Morgan is a 2016 American science fiction horror film directed by Luke Scott (in his directorial debut), starring Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Toby Jones, Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh & Paul Giamatti.
It was released on September 2, 2016 by 20th Century Fox.
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
Lee Weathers (Kate Mara) is a risk-assessment specialist that works for a company that funds research projects devoted to creating artificial human beings who is called in to investigate an incident involving one of their experiments.
The company dispatches her to a remote location where one of the company's most promising projects, a human hybrid named Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy) has violently attacked out at one of the scientists, Dr. Kathy Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and stabbed her in the eye with a pen.
During dinner with the scientists, Lee talks about previous incident at Helsinki with the lead scientists Dr. Lui Cheng (Michelle Yeoh) and Dr. Simon Ziegler (Toby Jones) in which most of the team of scientists were killed.
After Morgan violently kills a psychologist, Dr. Alan Shapiro (Paul Giamatti), who was taunting her and provoked her during an interview, Lee realizes that Morgan is too unpredictable, due to her enhanced intelligence and strength & needs be terminated, but the scientists (who have raised Morgan from birth five years ago, owing to her enhanced growth rate) have grown attached to her and can't bring themselves to kill her.
As Lee is about to kill Morgan, the scientists inject Lee with a sedative and imprison her in the glass cell in which Morgan had been held. The scientists plan to escape with Morgan, who murders them instead and kidnaps her favorite handler, Dr. Amy Menser (Rose Leslie).
In the scientists' house, Cheng is recording an apology for the failure of the experiment (in which she hints that they were trying to develop a creation with more human emotions, only to discover that the result was harder to control). After she has finished, Morgan enters the room and suffocates Cheng.
Lee escapes from her cell and enters the house to confront Morgan, but Morgan attacks her causing them to fall from an upstairs window. Then, Morgan flees in a vehicle with Dr. Menser into the woods. Lee pursues them and Morgan runs her car into a tree.
Skip Vronsky (Boyd Holbrook) (who is the cook for the team) uses his vehicle to pick up Lee up and continue to chase Morgan and Menser. Lee is able to locate the vehicle they were using and instructs Skip to wait for her by their car, continuing alone. Morgan and Lee have a final showdown, seemingly matched in strength and speed.
Finally, Morgan overpowers Lee and she impales her onto the branch of a fallen tree, seriously injuring her and she leaves Lee to bleed to death, but Lee survives from her injuries. Lee is able to catch up to Morgan, drowns her in a lake and shoots Mesner and Vronsky to get rid of any witnesses.
Morgan leaves her to bleed out, only for Lee to miraculously survive, catch up to Morgan, and drown her in a nearby lake. Lee shoots the surviving handlers, Menser and Vronsky, getting rid of any witnesses to what happened.
The executives at the company that is responsible for funding Morgan's creation are sitting in a conference room while calmly discussing what happened. It's then revealed that Lee is actually an earlier prototype of the human hybrid and has been the "perfect" artificial human all this time.
Lee is shown making a submissive gesture with her hands (the same way that Morgan had when Dr. Shapiro asked her how she felt about injuring Dr. Grieff).
- Kate Mara as Lee Weathers
- Anya Taylor-Joy as Morgan
- Toby Jones as Dr. Simon Ziegler
- Rose Leslie as Dr. Amy Menser
- Boyd Holbrook as Skip Vronsky
- Michelle Yeoh as Dr. Lui Cheng
- Jennifer Jason Leigh as Dr. Kathy Grieff
- Paul Giamatti as Dr. Alan Shapiro
- Vinette Robinson as Dr. Brenda Finch
- Chris Sullivan as Dr. Darren Finch
- Michael Yare as Ted Brenner
- Crispian Belfrage as Charles Grimes
- Jonathan Aris as David Chance
- Luke Whoriskey as Jimmy
- Brian Cox as Jim Bryce
- Courtney Caldwell as 5-year-old Morgan
- Amybeth McNulty as 10-year-old Morgan
The movie was placed on the 2014 Black List of Best Unproduced Screenplays. With 20th Century Fox attached as the financier and distributor, Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions was set to produce.
On March 10, 2015, Kate Mara was announced as having been cast in the lead role while Luke Scott (the son of Ridley Scott) was set to make his directing debut along with Ridley Scott producing (along with Michael Schaefer and Elishia Holmes).
Anya Taylor-Joy was also added to the cast in the title role.
On April 29, 2015, Paul Giamatti and Toby Jones were cast as a psychologist and chief scientist in charge of the lab facility, respectively. Boyd Holbrook was also set to play a nutritionist at the facility. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michelle Yeoh were later cast in supporting roles.
The principal photography began on May 26, 2015 in Northern Ireland. The movie's opening scene was filmed at Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
As of September 11, 2016, "Morgan" has grossed $3.6 million in North America and $2.3 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $5.9 million, against a production budget of $8 million.
In the United States, the movie was released on September 2, 2016, alongside the film The Light Between Oceans and it was originally projected to gross around $6 million from 2,020 theaters in its opening weekend.
However, after grossing just $615,000 on its first day, the weekend projections were lowered to $2 million. It went on to open to $2 million, finishing 18th at the box office. During its second weekend, the movie grossed just $495,000, finishing 21st at the box office.
The movie has received mixed reviews from critics.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 40%, based on 107 reviews, with a weighted average score of 5/10. According to the site's critical consensus reads, "Morgan neglects to develop its decent premise, opting instead to settle for a garden-variety sci-fi thriller with more action than ideas."
On Metacritic, the film has a normalized score of 48 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.
Keith Phillips of Uproxx praised the film's setup but criticized its execution, writing, "It floats a few interesting ideas it can’t develop and it doesn’t know how to ratchet up the tension or fold those ideas into thrills. And it’s not like that can’t be done with this premise, as Ex Machina already demonstrated."
Film critic Steve Pulaski gave the film two out of four stars, concluding that "Morgan is another film where a great deal of good actors play allegedly intelligent individuals that engage in many illogical acts of deviance; again, I must stress, more in the way the characters in The Lazarus Effect operated in contrast to those in Ex Machina."
David Palmer of The Reel Deal gave the film 3/10, saying: "Morgan isn’t interesting or engaging and is actually quite boring ... The entire time I sat in my reclining chair the only thought that continued to race through my head was 'ugh…this is really making me want to watch Ex Machina again…"
Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one out of four stars, calling the film one of the worst of 2016 and saying: "The only thing worse than the first three-quarters of Morgan is the supposed payoff, which veers from the dumb to the really dumb to the so-dumb-you’ll-hardly-believe it".