Archive Movie Review: A Film Sci-Fi Fans Will Love


Archive is a sci-fi movie that tells the story of a man trying everything he can to reunite with his dead wife. It’s a bit slow and predictable, but is it still worth a watch?

archive movie poster

From the very beginning Archive reminded me of a Black Mirror episode — a sci-fi triller that will have you speculating about everything. Honestly, it is a bit slow, and a bit predictable, but the last twenty minutes of the movie make it more than worth the watch.

Archive tells us the story of a man named George Almore who is trying to build an AI so he can be reunited with his dead wife. He is living alone — well sort of alone — with three AIs. One that stopped developing around 5 years old, one at 15 years old, and one that has matured all the way but has not been fully built. They all have a personality like his wife’s, but they seem to have formed a sister relationship. 

He is using a database, or archive, of his dead wife’s memories to make the “brain” of these AIs. This is set in the future and he has her memories via a company who can remove them from the deceased and store them in a computer. They even come in to check on the database and make sure it wasn’t compromised (of course, it was). But even so, they leave without taking his “wife” away.

Yes, I found that super shady too and the theories started swirling around in my head. Why wouldn’t they take it away? It made no sense to me and I was determined to figure out the answer.

Archive Movie Review

(L – R) Theo James as George & Stacy Martin as J3 Robot in the sci – fi film, “ ARCHIVE ,” a Vertical Entertainment release.” Photo Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment.

I felt like there were two stories going on in Archive that never quite fit together — George and his AIs, and then the Archive company and his employer wanting to investigate what he was really up to. These two story lines seem to be completely separate from each other, and makes it a bit muddled to watch. This is partly why the movie is so slow as well, I just didn’t know with story line to fully sink my teeth into.

But even with it being slow and predictable, it is a fun watch. Viewers are sure to connect with all the AIs on some level. Personally I felt really bad for the second AI. She was sweet and lovable, but had jealousy issues. As the movie neared an end, I started to really get into it. I refuse to give spoilers but the last twenty minutes are what make Archive a must watch movie.

archive 2020 movie review

(L – R) Stacy Martin as J3 Robot and Theo James as George in the sci – fi film, “ ARCHIVE ,” a Vertical Entertainment release.” Photo Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment.

Overall Thoughts

Archive is a great sci-fi thriller that will have you trying to put the pieces together from beginning to end. All throughout the movie there are flashbacks that will help you try to do it. Like I said, this movie is a bit slow, but there really is a payoff in the end, I promise you.

If you want spoilers and the Archive ending explained watch the video below. But there are MAJOR spoilers so steer clear if you don’t want to know.

Is it worth a watch? Yes. Because the twist at the end makes getting through the slow and predictable parts worth it. It is fascinating and even a little bit creepy at times. Archive is a great movie night film choice for those who love the sci-fi genre.

archive 2020 movie

Stacy Martin as J3 Robot in the sci – fi film , “ ARCHIVE ,” a Vertical Entertainment release .” Photo Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment .

About Archive

2038. Two and a half years into a three year research contract, George Almore is on the verge of a breakthrough. Stationed halfway up a snow-capped mountain near Kyoto at a secret facility code named ‘The Garden’, he has been working on a model that is a true human-equivalent android. His prototype is almost complete. But this most sensitive phase of his work is also the riskiest. Especially as George has an ulterior motive for his work that must be hidden at all costs: Being re-united with his dead wife, Jules.

ARCHIVE stars Theo James (Divergent series, Lying and Stealing), Stacy Martin (Vox Lux, Nymphomaniac Vol I & II), Rhona Mitra (Sweet Home Alabama, “Boston Legal”), Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Hunger Games) and is the feature screenwriting and directorial debut of Gavin Rothery. The film was an official selection for the 2020 SXSW Film Festival.

ARCHIVE is available in Virtual Cinema Screenings, On Demand, and Digital on July 10th.

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