Zoe

 (406)
6.11 h 43 min2018X-RayR
ZOE tells a tale of forbidden love between an engineer and a robot. ZOE (Léa Seydoux) and COLE (Ewan McGregor) are colleagues and veiled lovers at a lab working to perfect romantic relationships. But their relationship is threatened when Zoe discovers the truth about their relationship, sending them into a spiral of confusion, betrayal and the most intense of human emotions, love.
Directors
Drake Doremus
Starring
Ewan McGregorLéa SeydouxTheo James
Genres
Science FictionRomance
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]

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Supporting actors
Miranda OttoRashida JonesChristina AguileraMatthew Gray GublerAnthony Shim
Producers
Drake DoremusRobert GeorgeMichael PrussKevin Walsh
Studio
Global Road Entertainment
Rating
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Nudityalcohol usefoul languagesexual content
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

406 global ratings

  1. 59% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 12% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

ThebookbellaReviewed in the United States on July 29, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
An unconventional romance with a deeper truth
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This is a love story about a man, Cole and a women, Zoe. Cole is in engineer that designs synthetic robots and tests the measure compatibility between couples, and Zoe oversees the lab. Zoe begins to have feelings for Cole and decides to take the compatability test to see how Cole and her measure up. To Zoe's disappointment they get a zero percent compatibility ratings. Zoe confesses to Cole what she has done and Cole tells her it's because she is a synthetic who has lived for two months as a normal human being.

This is a conflicting thing for Cole, to fall for his creation. He knows what she is and is scared to latch onto something he believes has no true emotions. He wrestles with himself only to find his own destruction in the face of his life without her.

This story shows not only the addictive nature of love but also how life without it in a true form is meaningless. How love transcends all boundaries and how it can change what we are. This is a story about how sometimes the only thing that matters is what's in our hearts, real or synthetic.

I watched this movie twice in a 24 hour period and I find its deeper message both compelling and touching. This is a movie for people who like the unconventional romance.
77 people found this helpful
Logain UT AblarReviewed in the United States on March 7, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent
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Spoils Ahead!

I believe Zoe is a snapshot of what our future holds if the human race survives long enough without destroying ourselves. It's a fascinating possibility but also tragic in a way. Cole (Ewan McGregor) is a AI specialist that creates synthetics (advanced AI powered robots). Think Blade Runner, Terminator, Natural City etc. His designs become increasingly realistic and he creates THE prototype in Zoe (Léa Seydoux). Zoe doesn't know she's synthetic initially and falls in love with her creator. Cole, upon hearing Zoe explain how she feels about him is shocked but eventually he gives in and they start a beautiful relationship. The casting here, while very good, has to be noted. It's not a great stretch of the imagination to get into a relationship with a robot that functions almost completely like a real woman when it looks like Léa Seydoux and she's nice, intelligent and fun to be with. I mean, come on! Yeah, I'd totally struggle with that choice...

Yeah, the relationship between Cole and Zoe is great until Cole is harshly reminded that she's a synthetic. So he does what other emotionally challenged men do, he ran from her. There is an interesting side plot that features a drug Cole's company makes nicknamed Blaze. Basically two people take it and the biochemical reaction a person feels falling in love for the first time is reproduced within each user for a few hours. Blaze turns out to be the poster for the sad state of human connections in this film which says a lot considering we're talking about a guy dating a robot.

This causes half the film to become a depressing trek as Zoe is trying to deal with being rejected, taking the drug with random people even though it has no effect on her. Just so she won't feel so alone. Which again makes her more real than the junkies around her. Cole starts taking Blaze because he's running from how he really feels about Zoe being caught up in details and denial that don't really matter as the time spent with Zoe proved. Basically looking for answers he already has but refuses to accept in a drug induced stupor and random jump offs.

This is the tragedy and irony of the film. Cole (and legions of others) had to use a drug to recapture the feeling he already had naturally with Zoe, who isn't human. THAT should have been proof positive that he doesn't need the drug because he fell in love with his creation Zoe, who is more real than real. To be so intelligent in creating AI, Cole was really stupid when it came to Zoe. Why would he reject her when he experienced how real she is first hand? It's like he didn't even comprehend the depths of his own creation or what it meant not only for his own life but for the world.

"What is real? Define real? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."
Indeed and sometimes, that's enough.

The film is written really well to the extent that other ramifications and points of debate presented within it could easily fuel an entire night's worth of discussion (with the right people of course). Christina Aquilera's character alone can cause debate on reality version fantasy. Especially after seeing that ending. The film works because it presents a point of view that is complicated within the circumstances but really is simple when you take fear and loathing out of the equation.

If the premise of the film doesn't bake your noodle, try this. Replace synthetic Zoe and the AI lab and replace it with Zoe the transsexual woman that looks like Léa Seydoux in love with Cole. The same fear and loathing of Cole could apply. Cole takes a chance, has a relationship with Zoe the transsexual woman, has a great time with her. Becomes the happiest he's ever been in his life but due to his neighbors seeing her penis, Cole is reminded of what Zoe actually is and runs from her. He can yell to the clouds about how "it's not real, She's not real" but the Reality Rangers are already pointing out that his ship has sailed. It was very real when he was blissfully dating her, It was definitely real when he was in bed with her. Just because the neighbors know exactly who Zoe is doesn't mean the love was any less real or Zoe was any less his woman. Man up, stop crying and handle it. Sleep in the bed you made. Love can't be contained or compartmentalized even in pill form.

5* Loved the film. The soundtrack is phenomenal to the point I'm going to see if I can buy that lossless. Great cast, great story, kinda sad but worth the viewing if you're not an emotional scrooge.
5 people found this helpful
Anom Pen-NameReviewed in the United States on July 20, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
The subject matter has a lot of competion
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It can't compete with Blade Runner, but not for lack of trying. So grateful that they didn't cast Scarlett Johansson as Zoe. The film is well done- the script, the acting,and Cigarettes After Sex on the sound track, what's not to like?

I read all the negative reviews,my mental reply was " hey, it's just not your sort of movie?

I did need to comment about the critical review that called this production "a plagiarism of the Pygmalion story " It is not! . It's the exact opposite- the Creator can not love his Creation. Indeed the Creator is incapable of surrendering to Love for anyone- flesh or synthetic. . I thought his ex-wifes role was vital to the plot- not too much screen time yet enough to provide a limited Greek Chorus.

I have seen enough of this film concept ( Ex Machina (2014) ,Her (2013),Archive (2020),Simone (2002), Muse (VIII) (2015) A.I. Rising (2018) ,Eva ( 2011 ) , My only wish is that the novel Galatea 2.2 by Richard Powers becomes a film as well.

I believe that most of the One-Star reviews lack an appreciation for the historical context in AI films.
I personally believe that most people will enjoy most of this movie. The "slowness" of the plotting allows for a degree of character development. (With the exception of the Synthetic Ash- which was a wasted opportunity).
9 people found this helpful
Gary B. E. TuganReviewed in the United States on September 3, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Helluva Movie - surprised me
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Happened across this movie today - so glad I did! I was so surprised at how much I loved this movie! So much so that I HAD to do some internet surfing to read more about it afterwards. The movie explores what's "Real" about love; it addresses whether love is something to be felt only by humans, or is it possible our AI creations might evolve beyond ones and zeros. In my internet readings I noticed certain (unnamed) critics who seem to have totally missed the points of the movie (noted in reading these moron's comments). I even noted a bit of irony - these critics are like robots...spewing out mechanical bs dribbling, clearly NOT understanding the human emotional aspects of this movie, unlike their artificial subjects that the movie explores. Therefore, after reading such dribble, It was good to see the Google users / raters giving it a fittingly high rating. This will be a movie that I think about and talk about for weeks.
27 people found this helpful
septimusReviewed in the United States on November 5, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Problematic screenply rescued by the fine acting
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I rewatched this after seeing Julie Delpy's superior and more original _My Zoe_, also about "cloning."

This film, about a designer of "companion" robots and the artificial being he falls in love with, borrows elements from many classics about artificial intelligence. There is the "blush response" test from _Blade Runner_, the celebrity-among-robots idea from "Battlestar Galactica" and elsewhere, discarded robot sex club from _AI_, an inversion of _2046_ in which the robots keep retelling the protagonist's sob story ... the list goes on. It does the borrowing well and intelligently. But the problem is its central conceit of a pliant, demure, sweetly innocent girl (with a French accent, no less) hopelessly in love with the male with commitment issues. It is such a cringe-inducing cliche and screenwriter's wet dream. Fortunately the fine acting alleviates the problem. McGregor is sensitive as always (even if he has seldom shown much range on the big screen). But the film would have been unwatchable without Lea Seydoux. Not only because of her character's vulnerability and sensitivity, but because the actress' storied career provides us with a measure of critical distance. Seydoux has played this character before in _The Beautiful Person_, but she has also been a cold-blooded assassin, a drunken, obnoxious sibling, a lesbian with alpha-plus personality, a calculating maid, a deluded reader to Marie Antoinette ... (_Farewell, My Queen_ is still her best film and features her best performance in my book). Seydoux has stunning range, capable of working in blockbusters and strong independent films. She is the Catherine Deneuve of our time, although Deneuve was not remotely as accomplished when she was at Seydoux's age.
3 people found this helpful
J. MiltzerReviewed in the United States on July 23, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
A character-driven story about love between humans and synthetics
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This film shows the beauty of romance between a synthetic and a human. It requires some suspension of disbelief since the technical aspects are not covered at all. Instead the focus is on the characters and how they develop into uniquely flawed people.

I enjoy films that make the viewer question what it is to be human. There were some unnecessary sidetracks in the story, but ultimately it was a very enjoyable experience. This made me think of the movie "Her" (2013), which shares some similarity in its story and aesthetic.
18 people found this helpful
newtReviewed in the United States on May 1, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
worse than a "Made for TV Movie" from the 1970s
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Who is responsible for this production? Who greenlights such unworthy material? Where do they find production crews so devoid of talent and/or imagination? The director, and the director of photography should find new career paths. The writer should learn to write. Ewan McGregor's agent should be fired. What a crazy business that things as bad as this can get made, but what's worse is that having been made it is still put out into the world instead of every copy, every file, every still photo being hunted down, and destroyed. The audience deserves to be considered. I wont say that this is the worst thing ever made because that would make it a criterion, a penultimate paradigm, and it is none of those things. This is just something you never think about again after you walk out, and close the door to the loo.
7 people found this helpful
Pele's FireReviewed in the United States on July 21, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thought-provoking!
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This movie is intense, surreal, plausible, and futuristic. It reveals the near perfection of artificial intelligence (AI) and the employment of robotics in fulfilling the absence of loving relationships in the present and future. It suggests that synthetics in human form can have a useful purpose for those seeking love and companionship but cannot, for some reason, find it with other humans. Many may perceive this film as controversial and the concept distasteful, but the reality is that we are not far from limited scaled development and production of robotics in human form today.
25 people found this helpful
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