorable characters are service robots who dont speak. Heroically aiding Lowell in his quest, Huey, Dewey and Louie are his only company, and the audiences way of seeing just what is happening in the mind of our sole human. They are also responsible for some of the most heartbreaking scenes in the film, notably Louies death, and Dewey refusing to leave the side of Huey during repairs.
Most importantly though, he is a worthy foe for Godzilla, the type of threat which the films needed in order to put a real sense of danger and jeopardy in them. And for that, MechaGodzilla fully deserves his place amongst the elite.
I never can get my head round the fact that its in the movie at all, with no explanation whatsoever. It was 1985, and theres a servant robot. We dont even have that technology almost 30 years later, and who knows when well have it. But the audience just has to accept this and move on. Maybe it was there to make the fact that Rocky ended the Cold War later on a bit more plausible.
44. The Golden Army Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
Hes pretty much the perfect program to have on your side, and was one of my favourite parts in the film. Which makes what they did to his character in the sequel a bit unforgiveable okay, so making him an evil program worked, but the way the did with such a tacked on explanation was awful, and why not make a bit more of it? The franchise is only bloody well named after him!
31. The Machines The Matrix Trilogy
A great and literal example of a Mirror Villain, a baddie who represents and twists all that makes our hero good. MechaGodzilla is one of my favourite monsters, mainly because hes as powerful as the big G, and normally can only be taken down by two or more guys helping Godzilla. Hes got a rainbow coloured laser beam that shoots out of his mouth, a spinning head, and missiles in his fingers and toes. Hes also made of space titanium, which as everyone knows is the best kind of titanium.
However, he ultimately combined both his android abilities and compassion for his friends to defeat her. The acceptable face of robots for many, Data was many peoples (mine included) favourite character inStar Trek,recognised in his major role in the films, and ultimate climatic sacrifice inNemesis.
They can be clanking or lithe, as big as a planet or as small as a puppy. Heres our list of cinemas 50 finest robots and AI computers
17. Data Star Trek: The Next Generation films
His eventual recapture also exposes the main weakness in robots who go bad electromagnetic recapture. Gigolo Joe has since inspired a collection of internet fan fiction under the banner Gigolo Joe: Love Machine, with such stories as Once Youve Had Mecha included
I do wonder if one day well look back atDark Starand view it as way ahead of its time it seems to capture perfectly the mundanity and madness of what life aboard a spaceship in deep space would be like. On a 20 year and counting mission to destroy unstable planets using artificially intelligent nuclear bombs, the Dark Star suffers an accident which leads Bomb 20 to go rogue and refuse to obey orders.
Not merely a product of a virtual world, the Machines actually waged war on humanity and won, and then decided to use us as an energy source. Which horrifically makes complete logical sense but also makes them great bad guys. However, what elevates them above the usual computers and robots is the human face they present in the films they are visible in the sentinels, in the agents, and in the very name of the film itself,The Matrix.Theyre the ever present threat thats impossible to hide from, no matter where our heroes are in the film. The Machines know all.
Controversially, hes the only artificially intelligent character Im putting in from the filmA.I.Which is a bit of a slap in the face to its premise when I think about it Anyway, the mecha chosen is Jude Laws Gigolo Joe, which is arguably one his finest roles. Completely believable as the prostitute sexbot, Law is an unlikely hero in the film and one which makes you feel compassion for a hunted robots plight.
Having one of the most influential and revered films of the last 30 years named after you, not to mention a mega-budget sequel and various spin-off media? Not bad for a security program. Tron was the Grid counterpart of Bruce Boxleitners Alan Bradley, and supports Fynn in ways the human Bradley cannot. He is there protect Flynn in the games, to make sure he survives the grid, and to reassure him in this strange world. He is also there to nobly fight against the MCP, and in the crunch battle takes down both Sark and the MCP.
The MCP also showed that even though humans could be pretty power hungry and evil at times, they were nothing compared to the ambitions of a artificial intelligence fuelled by logic and lack of emotions, which only wanted to dominate. End of line.
24. Huey, Dewey, and Louie – Silent Running
Even as a young boy, with dreams of becoming an astronaut (cruelly dashed by my failure to win a competition on CBBCsNewsroundto go to a real-life SpaceCamp) and this film on repeat, I kind of hated Jinx. The chubby robot grounded by NASA for being too rubbish at his job is responsible for not only wrecking Kathryn and Kevins alone time, but then decides to sabotage a billion dollar shuttle in order to make his new friend Maxs wishful thinking of wanting to be in space come true. By sending them up in a half-finished shuttle with no oxygen or radio. Nice work. Hes still allowed in Mission Control though. No wonder the space program has effectively been shut down.
15. Gort The Day The Earth Stood Still
Hes the helpful computer, ready to aid humanity, complete with smiley face emoticon, and a soothing tone. Which means from all you know hes going to turn bad and wreck things. Except he doesnt. One of the joys ofMoon(and there are many) is the bait and switch involving Gerty. Like so much of the film, it turns traditional sci-fi conventions on its head. In this case, it uses your own suspicions of artificial intelligence against you; Gerty takes so much of the iconography of HAL that you keep waiting for him to turn on Sam Rockwell.
Far more than the C3PO parody her appearance suggests, Dot Matrix is memorable for being Joan Rivers as a robot (literally), and being on cracking comedic form. While the film itself is a bit hit and miss (and not quite as good as my young self remembers), Rivers and Dot Matrix is always on hand to enliven proceedings. Armed with her virgin alarm, and numerous put-downs or a pithy retort, she is the cynical voice of reason in the film, and serves to remind us that robots can be funny too. Well, at least when theyre in a comedy film and voiced by Joan Rivers
Yeah, so hes a throwaway gag initially, but 80s robot is one of the best things about the newMuppetsfilm. The helper/chauffeur of Kermit, 80s robot gets some of the films best lines, including the one about going to montage mode which got some of the biggest laughs in the screening I saw. A helpful robot for once, but really an entirely pointless character in the film overall, one of the highest compliments I can pay is that it felt like 80s robot had always been a part of theMuppets. I hope hes back in the sequel.
Many things makeRocky IVgreat, but the fact it features a serving robot for no real reason is probably the best thing about it. Bizarrely bought by Rocky for Paulies birthday, SICO is initially a masculine robot, but is somehow reprogrammed by Paulie to have a female voice, and attend to his every need. Yep, theyd come a long way since the first film
Based on the eponymous character from the TV showHazel, Rosey came from U-RENT A MAID, had a boyfriend called Mac, and rolled around on wheels while cleaning the place. Shes also proven to be one of the most durable characters from the cartoon, with recent appearances in AT&T advert (about the history of robots of course), and the video for the Kanye West song Heartless. She also makes a memorable appearance in theFuturamafeature,Benders Game,where she is imprisoned for killing Elroy and Astro, Everything must be clean. Very clean. Thats why the dog had to die. He was a dirty dog. Also that boy Elroy. Dirty. Dirty.