I Am Mother is a premise we’ve seen before. A protagonist held in captivity for reasons that are never honestly explained. Are they being held for their own safety? Are they being manipulated for nefarious purposes? The truth is more complicated than the main character, “Daughter,” is ready to comprehend.

Mixing elements of 10 Cloverfield Lane, Ex Machina, and The Matrix, we watch a future where a lone child is raised by a robot “Mother.” Daughter (Clara Rugaard) is raised with lessons like morality, ethics, medicine, and presumably world history, but she’s never allowed outside. As she matures, the audience also is confronted with questions of morality and ethics, leading to the constant question of what does it mean to be human. Who is more or less human? Is it the Daughter who is raised in complete isolation with no other human being or the robot who is programmed with all the empathy and touch of a devoted human mother?

Of course, this placid existence can’t last undisturbed and we are introduced to another human (Hilary Swank) who crashes the party, and in the process, raises even more mystery about what lies outside. Even when the story reveals glances of the outside world, we are still left with even more questions about morality and totalitarianism.

The two main live-action actors, Rugaard and Swank, in this film shine. They portray all the depth of character you need to believe their journeys, their fears, their hopes. The voice actress for “Mother” (Rose Byrne) also adds necessary humanity, albeit with the intended uncanny valley effect.

Few independent sci-fi/futuristic films are able to pull off immersive effects. But I Am Mother utilizes a number of effects houses to pull off special effects that rival any Hollywood blockbuster. The impact is that we are drawn in a real futuristic post-apocalyptic world.

Combining the outstanding acting, with modern graphics, and precisely detailed plotline, this film should be a hit with a wide audience. Watch closely, there are easter eggs and hints all throughout the story that even set up a sequel!