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'Real Steel' and the best robot movies

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Real Steel
DreamWorks/Disney

In Hollywood, only evil robots are truly robotic. For every relentless killing machine, like the ones depicted in the Terminator franchise, there are scores of “clinking, clanking, clattering collections of caliginous junk” who reveal that humanity isn’t exclusively human. In fact, some robots prove to be more humane than their creators. Hence, the key to a great robot movie it to convey something true about our flesh-and-bone selves. Orrrrrr… to shatter the eyeballs of the audience with a CG-enhanced wargasm of violence with apocalyptic ramifications. The best robot movies, actually, do both, marrying the spectacular with the profound. It’s not an easy task, but Real Steel, Hugh Jackman’s robot-boxing movie that opens in theaters Oct. 7, aims to connect on both accounts. Atom, the underdog robot Jackson’s over-the-hill pug teaches to be a prizefighter, resembles the Iron Giant and seems to have the heart of a champion.

But will the movie ultimately take its place in the class of the greatest robot movies of all time? How will it compare with Terminator 2: Judgment Day — chosen for this poll over its predecessor because it features two battling robots — or the sublimely poetic WALL•E? What is your favorite robot movie ever made? Vote below.

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