Autómata is a 2014 Spanish-Bulgarian science fiction action film starring Antonio Banderas . The film is directed by Spanish director Gabe Ibáñez and co-written by Ibáñez with Igor Legarreta and Javier Sánchez Donate. Along with Banderas, the movie stars Birgitte Hjort Sørensen , Melanie Griffith , Dylan McDermott , Robert Forsterand Tim McInnerny .


In the late 2030s, solar flares irradiate the Earth, killing over 99% of the world’s population. The survivors gather in a network of safe cities and build primitive humanoid robots, called Pilgrims, to help rebuild and operate in the harsh environment. These robots have two unalterable protocols: they can not harm any form of life, and they can not repair, modify or alter themselves or other robots in any way. Initially seen as mankind’s salvation, they are relegated to manual labor when they fail to stop the advance of desertification . Society has been reduced to a lack of technology and is in the process of collapsing.

In 2044, Jacq Vaucan – an insurance investigator for ROC, the company that manufactures Pilgrims – investigates a report from Wallace, a police officer who shot a robot he claims was modifying itself. Jacq discovers the robot hid a rare nuclear battery that could power a robot indefinitely. The next day, Jacq follows a robot who was stealing parts. When he corners it, it sets itself on fire. Jacq salvages the remains and speculates to his boss Robert that there may be a “clocksmith”, someone who illegally modified robots, who is overriding the second protocol. Incredulous, Robert rejects this possibility but offers Jacq a transfer out of the city if he can find evidence. Jacq’s pregnant wife’s first rejects his plans but she eventually relents.

Jacqueline and Wallace investigate a brothel, where they find Cleo, a modified robot that Wallace later shoots in the leg. When Jacq objects, Wallace says that Cleo’s owner will lead them to the clocksmith; Wallace also threatens to kill Jacq if he does not split the proceeds of the battery on the black market. Jacquo follows Cleo’s owner to a clocksmith named Dr. Dupré, who claims to know who’s who Cleo, an action that should destroy Cleo’s CPU . Jacq leaves the burned robot’s head on the head. When Dupré installs the modified CPU in Cleo, Cleo begins self-repairing. Dupré contacts Jacq, who alerts Robert; however, ROC intercepts Jacq’s message and sends a team of assassins to Dupré’s lab.

Dupré is killed, but Jacq escapes in a car driven by Cleo. When Cleo takes them to a maze of stanchions , both cars crash; the murderers are killed, and Jacq is severely injured. Cleo takes Jacq with her into a radioactive desert, where they are joined by three other robots, none of which obey Jacq’s orders. However, the first protocol forces them to prevent his death. Desperate to return to the city with his pregnant wife, Jacq makes contact with Robert, who sends Wallace to recover him. Wallace threatens Jacq’s life and destroys two of the robots, who have objected to his actions; Jacq Wallace kills with a flare gun before he can also destroy Cleo. Wallace’s partner flees after taking a battery from one of the robots.

Robert’s boss reveals that the first built Pilgrim, unburdened by the second principle, designed the subsequent models. As no human could understand the programming, it was thought to be impossible to subvert. ROC forces Robert to accompany a team to kill Jacq and the unknown clocksmith before the robots can evolve further beyond human understanding. When Robert objects to their kidnapping Jacq’s wife and baby daughter, Conway, the leader, shoots him and leaves him for dead. Meanwhile, Jacq meets the robot responsible for modifying the others. Initially skeptical, Jacq eventually accepts that the robot naturally evolved, like humanity. After a series of philosophical discussions, Jacq gives them his battery, which they use to complete a new design. The robots repair a vehicle for Jacq, and he leaves for the city.

When Conway reaches the robot outpost, he destroys two of the four robots. Jacq finds the dying Robert and returns to the outpost as Conway wounds Cleo. Jacq kills all ROC assassins goal Conway, though he is further wounded in the battle. As Conway prepares to kill Jacq, the new robot saves his life by pushing Conway off a cliff. Jacq overcomes his distress of the uninhibited robot when he reunited with his family, and he leaves for the coast with them, as Cleo and the new robot venture further into the irradiated desert, where no humans can follow them.


  • Antonio Banderas as Jacq Vaucan
  • Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Rachel Vaucan
  • Melanie Griffith as Dr. Susan Dupré and voice of Cleo
  • Dylan McDermott as Wallace
  • Robert Forster as Robert Bold
  • Tim McInnerny and Vernon Conway
  • Andy Nyman as Ellis
  • David Ryall as Dominic Hawk
  • Andrew Tiernan as Manager
  • Christa Campbell as Tech
  • Bashar Rahal as Doctor
  • Javier Bardem as Blue Robot


Banderas expressed an early interest in the movie after reading the script. Banderas, as producer, brought on Griffith, his wife at the time, and Bardem, who was cast in a minor role and the voice of the Blue Robot. [3] The film was shot at Nu Boyana Film Studios in Sofia , Bulgaria . [4]


Rotten Tomatoes , a review aggregator , reports that 33% of 27 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 5.2 / 10. The site’s summary states of the film: “Beautiful to look at a narratively hollow goal, Autómata short-circuits its handful of intriguing ideas with an overload of sci-fi clichés.” [5] Metacritic rated it 37/100 based on 13 reviews. [6] Jay Weissberg of Variety called it “a dystopic mess” that borrows from numerous science fiction films. [1] Jonathan Holland of the Hollywood Reporter wrote, “The overwrought, uncontrolled sci-fi thriller Automatais a disappointing example of a film that lacks the imagination to follow persuasively through its engaging initial premise. ” [7]

Stan Schröder remarked an influence of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (which served as the basis for the popular Blade Runner movie) and Isaac Asimov’s short story ” Runaround ” which introduced Asimov’s ” Three Laws of Robotics “, which are close to the movie’s “robot protocols”. [8] [9]

See also

  • Intelligence explosion
  • Artificial general intelligence
  • Artificial consciousness


  1. ^ Jump up to:c Weissberg, Jay (22 September 2014). “San Sebastian Movie Review: ‘Automata ‘ ” . Variety . Retrieved 1 November 2014 .
  2. Jump up^ “Automata” . The Numbers . Retrieved 1 November 2014 .
  3. Jump up^ Fisher, Luchina (10 October 2010). “See Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith in One of Last Films Before Split” . ABC News . Retrieved 1 August 2015 .
  4. Jump up^ “Antonio Banderas Already Filming Automata in Bulgaria” . . April 12, 2013 . Retrieved 26 July 2013 .
  5. Jump up^ “Autómata (2014)” . Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved 1 November 2014 .
  6. Jump up^ “Autómata” . Metacritic . Retrieved 1 November 2014 .
  7. Jump up^ Holland, Jonathan (22 September 2014). ” ‘ Automata’: San Sebastian Review” . The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved 1 November 2014 .
  8. Jump up^ Schröder, Stan (22 August 2014). “See the Trailer for ‘Automata,’ Sci-Fi Movie With Robots and Antonio Banderas’ . Mashable . Retrieved 14 June 2015 .
  9. Jump up^ Rosenfeld, Laura (22 August 2014). “The ‘Automata’ trailer shows Antonio Banderas fighting robots” . Tech Times . Retrieved 14 June 2015.