Counting down our favorite robot characters in cinema
With Anna & the Annadroids making their long-awaited return to the Columbus stage and “Ghost in the Shell” hitting theaters this weekend, it seems like the perfect time to count down the greatest human-like robots ever to grace the screen. These are the droids you're looking for.
10. Johnny 5 in “Short Circuit”
OK, this one is pure nostalgia, and this movie had about as much staying power as Steve Guttenberg's career (although his appearance on “Party Down” as himself was amazing). Still, man, “Johnny 5 alive!”
9. Gort from “The Day the Earth Stood Still”
In this 1951 sci-fi classic, this destructive robot came from space with Klaatu to warn mankind to change its self-destructive ways. Spoiler alert: It didn't work.
8. Marvin the Paranoid Android from “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy”
Douglas Adams' amazing novel didn't fully translate in the 2005 big-screen version, but you had to love Marvin, voiced by the late Alan Rickman. He also inspired a sweet Radiohead song.
7. Bishop in “Aliens”
Facing down an alien race was terrifying enough for the crew, even without the questions raised about the true motivations of its android crew member, played by Lance Henriksen.
6. T-800 in “Terminator 2”
Arnold Schwarzenegger is now so remembered as an action hero that it's easy to forget what a great reveal was hiding in James Cameron's “Terminator” sequel: The bad guy from the first movie was actually the good guy.
5. R2-D2 from “Star Wars”
The latest round of “Star Wars” movies has given us more beloved droids, but none of them are ever going to top R2.
4. Rick Deckard in “Blade Runner”
Ridley Scott's theatrical release leaves the question deliciously ambiguous: Was Harrison Ford's character a replicant the whole time? Maybe we'll find out once and for all when “Blade Runner 2049” comes out.
3. WALL-E in “WALL-E”
One of Pixar's most beloved characters never even says a word, but WALL-E had our hearts from the beginning.
2. The Iron Giant from “The Iron Giant”
A tale of a boy and his giant robot friend became a modern animated classic thanks to the direction of Brad Bird, who would go on to helm several movies for Pixar.
1. Ava from “Ex Machina”
Alex Garland's 2014 masterpiece gets better with each subsequent viewing. Witnessing the progression of the humanoid AI, played to perfection by breakout star Alicia Vikander, was like watching a human find consciousness.