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* The latest Transformers a box office bomb domestically
* Variety calls the franchise “rusty“
* Marvel at the genius of sentient robots in these 6 films instead
Transformers: The Last Knight may have just proved to be the very last of the franchise after this weekend’s box office debut. The fifth installment of the Transformers series that began ten years ago in 2007 had the lowest grossing opening of all the films in the franchise, coming in at $68 million over the course of five days.
Featuring Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Hopkins, the film had more fans among international audiences than at home, as in China, Transformers: The Last Knight made $41 million on opening day alone. Meanwhile, the fifth take on the war between humans and machines only garnered a feeble 15% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
But if you are a loyal fan of Transformers and long to see the newest addition to the series on the big screen, we’ve found the best way to purchase tickets to your local cinema on Fandango. Instead of rushing to beat the line at the theater, you can order your tickets online ahead of time, and simply saunter in to find your seat just before the show starts.
Although The Guardian might have deemed Transformers: The Last Knight a mess that you should “chuck on the scrapheap,” that doesn’t mean robot-oriented movies aren’t illuminating to watch as we contemplate what technology might be able to achieve in the possibly near future. Here are six of the best robot-themed films you can watch instead.
1. Ex Machina
A psychological thriller that was nominated for Best Screenplay and won Best Visual Effects at the 88th Academy Awards in 2016, Ex Machina is Alex Garland’s critically-acclaimed directorial debut. Starring Alicia Vikander as the strategically intelligent A.I. creation of Oscar Isaac’s Nathan Bateman, she endures a battle of wits and emotions with Domhnall Gleeson’s programmer Caleb Smith. If you want a clever rendition on the Pygmalion and Galatea myth with an Oscar Isaac dance number thrown in, Ex Machina should provide for a movie night that will remind you to never underestimate anyone or anything.
2. Star Wars
Star Wars is everywhere, and it’s not going away anytime soon. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi soaring into theaters on December 15, just in time for the holiday season, summer is the perfect time to catch up on the earlier films that spawned the franchise. And with adorable R2-D2 and prim but hilarious C-3PO, A New Hope heralds us into the original saga of Luke Skywalker’s hero’s journey in a galaxy far, far away with a pair of two supportive robots to guide him and his friends along the way.
3. The Matrix
The film series by the Wachowskis pre-Jupiter Ascending, the first installment of the sci-fi adventure franchise, The Matrix, stars Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne in a search for what’s real in this dystopian universe. The 1999 critical and box office success, winning four Academy Awards, spurred on two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, and introduced us to the world of the Matrix, making us wonder whether our own world is a figment of our imaginations or if we are conscious of the decisions we make. Sometimes we might hope for the former.
4. Blade Runner
When the original Blade Runner was released in 1982, audiences were polarized on the neo-noir detective thriller starring Harrison Ford, lamenting its pacing, though critics like Roger Ebert praised its special effects. But since then, the film has become a cult hit thanks to its astounding visual spectacle, with director of the upcoming reboot Blade Runner 2049 (starring Ryan Gosling), Denis Villeneuve, citing the film as one of his major influences, telling IndieWire that the original film “is almost a religion” for him.
5. The Stepford Wives
2017 has been Nicole Kidman’s year. Headlining four movies at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, including the widely-praised feminist Southern gothic The Beguiled directed by Sofia Coppola, Kidman was also a standout in HBO’s limited series Big Little Lies this past spring. Take a further step to appreciate Kidman’s acting cartwheels by watching the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives, which also challenges the idea that a community is really all it seems on the surface. As we know, veneers only run so deep.
6. X-Men: Days of Future Past
The second film in the X-Men prequel series as well as a follow-up to X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past combines past, present and future with Professor X, Magneto and Wolverine, as he travels back in time to 1973 to save mutants and the human race. Also with Peter Dinklage in a featured, villainous role vastly different from his fan-favorite turn as Tyrion on Game of Thrones, X-Men: Days of Future Past is an exciting installment in the series that does not disappoint.
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