Five Robot Movies That Will Make You Cry

A timely lineup of films that remind us that intelligent machines don’t aways have to be bad for the future of being human

Andrew Maynard
EDGE OF INNOVATION
Published in
4 min readDec 13, 2022

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Think robot movies, and it’s easy to conjure up images of dystopian futures, dominated by intelligent machines that have decided that the one thing they really can’t stand, is people.

Yet there are a surprising number of films where robots pull on our heart strings, and that hint at a future where smart machines can and do bring out the best in us.

As Steve Tilley wrote in the Toronto Sun some years ago:

Sometimes these thinking machines are villains, and sometimes they’re comic relief. But sometimes they’re there to hold up mirrors to our own humanity. And sometimes they even make us cry.

That was back in 2015. As we reach the end of 2022, I was curious to see how, if at all, the landscape of robot movies that will make you cry has changed. The result was this list of the top five robot movies that make me reach for the tissues.

Perhaps not surprisingly, some of Steve’s films appear here as well. But there are also a couple of movies that don’t.

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Andrew Maynard
EDGE OF INNOVATION

Scientist, author, & Professor of Advanced Technology Transitions at Arizona State University