[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ai_artificial_intelligence.jpg]]

What do you get when you cross a Creator/StevenSpielberg movie with a Creator/StanleyKubrick movie?

You get '''''A.I.: Artificial Intelligence'''''.

In the 22nd century, global disasters have drastically reduced the human population. In an effort to maintain human society, humanlike androids called mechas are developed and programmed to simulate humanlike behavior and emotions. Among them is an advanced prototype named David (Haley Joel Osment), a [[RobotKid child robot]] with the ability to virtually feel love, rather than simulate the appropriate behaviors. The Cybertronics company tests out David on two of its workers, Henry and Monica Swinton, whose son Martin has been placed under suspended animation until a cure can be found for his rare disease. Though Monica is initially afraid of this artificial child, she eventually warms to him after activating his imprinting protocol, which irreversibly causes him to feel love for his new "mother".

However, disaster strikes after Martin is cured, leaving David cast off and alone with his mechanical teddy bear companion Teddy, searching for his place in the world, ultimately embarking on a journey to find his own humanity alongside Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a "love mecha" also on the run after one of his clients is killed.

Released in 2001, this adaptation of the Creator/BrianAldiss short story "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" had started development under Kubrick in the early 1970s, under a long series of writers hired by Kubrick himself to try to bring his vision to life, but had languished in DevelopmentHell for years due to the limitations of CGI, which Kubrick believed would be necessary to bring the childlike robot hero to life. Finally, in 1995 Kubrick handed over the project to Spielberg, but it continued to languish until Kubrick's death in 1999.

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!! This film contains examples of:

* AdaptationExpansion
* AllThereInTheManual: Unless you read the script you will think [[spoiler: those were aliens at the end of the film, where in fact they are super advanced robots]].
* AlternateRealityGame: One of these one concocted as a marketing tool - and appears to be the first such.
* AndIMustScream: [[spoiler:Thousands of years of being locked in ice, staring and praying at a statue that can never grant what David wants]]. Yikes.
** On the other hand, David is a mecha and is probably not bothered by the passage of time like humans are. Also, when he is found, he is not moving or talking, and has evidently been dormant (or at least out of power) for quite some time and thus not conscious for the majority of [[spoiler:his time in the ice]].
* ApocalypseHow [[spoiler:Planetary/Species Extinction, by the end of the movie.]]
* ArcWords: "Please make me a real boy."
* ArtificialHuman: A truly heartbreaking example here.
* BarbieDollAnatomy: Implied in the pool scene. "Then let's see what you ''can't'' pee with."
* BerserkButton: David does not take well the fact that there are more of his model, to put it mildly. [[DrivenToSuicide And it follows with...]]
* BigApplesauce
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:The transhuman robots of the future find David and Teddy frozen, the only two functional mechas who knew living humans. Using David's memories, the mechas reconstruct the Swinton home, and explain to him via the Blue Fairy that he cannot become human. However, they recreate Monica from [[ChekhovsGun a lock of her hair saved by Teddy]] and restore her memories from a [[HandWave space-time "imprint" that all living things leave behind]]. She can only live for a single day though and the process cannot be repeated. Thus, David spends the happiest day of his life playing with Monica and Teddy. Monica tells David that she has always loved him as she drifts slowly away from the world. And so, David closes his eyes for the last time, and goes "to that place where dreams are born".]]
* [[BlackDudeDiesFirst Black Robot Dies First]]
* BreakTheCutie
* TheCameo
** Creator/RobinWilliams as the voice of Dr. Know.
** Chris Rock has an even briefer and more random cameo as one of the robots destroyed at the Flesh Fair.
** MerylStreep as [[spoiler:the Blue Fairy]].
** Ben Kingsley is the narrator [[spoiler:and the Advanced Mecha leader.]] He also appears makes an on-screen appearance as a technician in a scene where David is repaired after eating spinach.
* ChekhovsGun: The lock of Monica's hair that Martin goads David into cutting off.
** Also Joe's speech about how humans made mecha to quick and too many, and that humans know after they are gone all that will be left will be Mecha.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Played with, but with David, ultimately played straight.
** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that David has been programmed to be eternally innocent, and he cannot be anything other than what is dictated by his programming.
* CoversAlwaysLie: Hey, wait there, movie poster. David's a robot--[[YoungerThanTheyLook he's not actually 11 years old!]] (Whether or not he actually weighs 60 lbs. isn't made clear, but that seems doubtful considering he sunk like a stone.)
* CreepyChild: David. It's not his fault.
* DefiantStoneThrow: Against the mecha-slaughtering circus master.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment / ShapedLikeItself / ViewersAreMorons: The title, obviously; it's a bit like calling a movie "FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation." The film was originally titled simply "A.I.", but apparently the studio discovered that moviegoers misread the poster as "A.1." and wondered why anyone would make a movie about steak sauce.
** Note that this is [[ETTheExtraTerrestrial not the first]] Spielberg film to have such a title.
* DissonantSerenity: Invoked intentionally during the flesh fair. David is panicking realistically, while the other robots who presumably do not have his advanced emotion programming have dull, calm expressions even while fleeing for their lives.
* DistantFinale: [[spoiler:David and Teddy remain frozen in the ice for over 2,000 years before they're thawed out by the Future Mechas, when humanity has long since died out.]]
* DoAndroidsDream: The role of David's and Gigolo Joe's original programming in shaping their behavior, or not.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:After he's told by Professor Hobby that the Blue Fairy isn't real and being confronted with an entire assembly line of copies of himself, David jumps off the Cybertronics building into the ocean. Subverted, as since he's a mecha the fall can't kill him, and he can't drown.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: And '''HOW'''. If any character outside of Dickens or Shakespeare had earned a happy ending, it was David. And even it was, to say the ''least'', bittersweet.
* EatingMachine: David discovers the hard way he isn't one.
* EinsteinHair: Dr. Know is a cartoon Einstein, complete with (of course) the hair.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: The patrons of the flesh fair cheer as machines are horribly disfigured and destroyed. But when the undamaged David has to step up they are rapidly disturbed by how alike to a real human child he is, and reluctant to destroy him (and by extension his guardian, Gigolo Joe). It's aided by the fact that the flesh fair is implied to have melted a real human before, and the crowd isn't completely convinced David is actually a mecha (his model has yet to be made public).
* EyeAwaken: When Monica activates David's seven-word code in the trailer. Very slowly.
* FailsafeFailure: Shortly after Martin is cured, he's having a party with his friends, and the kids decide it would be a hilarious idea to test David's personal safety subroutines. [[WhatAnIdiot Right next to the pool]]. They do this by gently approaching his arm with a knife, at which point he takes a death grip on Martin and begs him to "Keep me safe", which freaks out Martin, overbalancing them both into the pool and nearly drowning Martin. Granted, David is meant to mimic a child, but holy crap -- how did the potential for this sort of thing to go wrong ''not'' come up in testing?
** David is a prototype, and laboratory tests never work out all the problems. Granted, this is a fairly major problem, but also a rather specific one (robot is threatened near a pool and the person he feels responsible for his safety just happens to be wearing a heavy and awkward exoskeleton on his legs). And again, David's a prototype. The whole movie basically is his testing period.
** For that matter, did no one think to test what would happen if [[spoiler:two imprinted Davids met? David went into full-on murder mode when confronted with the reality. A mass rollout would have been a disaster]].
* FamousLastWords: "I am! I was!" [[spoiler:Gigolo Joe - at least from David's POV.]]
* FantasticRacism: Of the most chillingly inhumane kind.
** FantasticSlur: Lord Johnson-Johnson calls robots "iron". (The acceptable terms are "mecha" and "orga", removing the "-nic" from both.)
* FerrisWheelOfDoom: Subverted (or submerged, even). The rusted-out underwater Wonder Wheel falls over and traps the police hovercar on the ocean floor, with David and Teddy inside.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: When we first see David's silhouette, the light distorts it to resemble the body shape of [[spoiler: one of the future mechas.]]
** Gigolo Joe's confident prediction that the human race will go extinct and only mechas will be left.
* GoOutWithASmile:
** The Nanny-bot at the flesh fair.
** [[spoiler:David, at the end.]]
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:David, but he lived long enough to find his happy ending.]]
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Gets a slight aversion at the end of the flesh-fair, when [[spoiler:Lord Johnson Johnson is exhorting the crowd to kill David and they turn on him instead.]]
** [[spoiler: Mainly because he looks like a little kid and he's begging for his life -- the mechas never begged for their lives before.]]
** The only reason David was spared was because the crowd couldn't be convinced that he was a robot (if he wasn't a beta model, they'd have melted him). See NoodleIncident for details.
* HumanitysWake
* HumansAreFlawed: Gigolo Joe's opinion.
* HumansAreSpecial: The Future Mechas clearly say that they are studying humans because they believe them to hold the key to [[spoiler:the Meaning of Life.]]
** [[FridgeBrilliance Which makes sense]], due to humanity having ''created'' the Future Mechas (to some degree, at least). It'd be akin to meeting God for a human.
* InnocentInaccurate: A programmed version. Gigolo Joe thinks that a client's horrible bruises are the result of sexual "passion," although the woman has clearly been abused. Finding her dead, on the other hand, wakes him up pretty fast.
* ItsWhatIDo: Gigolo Joe's response when David asks him about the dancing. Part of the film's DoAndroidsDream debate (a freely willed act, or just executing a string of code?).
* {{Jerkass}}:
** Martin, David's "brother", since he's highly resentful of having been "replaced" by a robot.
** Henry qualifies when you think about it. He's the one who brings David home to "replace" Martin and then gets creeped out by the fact that David is so "creepily human". On top of that, AFTER Monica bonds with David, Henry shows signs of hostility towards David even before Martin gets better. Which leads to the unfortunate implication that mothers and offspring can and will form powerful attachments, but fathers and offspring can not and will not form any attachments even if their lives depend on it. (This is actually a theme that Spielberg has explored in many of his films.)
* JustAMachine: There is a group of humans who hunt and brutally destroy mechas to vent their rage at the automation of labor.
* JustBeforeTheEnd: Human civilization is pretty much on the way out even at the beginning of the film. Even some of the robots seem aware of the fact.
* MeaningfulName: "David" means "beloved".
* MechanicalEvolution
* MistakenForMurderer: Why Gigolo Joe is on the run.
* MonumentalDamage: Note the Statue of Liberty's torch on the way to Manhattan.
** Inverted, jarringly, with the World Trade Center, still mostly intact ''2000 years later''.
* MoralMyopia: We see a group of humans that make a sport and spectacle of publicly destroying sentient robots in various ways. They are shown having great concern when the possibility that a child has gone missing on their grounds and that it may have been confused with a robot is presented to them. Meanwhile, the crowd who've gathered to see this show end up rioting when the MC tries to have the child-mecha David dissolved in acid, and it's clear that they did this mostly because the MC failed to prove that David was a robot.
* NoodleIncident: Before hunting down Gigolo Joe, Lord Johnson-Johnson asks his subordinate to confirm that Joe isn't human, alluding to an otherwise unexplained (but probably fatal) "Trenton incident."
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: They do seem to be working on more "David" models, but it's obvious no one is keeping tabs or notes on the "Introduce a child mecha into a human family" experiment.
* OurSoulsAreDifferent: Apparently, spacetime itself stores information about past events and people.
** It sort of does, according to advanced theories like quantum mechanics, just not in the way implied by the movie. There, it is implied that just by studying a small piece of an object, up to and including an entire human, you could know its entire life story. In real life, if you know the positions of every single particle of a closed system (i.e., the Universe), you can know everything that happened to all those particles in the past, and what will happen to them all in the future, assuming the system was/will be always closed. It does not work with a single object, unless that object has never interacted with anything else in its entire existence.
** Then again, this could be [[LiesToChildren Lies To Robot Children]].
* ParentalFavoritism: Admittedly, David is "just" a realistic robot.
* PhraseCatcher: "Hey, Joe, whaddaya know?"
** "Hey, Jane, how's da game?"
* PickYourHumanHalf: Averted - David has both the appearance and behaviour of a human.
* PinocchioSyndrome: Anviliciously and deliberately used here, complete with a Blue Fairy.
* PoorCommunicationKills: There's lots of poor communication, because the plot depends on it. No one from Cybertronics ever seems to check in on David's progress, despite being an obvious prototype. Martin isn't given ground rules to follow or carefully introduced to David. A girl notices David in the cage at the flesh fair, but despite a child mecha never having been seen before none of the burly guys pulling the mechas out consider him odd at all.
* PopulationControl: Mentioned in the expository voice-over as a response to the polar ice-caps melting and the coastlines flooding. This is why Martin's parents haven't tried for another kid.
* PunnyName: If you tried to find out the identity of the {{Puppetmaster}}s running the AlternateRealityGame by querying DNS records, you'll get Geppeto in the name field.
* RagnarokProofing: When David is discovered after 2000 years under the frozen sea, he is seen still mostly functional.
** And New York City is intact under a sheet of ice. Mind you ice sheets ''move'' and would have long ago torn the city up and pushed the rubble into the sea.
** The vehicle he is in is unharmed, and the old ferris wheel which collapsed over him looks like it had the majority of its aging between the flooding of New York and falling over.
* {{Recycled IN SPACE}}: Pinocchio [-IN THE FUTURE!-]
* ReplacementGoldfish: David is intended to spiritually replace the couple's comatose son - but things get awkward when he's no longer in a coma.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobot: David is even more ridiculously human than normal robots. He even fools humans into thinking he's human.
** He still can't eat or drink though.
* RobotBuddy: Technically, David and Teddy are this to each other, but Teddy fits the trope better.
* RobotKid: Why yes.
* RuleOfPool: The fact you know it's coming doesn't make it any less heartrending.
* SecretProjectRefugeeFamily: The gang of runaway robots.
* {{Sexbot}}: Gigolo Joe, a rare male example, and Gigolo Jane, his female counterpart.
* ShoutOut:
** The beginning of the Flesh Fair scene involves an elaborate, drawn-out, single-camera shot involving fair workers and Teddy. This is generally regarded as an homage to Stanley Kubrick’s [[TheOner style of cinematography.]]
** Whether intentional or not the film has a few Disney related references, some blatant, others subtle. There's the entire [[Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio Pinocchio]] plot but then we have Monica (David's mother) playing "Once Upon a Dream" from ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' to her '''cryogenically frozen son'''... She's then also humming the tune later before going to a party with her husband and as they're leaving her shoe slips in a ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'' moment. There is a possible referance to {{Tron}}, the bikers sent to collect robots for the flesh lights are on Tron-esque bikes and have TronLines.
** Gigolo Joe dancing down the street is a ShoutOut to ''Film/SinginInTheRain''. This may, by extension, be a Shout Out to 'Film/AClockworkOrange' which very prominently featured the title song.
** Hello, [[Film/DrNo Doctor Know]]?
* SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids: Gigolo Joe goes down this route once [[spoiler: it becomes clear that David will stop at nothing to find the Blue Fairy and be reunited with his mother, whether or not he has to abandon Joe in the process.]]
* SkeleBot9000: [[spoiler:The advanced Mechas at the ending.]]
* SleptThroughTheApocalypse: Well, remained powered down through it, anyway; David and Teddy ride out the coming of an Ice Age and the extinction of humanity on the ocean floor.
* SlidingScaleOfRobotIntelligence: Towards human.
* Creator/StanWinston: Teddy, a puppet of astounding realism and personality, is often lauded as Stan's best creation since The Alien Queen.
* SunkenCity: New York
* SuperPoweredRobotMeterMaids: Averted. David has no super powers, and when injured he reacts like any child would. That said, he locks onto Martin with a death grip well beyond the strength of a child his size, and it takes the parents some effort to pry him off.
* TomatoInTheMirror: David already knows that he's a machine. He later discovers to his horror that he isn't special - there are other Davids (and Darlenes), all mass-produced, all not special. To say he takes this [[BerserkButton badly]] would be an understatement.
* TechMarchesOn: Doctor Know, an information service that charges per question, and by "question", we mean "[[LiteralGenie anything ending in a question mark]]". Too bad there is not a [[{{Wikipedia}} free source of information available in a public place]] in the future, huh?
** It's a massively CrapsackWorld; free Internet might well have given way to such pay-per-view outlets as Dr. Know. Wikipedia had been talked about for years before the movie opened.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: Inverted, [[spoiler: the "sinful earth" dies first, David outlives it.]]
* TragicDream
* TranshumanAliens: A rare positive example, though technically they're [[spoiler:advanced robots]], not aliens.
* TuringTest: David causing a riot at the Flesh Fair for being mistaken for a real boy could be seen as sort of an unofficial one.
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: Possible aversion. It is unclear what happened to humans by the end of the movie, but it ''is'' apparent that they are extinct, and the silvery robotlike beings outlived them. Plus, they were also genuinely interested in studying humans and were utterly fascinated with them.
* UnderwaterRuins: Of a mostly submerged New York City, no less.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Teddy at the end. [[spoiler:Those advanced futuristic robots better look after him.]]
** [[spoiler: Other!David, who protagonist David destroys on the spot insisting he is the real one. Professor Hobby doesn't even acknowledge this. Granted, it's obvious that David isn't coming back, but you'd think Hobby would at least care that David just beat another copy of himself into spare parts in a jealous rage.]]
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: Explored from two different angles by David, the child-mecha, and Gigolo Joe, the prostitute mecha.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: The entire movie is a discussion of this.
* WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou: The murderer's excuse for killing Gigolo Joe's client, Samantha.
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