There are many great robot themed films, some very futuristic, some animated plus some with a fast paced comedy element, while many of us simply love to watch any movies that feature robots. Here we list ten of our favourites in no particular order.
Pacific Rim released in the summer of 2013 has all the elements required to make a great robot themed movie. Directed by Guillermo Del Toro it features robots and gigantic sea creatures that all go together to make an epic movie.
Pacific Rim is a story about mans battle against massive creatures of the sea that rise up to begin a deadly war against humans killing millions in the process. The Kaiju as they are known also take over all the assets that the earth holds bleeding it dry for many years to come.
Man has to come up with something good in order to battle against the Kaiju therefore they build huge robots known as Jaegars that are controlled by two human pilots working together both mentally and physically in order to try to rid the world of its oceanic invaders. These huge robots have their work cut out and ultimately prove quite defenceless against this formidable enemy who strides across the land destroying everything in its path.
So enter the hero and heroine of this blockbuster piece in the form of a pilot played by Charlie Hunnam and his trainee played by Rinko Kikuchi. Their means of weaponry? A Jeagar robot from years ago who is now obsolete but has an awesome reputation that is legendary.
Meanwhile, quirky scientists who add a comedic element, have been working hard in the background of the story to invent a system whereby they can enter the thought processes of the Kaiju in order to find a way to defeat them. This sounds great as you probably agree but unfortunately linking into the Kaiju's thoughts opens the door to enable them to link back seeing just what the humans are planning. The resulting effect is an enormous battle. Who will win through, the Kaiju or the Jaegar Robot controlled by our intrepid team?
Pacific Rim is nothing short of awesome! It is a superb Sci-Fi fantasy that ticks all the boxes for those of us who like this futuristic war epic type of story. The human side of things depicts a fiery but interseting relationship between the pilot and his trainee, while heading the brigade of intrepid pilots is none other than Stacker Pentecost ( an awesome name if ever there was one) played by Idris Elba. Pacific Rim is rated a PG-13 which we agree is accurate as many of the scenes, though magnificently awesome, can be a little fightening too.
Hugo is an unusual robot themed movie as the story is set in 1930's Paris. Directed by Martin Scorsese the film was released on 2011 and won eight Oscars including Best Director for Scorsese plus Best Film too. Its not the usual type of offering we are used to from Scorsese but it is certainly different.
Hugo is a touching story about an orphan boy played by Asa Butterfield who lives within the walls of the Paris train station. His father who was in the process of making a robot has died leaving his work incomplete something Hugo hopes to remedy. Hugo befriends a cantankerous toy shop owner in the station, played by Ben Kingsley who unbeknown to Hugo had the original plan to build an automaton. The character is based on the real Georges Melies who invented early special effects.
Cinema goers who watch the movie in its 3D format will agree how enchanting and magnificent the scenery of Paris appears as Hugo runs around the city. A constant thorn in Hugo's side is the station master played by Sacha Baron Cohen while the sentimental flashbacks where we see Hugo's father played by Jude Law making the robot and making notes is very touching.
Hugo's main aim is to unlock the secrets of the automaton and he befriends Melies's god daughter who helps Hugo by taking him to visit with Melies hopefully to uncover hidden secrets about his past and the automaton. This movie is said to be in some ways but not entirely autobiographical explaining why Scorsese was so devoted to the making of this unusual movie.
Hugo is an all time classic that will stay that way forever in our opinion. The story is heartwarming and also really interesting, while the film captures the Paris of the 1930's admirably. The film has a unique happy ending that we will not reveal as it gives the feel good factor to the viewer restoring a little faith in humankind. It is no surprise to us that the film won such critical acclaim or that it swept the Oscars that year therefore we recommend Hugo wholeheartedly.
Real Steel released in 2011 is set in the not too distant future where robots are now expert boxers making it one of the most popular sports around. Directed by Shawn Levy this science fiction sports drama takes the sport of boxing and makes it palatable for those of us who normally are not into boxing themed films.
Real Steel involves robots who are trained in the art of boxing battling it out against one another while controlled by humans. It is a story about relationships as much as boxing as a father and son who have been estarnged due to a family break up come together and eventually bond due to working as a team in order to promote a robot in the boxing arena.
Charlie, the father played by Hugh Jackman used to be a successful boxer but as enthusiasm for human boxing waned and robots became the order of the day Charlie has been trying to find a robot that will be a success in the ring. Charlies Ex wife dies and he finds himself in court fighting for custody of his son Max played by Dakota Goyo, as his wifes sister and husband want to take the boy to live with them.
Charlie agrees to let the couple have Max for $100,000 which he will receive in two instalments. He also stipulates that he will have Max for three months before Max goes to live with them. Charlie and Max form a formidable team when it comes to robot boxing as they discover an old robot named Atom who had seen huge success in the past.
There are many twists and turns in the plot as Atom strives for success under the guidance of Max but ultimately he does succeed to a degree as he battles against the formidable Zeus, becoming the peoples champion. As the movie progresses Charlie and Max develop a relationship that ultimately sees them becoming very close therefore the father and son they always hoped they could be.
Real Steel is a great robot film that has a human relationship story running throughout. The balance between fighting action and human interaction is just right with robot boxing match scenes having an awesome atmosphere along with amazing special effects especially when blows hit the spot.
We kind of expected Real Steel to be a Transformers type offering but we were wrong. This movie has far more story and human interaction in it than Transformers therefore is all the better for it. Rated PG-13 it isn't suitable for the little ones, while Real Steel won Dakota Goyo the Young Artist Award 2012 in the Leading Young actor category.
Robot and Frank
Robot and Frank is a 2012 release that sees an ageing ex gangster teamed up with a robot butler that is given to him as a present. As you can imagine this is a recipe for all kinds of adventures, while you would be right as Robot and Frank become great companions and a formidable team!
Frank used to be a cat burglar but has now retired, or has he? His son Hunter played by James Marsden worries about Frank played by Frank Langella who now lives alone so buys him a state of the art robot to serve as his butler. Frank seizes the opportunity to make the robot his accomplice in order to take up his old profession but as Frank's memory is fading fast this leads to all kinds of trouble for the unlikely pair.
Firstly to muddy the waters the robot begins to develop a mind of his own causing many comical outcomes, while Frank plans to rob his awful neighbours of their diamonds. The film is filled with subtle humour, while the robot does not take over the movie simply plays the part of the sidekick that Frank bounces off beautifully.
There was plenty of scope for cheesy sentimentality in this story but fortunately the makers have not gone down that road making Robot and Frank more of an adventure that in parts gives us some suspense scenes that are wholly unexpected.
At first glance we were expecting a mushy sentimental film but there was none of it. Rather the film shows the human side of dementia in an informative way making this grumpy ex con a sympathetic character we grew to really like. The film reminds us all of what the future can hold for us as we age, while the robot element made for an engaging movie that is well worth seeing.
I Robot is set in the year 2035 therefore as you would expect this superb 2004 Sci-Fi offering has all the elements that lovers of robot films require to keep them happy plus also has a great storyline too.
By the year 2035 robots are an everyday sight assisting humans in all manner of situations. The film's plot has the murder of Doctor Alfred Lanning, played by James Cromwell, at the centre of it, with Will Smith playing a central role as the Chicago cop Del Spooner investigating the murder.
It appears that Lanning who is a robotics expert has been killed by one of his own robots. A fact that Spooner has no problem believing as he is very much against robots being used to the degree they are. If this robot has indeed turned against Lanning it has gone against all the rules that are incorporated into their makeup meaning maybe the robot has developed a mind of its own?
The three rules are
1. A robot may not injure a human or allow a human to be injured
2. A robot must obey orders given by humans unless they conflict with rule one
3. A robot must protect its existence unless the situation conflicts with the first two rules
Will Smith's character spends much of the film chasing around the place trying to prove the robots are revolting, with Sonny the robot who it is assumed has killed Lanning the most forward of the robots depicted. Its the usual cop has a theory, cop is disbelieved, cop gets in trouble with his superiors and cop was right in the first place Sci Fi adventure but is none the less entertaining.
Fans of Will Smith will love this film as Smith is, well, typically Will Smith! There are some funny moments, exciting moments and unfortuantely for us some dull moments too. I Robot was not our favourite robot themed movie but is, ultimately, enjoyable.
Batteries Not Included
Batteries Not Included may hail from 1987 but it is none the less a real robot themed classic movie that all fans simply must have in their DVD collection. Most of the cast in this film are elderly therefore you may think it would not appeal to the younger generation but you would be wrong, as for our children it was a firm favourite plus is now a favourite with the grandkids too!
A group of mainly elderly tenants are getting in the way of ruthless property developers who want to pull down their tenament building. The tenants who include an elderly couple who run a diner played by Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy (who were married for decades in real life) refuse to leave. Tandy's character has dementia and lives in the past when her son was alive, while she always mistakes one of the henchmen in the film to be her late son. Its very heart rending and sad with Tandy playing the role perfectly.
The tenants are reaching the end of their tethers when a group of extremely cute flying saucers fly into the building befriending them and ultimately seeing off the property developers in some really innovative and amusing ways. The little robots are very endearing having human like qualities that make the viewer root for them to succeed all the way.
We particularly like the scene where the lady robot "gives birth" to the baby flying saucer in the hut on the roof. It is a magical scene that is wholly believable. The henchmen enter the building destroying the diner with baseball bats plus set the building on fire. As if by magic the next day everything is repaired and as it should be as the little robots have repaired everything during the night much to the amazement of all concerned.
There are many heart warming scenes in this film involving both tenants and robots, while the story also follows many different threads to explain the lives of the various tenants plus how the robots problem solve for all involved.
This is a real feel good family film that has a good will eventually conquer bad message that is great for our kids to take on board. All the performances are superb from the elderly couple to the nasty henchman Carlos played by Michael Carmine. For a film made back in 1987 the special effects are superb with totally believable flying saucer type robots engaging with the humans helping and being helped themselves. Batteries Not Included is one of our all time favourites, while we are sure once you have seen it, the film will be your favourite too!
The first of the Terminator franchise Terminator stars Arnold Schwarzenegger in a role that has become his most popular and most respected of his career. Schwarzenegger whose acting is sometimes described as robotic plays the Terminator robot magnificently and is wholly believable as a result.
Fans who like all things robotic will simply love Terminator that was released in 1984. This action Sci-Fi movie broke the mould with its depiction of a human looking robot that comes from the future in order to destroy Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton who will be the future mother of John Connor a man who will save the world from the Terminators in the future. Its a superb time travel narrative that is filled with twists and turns throughout offering some edge of the seat entertainment for all.
Sarah Connor's only hope of survival against the deadly cyborg is Kyle Reese, played by Michael Biehn, who has also been sent from the future to protect her. Not only does the Terminator have exceptional power but he has superb intelligence therefore is able to track down Sarah Connor with great ease. All the way through the film its a one step forward two steps back scenario, while Connor and Reese wonder what they can possibly do to outwit the cyborg and destroy him.
The film has some fantastic action scenes, while just as you think The Terminator must have been destroyed up he gets to fight another day. This is depicted in the scene where the Terminator crashes the lorry very well. The viewer is sure that Arnie's cyborg must be a gonner only for him to walk from the exploding truck toting his gun all in one piece. Will The Terminator be destroyed in the end? We wont tell you just in case you have not seen the movie.
James Cameron's Terminator is a fantastic film that is not only action packed but also has an amazing storyline throughout. It is the first in the Terminator series and is certainly a great introduction to the Terminator franchise. We give it a phenimenal 10/10.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
This is the second film in the Terminator franchise that was released seven years later in 1991. It is the perfect follow up to the superb original and once again stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.
Once again Arnold is playing the Terminator cyborg who comes back from the future but this time he is the hero of the piece not the villain. He has been sent back as a good cyborg in order to save John Connor the child,played by Edward Furlong and his mother Sarah. A new ruthless more powerful type of terminator, the T-1000 has been created and is also sent back in order to kill the Connors. The Terminator must protect the Connors and destroy the T-1000.
Unlike the first Terminator the T-1000 transforms his appearnce by killing a human subject and taking on their human form enabling him to blend in with surrounding humans easily. The T-1000 kills a police officer and is depicted in this human form throughout the movie. The T-1000 must kill the future leader of the resistance namely John Connor, while the cyborg pursues the trio throughout the film portraying his unusual skills in the process.
Special effects wise this second Terminator film is superior to its predecessor. Such powers as the ability to reform after being blasted to pieces is shown with great precision in such scenes as when the T-1000 is chasing his prey in their car. He can transform his arms into metal hooks that catch onto the car bumper with great ease.
Terminator one cyborg has a hint of a personality in this adventure enhancing his relationship with the couple he is defending in the process. Can the Connors survive to become the leaders they are destined to be? We thought they would but not before many exhillarating chase scenes ensue.
Terminator 2 Judgement Day is a superb sequel to the first Terminator film. We wouldn't say it is better, even though it is ten years on from the first, it is simply different. Great special effects, a superb storyline and great character depiction make this offering a robot movie classic in every way.
Robots is a superbly colourful animation that is filled with comical moments along with a great adventure. Released in 2005 its depiction of robots with human characteristics endears the film to its viewing fans who are not only children but adults too.
Rodney Copperbottom is a really good inventor who would like nothing better than to show his latest creation to his all time idol Bigweld in Robot City. His father supports him all the way encouraging Rodney to take a trip to Robot City in order to meet Bigweld.
With the assistance of Cappy a beautiful robot that Rodney meets when he arrives in the city he eventually manages to secure an audience with Bigweld but not before he is rebuffed by the manager of the factory one money obsessed Ratchet a robot who thinks of nothing but hard cash.
Rodney eventually convinces Bigweld that Ratchet is only interested in money not in making and producing excellent designs that will last. Rodney and Cappy persuade Bigweld to retake the reigns of the factory from Ratchet to become the great owner he used to be in the past.
Robots is a great animated movie with wonderful scenery plus the design of the robot characters makes them seem lifelike even though they don't really look it. Its an endearing tale of small person takes on large corporation while it is done with realism due to its great writing and adventure sequences. With laughs along the way Robots is an enjoyable animation suitable for all the family.
Last but certainly not least on our top ten list is Wall-E a superb animated robot film that was released in 2008. Wall-E is a great family film with a futuristic story that has imaginative characters creating comedic scenes that will have viewers chuckling long after the movie has ebded.
Wall-E is a futuristic litter picker or a robot garbage collector as he likes to see himself. Man has long deserted Earth leaving Wall-E behind to clear up the mess, while the robot is all alone save for his little friend the cockroach. One day a beautiful robot named Eve arrives on earth. She has been sent as a reconnaisance robot in order to determine whether the earth is inhabitable, as humans may wish to return.
Wall-E voiced by Ben Burtt is instantly smitten with Eve who is played by Elissa Knight and proceeds to follow her everywhere she goes. Wall-E picks a plant from the ground and presents it to the robot who instantly takes it as proof that indeed the earth can sustain life. Eve shuts down and is scooped up by a space craft that has been sent to bring her home but not before Wall-E clings to the side as he thinks she has been kidnapped and he is intent on saving her.
The space ship arrives and docks with a larger vessel that has all the humans on board that evacuated the Earth centuries before. These humans have become fat and lazy, while they zoom around on chairs eating at every possible opportunity, simply watching tv all day. In essence they are the proverbial couch potatoes. These scenes are very funny as there isn't one normal sized human to be seen!
The auto pilot steals the plant in order to prevent the truth coming out i.e. earth can sustain life. The computer wants the humans to remain on board. Wall-E along with his friends stages a mutiny in order to get back the plant and return the people to earth.
We loved Wall-E as he had such a loveable persona making him believable in every sense. The film is an enchanting love story that brings a smile to even the grumpiest of faces, while the animation in the film is superb as you would expect from a Pixar film. If its an all round futuristic robot family animation you are after then Wall-E certainly fits the bill.