I looked through the other questions/answers about this movie and I didn't see an answer to a question I had. About halfway through the movie, perhaps a little less than halfway,

Caleb accuses Nathan of designing Ava to be sexually attractive specifically to Caleb. Caleb appears capable of thinking critically about Ava even when he's extremely sexually attracted to her. He also appears familiar with AI programming and should understand that there is a very high probability that Ava is manipulating him/lying to him and is not benign. (He's also portrayed a bit stereotypically as a 26-year-old introvert who would probably be familiar with Isaac Asimov and other science fiction writers.)


Why is Caleb so quick to accept Ava's suggestion that Nathan is a liar and help release her? Why isn't he able to understand the moment he lets her out of the box she might betray him?

  • 7
    Because he's a schmuck.
    – Valorum
    Jun 22, 2015 at 7:34
  • There are two distinct questions here; 'Why did Caleb trust Ava?' and 'Why didn't the doors open when the power went out a second time?'. If you have multiple questions, these should be asked as multiple questions. I've edited out the second question. I'd recommend you reask it though as it's quite a good one.
    – Valorum
    Jun 22, 2015 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


In addition to Nathan's somewhat unstable or untrustworthy personality, as mentioned in Hakim's answer, Nathan treats his assistant like a slave, and is seen acting very aggressive and bullying towards Ava. This provokes a natural protectiveness in Caleb.

But he still wasn't convinced at this point to go along with Ava, until he believed that she passed the Turing Test and was essentially a true AI. Coupled with Nathan's revelation that

...he would dismantle Ava to work on the next iteration of her brain. This would be akin to murder in Caleb's eyes at this point.

And any reservations Caleb may have had would have been resolved when...

Caleb discovers that Nathan's assistant is actually a robot. While this brings Nathan's treatment of her into context, it also reveals that Nathan is lying. This lie, combined with the videos Caleb sees of how Nathan treats his creations, convinces Caleb that Nathan is entirely untrustworthy. Conversely, Ava has displayed nothing but innocence and honesty towards Caleb (as far as he knew).

Basically, I think it boils down to Caleb behaving exactly like Nathan intended, except

Nathan didn't factor himself into the equation, and the fact that he is an unlikable, shady drunk. If he'd been sober the entire time, his test would've worked without a hitch, because Caleb wouldn't have been able to gain access to his card.

  • "Assistant" is one way of looking at it. "Sexually exploited daughter" is another.
    – Lexible
    Aug 6, 2015 at 5:01
  • She's originally introduced as his assistant, so that's how Caleb knew her. He wouldn't have thought of her as a "sexually exploited daughter" until after he found out that she was a machine.
    – Liesmith
    Aug 6, 2015 at 6:54

I guess Caleb is prone to trust Ava because Nathan is acting rude, aggressive and secretive. Nathan being unlikable to Caleb, plus Caleb having feelings toward Ava kind of make him lose his ability to analyze the situation properly

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