'Mother/ Android' review: Think twice before hiring that robot butler

Chloë Grace Moretz and Algee Smith star in Hulu's dark sci-fi thriller.

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

Everything's fine until the robot butlers go crazy.

That's what happens in "Mother/ Android," a bleak sci-fi thriller from Romanian writer-director Mattson Tomlin. He envisions a world in the not-too-distant future where our overwhelming dependence on technology backfires on us, leading to an AI uprising and sending Americans fleeing into the woods, fighting for their lives.  

Chloë Grace Moretz and Algee Smith in "Mother/ Android."

Chloë Grace Moretz is Georgia, who is at a small holiday party with friends and her boyfriend Sam (Saginaw native Algee Smith) when all tech goes haywire and their friendly robot servant — designed to look like and behave like a human — turns against the partygoers.

It's part of a massive tech revolt, which flips robots against people and quickly leads to the violent downfall of entire cities. Humans are sent scurrying into the woods, a return to nature, and Georgia and Sam are forced to fend for themselves and try to make their way on foot to Boston where there's rumors of boats taking humans to Asia, where it's supposedly safe. Oh, and was it mentioned that Georgia is a full nine months pregnant?    

Writer-director Tomlin does a confident job of keeping the storyline tight and its focus honed in on Georgia and Sam; as viewers, we rarely know any more than what they know or have experienced first hand, and Tomlin doesn't cut to news broadcasts or explain things on a macro level, which puts viewers inside the situation with the two protagonists. 

Ultimately "Mother/ Android" tells a stark, dark story of sacrifice, survival and our overreliance on tech. The robot butlers might not be worth it in the end. 



'Mother/ Android'


Rated R: for violence and language

Running time: 110 minutes

On Hulu