Everyone has that one quirk, that one thing they love to see in films. For some it’s vampires, others aliens. And for some, it’s robots. Honestly, who can blame robot fanatics? Robots are cool, it’s a scientifically proven fact, just ask a robot. From their cool honest demeanor, to the cutest and most heartbreaking sentient cyborg, robots just evoke something in us. Think of Marvin the Paranoid Android, voiced by Alan Rickman from 2005’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. You’ve never seen a more melancholic character in cinema, and I bet you never had such a strong urge to hug a character either. Maybe it’s because they are so often portrayed as humanlike. Many robot-centric films use them as a device to amplify the films underlying messages, often questions related to morality and the human condition. A sentient robot can raise the question, “What makes us human” and address a multitude of philosophical reasoning.
We’ve compiled a list of films that feature some of our favorite movie robots of all time. Did your favorite robot-centric film not make the list? Tell us in the comments below!
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
[ new page = 10: The Terminator]
Starting off our list at number ten is 1984’s Terminator The film is directed by James Cameron, most well known for Titanic, and stars Arnold Shwarzenegger as “The Terminator”. The Terminator is a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill its target, Sarah Connor. The film was a surprising success and launched its own franchise.
[ new page = 9: Metropolis]
At number 9 comes 1927’s Metropolis. The film is the first feature length science fiction movie, and as such is considered a pioneering film. The film is praised for it’s social metaphors, and features a robot used to clone prophet Maria and cause chaos through the second half of the film.
[ new page = 8: Star Wars]
At number 8 comes Star Wars. We are talking of the entire franchise, and not one singular film. Because, this makes the list for both R2D2 and C3PO. Both robots add comic relief to the dramatic series, as well as garner sympathy towards themselves, despite the fact that they are non-living. The pair are two of the easiest to recognize from all film robots.
[ new page = 7: A.I. Artificial Intelligence]
At number 7 is Spielberg’s 2001 film, A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The film follows David, an android programmed to not only appear as a child, but to feel love as a child. The film is a moving and though provoking piece, that makes the audience think and question the human condition and morality.
[ new page = 6: Forbidden Planet]
At number 6 is 1956’s Forbidden Planet. The film was a groundbreaking science fiction piece, which set the field for what science fiction would later become. The film featured the first robot in a film to have it’s own personality, Robby the Robot. Robby has become a legendary and cult figure since his debut in the film.
[ new page = 5: Robocop]
At number 5 is the 1987 sci-fi film, Robocop. While not a strict “robot”, the film is about a cyborg. After being beaten to death by a gang, police office Alex Murphy is brought back by Omni Consumer Products, enhanced with robotic features to make him the ultimate cop. The film was rated highly among critics. It addresses issues such as authoritarianism, capitalism, and much more. The film’s success created a franchise, and a remake of the film was released this year.
[ new page = 4: WALL-E]
Coming in at number 4 is the 2008 film, WALL-E. The film was produced by Pixar and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture that year, as well as being nominated for several other awards. The film follows robot Wall-E, who was designed to clean up waste as an effort to help maintain the planet’s growing disposal problem. Wall-E appears to be the last working of this series of robots. Over the years he as developed to form his own personality, and a human need for love and companionship. The film addresses such societal issues as consumerism, waste management, and the impact humans are having on the earth, as well as those repercussions. Wall-E, as an emotionally capable robot, is an endearing and loveable character.
[ new page = 3: Short Circuit]
At number three is 1986’s Short Circuit. The film is centered on an experimental military robot that, after being struck by lighting, believes itself to be alive. The film had the popular and simple slogan “Number 5 is Alive!” Number 5 is an amazingly lovable robot that captures your affections. The film was well met by critics and with its charismatic sentient robot, remains a classic for robot-fanatics.
[ new page = 2: Blade Runner]
Coming in second place comes 1982’s Blade Runner. The film is a dystopian world in which the job of a blade runner is to catch and destroy “replicants”, genetically engineered organic robots. The film has been highly influential and has a strong cult following. The film is praised for its complexity and neo-noir style.
[ new page = 1: Robot & Frank ]
And at our number one spot, comes 2012’s Robot & Frank. The film revolves around Frank, an aging man with early signs on dementia. His son, tired of trying to care for him, brings him the assisted living aid of a robot. The robot is programmed to improve Frank’s health, but Frank wants nothing to do with change or technology. Frank eventually grows attached to the robot, and the film addresses questions of morality and the human condition.