Everything and More You Wanted to Know About the Movie, I Am Mother

The titular character in I Am Mother is a humanoid AI robot, which runs and maintains an underground facility filled with hundreds (if not thousands) of human embryos. The robot now inhabits the facility with a young female human, simply called “Daughter.” To reciprocate, the Daughter refers to the robot as Mother. So,read on for everything you need to know about this amazing apocalyptic movie.


I Am Mother:

I Am Mother revolves around the relationship between Daughter and her rather mysterious Mother. In one of the earliest frames, it is indicated that a major extinction event happened one day before the timeline in the film starts. At the beginning, it is not clear if Mother actually knows anything about the world outside the bunker. There is a clear allusion that humanity has gone extinct, except for the Daughter and the embryos in the facility. However, Daughter must stay and live in the bunker because the surface world is inhospitable.

The Mother

I Am Mother: the mother

Two actors bring Mother to life; she is embodied by Luke Hawker and voiced by Rose Byrne. The robot is designed to have the awkwardness of RoboCop while walking around, yet display the agility of the T-1000 (from Terminator: Judgment Day) when sprinting. With a square-shaped head and exaggerated metal structure, her gestures and overall clumsiness of motion are actually expressive. Mother is arguably the most realistic version of AI robot on screen. She is like Honda’s Asimo with a language-processing ability of Jarvis. 

The Daughter

I Am Mother: the daughter

As the first human born after the extinction event, Daughter – portrayed by Clara Rugaard – grows up happy despite having never seen the supposedly uninhabitable outside world. The Mother and Daughter relationship flows without a glitch for the most part. It seems Mother always has a satisfying answer to Daughter’s every curious question. 

Plot Twist Is Everything

I Am Mother:

A major complaint about I Am Mother is how the film overly prioritizes the plot twist above all else. Important aspects such as characterization and world-building are relegated to second-grade elements under the complexity and the unveiling of underlying backstories. The film spends a good portion of its duration trying to convince viewers that a good relationship can happen between an AI robot parent and her teenage girl. As the story progresses, it becomes more apparent that Daughter feels as if she is a prisoner at home. In the minds of viewers, Mother slowly changes from a good-natured guardian like Optimus Prime into a mission-only HAL-9000. Mother cannot be entirely harmless.

Human Visitor

I Am Mother:

An unexpected arrival of a human visitor at the underground facility is the turning point in the unusual bond between Mother and Daughter. The visitor, known as Woman (portrayed by Hillary Swank), tells Daughter about humans and how robots played active roles in the destruction of humanity. Everything is contradictory to what Mother says. A conflict rages in Daughter’s mind as she doesn’t know how to tell the truth from lies. She is, after all, an ordinary human with emotions and feelings rather than a thinking robot. At some point, she has to make a decision whether to stay in the bunker or to go explore the world and embrace a dangerous life. Mother is not happy with the situation.

Some Violence

I Am Mother walks slowly toward the big revelation. There isn’t enough information to indicate that Woman is all honest; no one knows whether robots brought an end to human civilization, or if people on the surface are simply survivors of some other global disaster. Woman’s account of how robots kill babies is more suspenseful than the actual violent sequences shown. It is not an action film, but it has enough violence to almost make it one.

Valid Questions

Over time, Mother is growing jealous over the relationship between Daughter and Woman. It is the kind of film to question the validity of a robot’s feelings. Currently, AI is increasingly more advanced, and there might be a time when robots are indeed built to develop human-like experiences, including sense of jealously, identity and anger. Even if such emotions are mere products of computerized programs, it does not mean the emotions are any less real than those of any human. The old question about an AI’s capability of manufacturing an improved version of itself has not been fully answered either. If (or when) the Earth becomes too harsh for humans, humanoid robots may have to take over and care for the planet.

Generic Trap

Another letdown is the way Daughter reacts to the presence of Woman in the bunker. The mutual antagonism between Mother and Woman has a good potential to develop into an exciting, albeit short, dynamic. Mother is the face of the new world, while Woman represents everything wrong with the old order. A realistic Daughter, educated by an AI, should be more objective in observing the situation and find more conflicts along the way. One cannot help but wonder why Daughter, given the promising storyline, travels through an outright generic post-apocalyptic path by becoming excessively curious about the outside world. 

The Message

I Am Mother does not explicitly depict AI as a menace to humans. As AI is becoming more intelligent, however, it is only plausible they notice how humans are driving themselves to extinction. Planet Earth has finite resources, and most of them have been consumed. When the time comes, AI will have to decide if they should save humans from themselves and risk undergoing the same troubles all over again, or choose the planet over their makers.

Mother, Daughter, Woman. Only three actors with lines. Sounds like one of those contained movies produced during the Covid pandemic, doesn’t it? Surprise! It was released in 2019, so this was a cleverly written and superbly acted film that saved a lot of money on cast while spending much of it on special fx for the robot. Nonetheless, we love the idea of an AI being in charge of the future of mankind (womankind in this case) and a teenage girl whose hormones are flying who wants to break away from the nest. What do you think about the AI technology? Will it “get” us in the end? Or is it the answer to us having a successful future?

Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

If you liked this, then check out Why Is the Movie, The Girl with All the Gifts, an Apocalyptic Delight?

Other things you might want to know about.

What are some other movies about Artificial Intelligence?

According to datarootlabs.com here is a list of 10 movies that are about Artificial Intelligence.

1.   The Matrix (1999-2021)

2.   Blade Runner (1982-2017)

3.   Love Death + Robots (2019-2021)

4.   Her (2013)

5.   Superintelligence (2020)

6.   Ex Machina (2014)

7.   Inception (2010)

8.   Free Guy (2021)

9.   The Imitation Game (2014)

10. Alpha go (2017)

Go to datarootslabs.com to read more details about each of these movies. The article was written by Andrii Torchylo.

Top 20 Must-Watch AI movies

According to towardsdatascience.com here are 20 movies that deal with the capabilities of AI.

1.   Blade Runner (1982)

2.   Westworld (1973)

3.   2001: Space Odyssey (1968)

4.   Moon (2009)

5.   The Matrix (1999)

6.   Star Wars (1977)

7.   Star Trek: Generations (1994)

8.   The Terminator (1984)

9.   Robocop (1987)

10. Wall-E (2008)

11. Ex Machina (2014)

12. Chappie (2015)

13. I, Robot (2004)

14. Interstellar (2014)

15. Her (2013)

16. Moneyball (2011)

17. Margin Call (2011)

18. Minority Report (2002)

19. The Imitation Game (2014)

20. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Go to towardsdatascience.com to read more about each of these movies. The article was written by Benedict Neo. 

Who are some of the best characters in Artificial Intelligent movies?

According to denofgeek.com here is a list of 19 of the best characters in AI movies. 

1.   HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2.   Samantha in Her (2013)

3.   Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982)

4.   Ash in Alien (1979)

5.   Wall-E (2008)

6.   T-800 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

7.   Ava in Ex Machina (2015)

8.   Agent Smith in The Matrix (1999)

9.   Maschinenmensch in Metropolis (1927)

10. C-3PO and R2D2 in Star Wars (1977)

11. Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet (1956)

12. Edward in Edward Scissorhands (1990)

13. David in Prometheus (2012)

14. Bishop in Aliens (1986)

15. TARS in Interstellar (2014)

16. Data in Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

17. Quorra in Tron: Legacy (2010)

18. GERTY in Moon (2009)

19. Rachael in Blade Runner (1982)

Go to denofgeek.com for more information about each of these characters. The article was written by David Crow.