Autonomous (Movie Review) by Arleen R.

autonomous-posterTo kill one, four, or yourselves – what is your choice? Imagine this: You and your partner are embarking on a relaxing road trip in a car that knows how to drive by and think for itself. What can possibly go wrong?

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime when Verity and Stewart take a trip in a car that knows how to operate and drive by itself. However, things quickly take a dark turn when the vehicle threatens to kill a family of four it will soon encounter on the road. Trapped in a cursed car and stuck with dangerous choices, the couple must decide whether they must follow through with the sacrifice or fight for another alternative that will keep everybody out of harm’s, or in this case – the autonomous vehicle’s way.

The film’s title, “Autonomous,” refers to the functionality of a smart-tech vehicle that knows how to operate independently without manual authority. One night, Verity and Stewart take a ride in this car. However, they gradually realize their mistake in doing so as the film delves into the darker side of what it means to be “autonomous.” Inherently, the vehicle’s program is not flawless, as it threatens to kill people the car will soon encounter on the road. The stakes are raised even higher when Verity and Stewart quickly learn that they do not possess the power to make adjustments to the car’s system that can prevent the chances of murder from happening. In the end of it all, they have little time to settle between three choices – kill the family of four, kill one alternate individual to save that family, or risk their own lives to save everyone else and stop the car. The film ends with a cliffhanger, as the screen cuts to black before the audience members can see which choice Verity had chosen.

Despite the fact that it is a short film, the concept surrounding “Autonomous,” is rather intriguing. It is centered around the trolley problem, which is a theoretical scenario that had been heavily discussed in conversations regarding ethics for several decades. However, the film’s writer adds a modern twist – the rapid evolvement of technology and society’s increasing overdependence on it also serve as inspirations for the story, except a car that operates entirely on its own serves as the modern-day trolley. The elements that will definitely capture the spectator’s attention would be the music, the car’s entrapped and suffocating setting, and Mason Banks’ cold and robotic voice acting. By the end of this film, audience members will be left wondering not only which choice did Verity make, but what choices they would have made if they had been in her place.

Release Year: 2017

Cast: Machelle Noel, Mason Banks, Adam Gilmore

Director: Mike Jeffs

Run Time: 7:26 minutes

Official Website:

Social Media Pages:

copy-of-img_7651.jpgArleen Jia Rasing | Writing Contributor
B.A | Communications | UC San Diego
If it wasn’t for her early exposure to Disney movies and the Percy Jackson series, Arleen Jia would fail to discover her love for fictitious stories. Ultimately, this love for these stories led her straight into the GeekRockTV program, where she is free to express herself about her favorite films and books. Arleen is currently an undergraduate student at the University of California – San Diego; she is pursuing her B.A. in Communications. Inspired by her passion for social activism and love for writing, she hopes to become a journalist in order to give representation to the marginalized voices of American society. When she isn’t stressing out about completing her assignments on time or helping her family, you can spot her catching up on the latest developments within the Marvel Cinematic Universe or daydreaming. Through GeekRockTV, Arleen hopes to not only share her love for pop culture, but also gain new friends and experiences along the way. Instagram: @aariarasinggView My Articles 

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