The 7 Best and 7 Worst Sam Neill Movies, Ranked

As the 20th century drew to a close and The year 2000 is approaching, more and more films have looked at the implications of technology in our daily lives. Having learned of the dangers of bringing dinosaurs back to life in “Jurassic Park,” Sam Neill discovered that owning his own robot wasn’t all he was made out to be in 1999’s “Bicentennial Man.”

Directed by Chris Columbus, it stars Neill as Richard Martin, who brings home a brand new robot NDR-114 to help around the house. The android, known as Andrew (Robin Williams), takes a liking to the Martin family, particularly “Little Miss” Amanda (played as a child by Hallie Eisenberg and as an adult by Embeth Davidtz). Andrew slowly begins to develop thoughts and feelings, and soon tries to buy his freedom from Mr. Martin, who angrily banishes him from their home. Years pass and Andrew falls in love with Amanda’s granddaughter, Portia (replayed by Davidtz).

Hopes were high for the film, adapted from a short story by Isaac Asimov and a novel by Asimov and Robert Silverberg. But like Roger Ebert in summary, “‘Bicentennial Man’ begins with a promise, unfolds in spurts, and eventually descends into a cornball buzz of greeting card sentiment.” The majority of reviews were equally negative. Todd McCarthy from Variety called it “an ambitious tale treated in a loafing and sentimental manner”. Despite its rotten reception, the film won an Oscar nomination for her makeup, which turned Williams into a living machine.