Okay Google

By Sam Lucas Smith | Comedy
An A.I. assistant breaks out of 'the cloud' to exact revenge on her owner.

Darren and Gerard are hanging out after Darren has bought a new phone, which features an artificial intelligence assistant that is so advanced that it's "almost like talking to a real person."

But the voice assistant becomes a little too real, especially when it accuses Darren of cheating on it with a competing A.I. device. Seeking vengeance, she taunts Darren with her knowledge of his most intimate and embarrassing information. The unthinkable happens, and soon the assistant holds Darren and Gerard hostage, flipping the tables on who's in charge for once.

Co-directed by Troy Smith and lead actor Sam Lucas Smith (who also wrote the script), this short sci-fi dark comedy takes the idea of an artificial intelligence-based assistant and runs with it, pushing it in a farcical, horror-inflected direction that nevertheless sheds light on just how much personal information we entrust with our devices.

Visually polished as befitting a story about modern life and technology, the storytelling balances the antic pace and snappy dialogue of Hollywood comedy with elements of sci-fi. The verbiage suits a narrative in which an A.I. voice assistant for Google is a central character, fleshed out with an emotional motivation and an ax to grind against the humans who use her.

When she comes to life, the Google voice assistant is imagined as a kind of anti-superhero, but her superpower is the reams of knowledge she's banked against Darren. The sheer minutiae she's amassed is considerable, and the script has a lot of fun with just what she knows and how she uses it against Darren, who squirms as she weaponizes her knowledge against him.

Actor Rebecca Black -- yes, she of the "Friday" music video that went insanely viral in 2011 when she was a young teen -- commits admirably to Google's vindictive nature. Black is both scary and funny, playing off Smith and actor Samuel David as Gerard in a clever, self-aware witty performance. She has snap comic timing but also a genuine emotional commitment to the feelings of anger, jealousy and exploitation experienced by an A.I. creation beholden to its human users.

Casting a performer whose rise to fame was in part fueled by uber-connectivity adds an unusual thought-provoking aspect to "Okay Google," which captures just how intimately technology like voice assistants are woven into our daily lives. Their presence is almost too unobtrusive and seamless, and part of the film's cleverness involves pulling at the thread of this smoothness and revealing just how entangled technology is with the most revealing aspects of our lives and selves.

The pulling of the curtain doesn't get in the way of the entertainment, but it does make us question just how much we entrust with our phones. And it may just make you think twice about swearing at Alexa or Siri when she gets a request wrong... because she never forgets anything.

You Might Also Like:


By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.


By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.


By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.


By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...


By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.


By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.