I recently saw Ex Machina, not sure how much I'm supposed to read into it (and works of Alex Garland in general) but there are references to quotes and being quotable, and I wonder if they mean anything. For instance, Nathan drunkenly quoting Oppenheimer or the Ghostbusters, saying "There you go again. Mr Quoteable," or:

Nathan: Through the looking glass? Wow. You're good with words, Caleb. You're quotable.

Caleb: Actually that's someone else's quote.

1 Answer 1


I think it's just Nathan mocking Caleb.

Throughout the movie, Caleb tries to be more 'clever' than the role assigned to him by Nathan requires. He tries to extend the Turing test to be more rigorous and scientific when Nathan simply wants to see if he forms an emotional/erotic connection with Ava.

Caleb also frequently quotes famous figures as in the excerpt you've given.

Nathan is clearly a bit of a mean drunk and he needs to be superficially friendly with Caleb for the purposes of his plan. He therefore takes the opportunities he can to quietly make fun of Caleb by riffing on the 'quotable' theme that clearly annoys him.


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