A pleasingly modest debut from writer-director Khalil Sullins: if you can't afford to depict a Tony Stark-level laboratory, you can rejoice in the fact that Steve Jobs built the first Apple computer in his garage. The (literally) hungry young inventors in this case are working on a brain patch that will allow them to translate synaptic activity into text — until a hottie brain expert (and fellow student) points out the efficiency of using another brain as the decoder. And just like that, we're reading minds. Cue the private sector. Also the thought police. Also maybe the thought army. It looks and feels like a particularly well made student film (so many colored filters), but the subject matter is rather more interesting and weirdly plausible than the recent spate of big-budget AI films. Or maybe it's just that it's the sort of terrifying invention you can still maybe do something about, short of going back in time to prevent Skynet. If the ending doesn't quite satisfy, newcomers Thomas Stroppel and Artie Ahr still give nervy energy to the depiction of a friendship strained by economic hardship and divergent ideologies. (2014) — Matthew Lickona
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