The Imitation Game (2014)

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The Imitation Game (2014)
  • Time: 113 min
  • Genre: Biography | Drama | Thriller
  • Director: Morten Tyldum
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode

Storyline:

At Cambridge University, young Alan Turing quickly establishes himself as a groundbreaking thinker with his theories about the potential of computing machines. When war between Britain and Germany is declared, these theories are put into active practice. Turing easily passes a test to become a member of a top-secret group assigned to decode critical German naval communications. Much to the surprise of the commanding officers, so does a woman, Joan Clarke, Turing and Clarke become fast friends, and are soon engaged to be married. But Turing is gay, struggling with his identity at a time when it is illegal and subject to terrible punishment.

15 reviews

  • The Imitation Game is based on the true story of Alan Turing, the man who helped win World War II against the Nazis, by decoding a machine called enigma. It’s an amazing story to be told and one I was unaware of until this film was released. The things Turing managed to accomplish it truly outstanding and he is a real hero and is one of the main reasons we have computers today.

    For such an important film, the casting had to be on point and it was, Benedict Cumberbatch (The Penguins of Madagascar) is an amazing actor and fits the role down to a t. It’s not a role unlike we’ve seen him play before in Sherlock, Turing (like Sherlock) he has an inability to…
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  • The Imitation Game is a powerful film, which encompasses both, an exceptional story and great acting. Based on real life events, it was gracefully transitioned into a film that told a significant story but also had all the factors of a great film. The film was filled with all sorts of emotions including Alan Turing’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) witty humor and the heartfelt tragic nature of his story.

    I went into the film not knowing the sequence of events in depth that this story was based on. I was intrigued from the minute it started and left in awe when it ended. To me, it provided a whole new perspective to World War 2; a perspective that I did not know existed. The fact that this film is based on true events makes it even more gripping. Additionally, it adds a new dynamic and a very fresh way of viewing historical events and key heroes such as Alan Turing. The fact that his story was kept a secret for 50 years, leads me to question the extent to which our interpretation of historical events is accurate.

    The nature in which the film moves back and forth in time to slowly reveal Turing’s past and his persona, is phenomenal and a key feature that allows the audience to be further indulged in his story. Throughout his life, Turing battled with various different struggles both internally and externally, which in a way ultimately determined his tragic fate. The most touching aspect of the film, was truly Turing’s character. It was his genius personality in a world that did not necessarily accept him. In my opinion, the film revealed the most important aspects of Turing’s life in a very cohesive and effective manner. His personality and life prior to Enigma was key in his achievements during the war. The story and Turing’s achievements were truly monumental and although I truly wish Turing’s eventual fate was different, the film was one of the most significant War films I have seen. Cumberbatch was a great choice for this character, and it will certainly be one that will be remembered for a very long time. The other characters added a strong backbone to the film and story as well. Overall, a must see film, one that I certainly think is Oscar worthy.

  • Alan Turing was a remarkable man that made a huge difference to the world, but was persecuted nevertheless. His work in breaking the German Enigma code had a profound impact on the outcome of World War II, yet he encountered extreme prejudice for being a homosexual. Now his story has been transformed into a film in Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game.

    At the height of World War II, Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), a mathematician and avid crossword enthusiast joins a team of cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park to decipher the German Enigma code, a encoding system that is used on every German message, but which changes daily. Turing immediately gets off on the wrong foot with both his superior, Commander Denniston (Charles Dance) and his colleagues, particularly Hugh Alexander (Matthew Goode).

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  • Quickie Review:

    In the midst of WWII Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), a brilliant British mathematician, along with his colleagues attempt to break the Enigma code. As Turing tries to uncover Nazi secrets, he must keep his own secrets hidden in a world that does not accept his personal desires. The Imitation Game, is a deeply moving story about the people behind the scenes of a war. The great cast is vastly overshadowed by the performance given by Benedict Cumberbatch, possibly his best so far. This is a beautifully directed, written, scored, and acted film that should not be missed. It is worth all the awards buzz it has been getting.

    Full Review:

    Last time I heard of Alan Turing was a brief mention in a documentary about secret historic scientific research, which in this case is the Enigma machine decoder. I know of his contribution to the war effort and science, but as for the man himself I know very little. The fact that The Imitation Game concentrates on the man rather than the machine is what makes it all the more interesting.

    By far the greatest strength of the movie is Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Turing. At this point does it really come as surprise that his acting is good in a movie? No, probably not. But is he exceptional beyond his norm? Most definitely yes. Turing was not exactly a likeable person, he had problems communicating, often being mistaken for being rude or insensitive. Cumberbatch captures these mannerisms of Turing perfectly. He gets us to figure out what he is trying to say or mean, much the same way he is figuring out the meaning of the Enigma code. This makes it more engaging for us to watch the conversations of the characters unfold. Of course a well written dialogue doesn’t hurt in that aspect as well. The rest of the cast were also a great addition, especially Keira Kightley who brought a lot heart to her character. The scenes with her and Cumberbatch were some of the more emotionally impactful scenes in the film.

    Many would think of the battles fought by soldiers with guns when talking about a WWII movie. Even just recently we had a release called Fury. However, in The Imitation Game it’s refreshing to see the contributions made by the people behind desks, back in their homes, working daily to help stop the war early. We get to see the failures, the triumphs, the burden of responsibility they bear, and the moral issues they must confront. It’s fair to say that these efforts mostly go unnoticed by the public. So I appreciate that the movie sheds some light on this side of WWII. More importantly, I appreciate that the movie does not shy away from exploring the hardships Turing had to go through to hide his homosexuality. The contrast between how the LGBT are viewed back then compared to now is striking. The way that part of the story was handled really added to one of the most poignant endings to a film in recent memory.

    Sure I didn’t mention the problems of the movie, but ultimately the negatives are not prominent enough to detract you from a beautiful story. I highly recommend this movie to anyone really, because I suspect not many people in the mainstream know of Alan Turing. It’s important to see how this one person affected the world. “Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”

  • This film is highly recommended.

    This year we have witnessed the rebirth of the bio-pic, films that are based on real life people and their “based-on-a-true” story genre. Most have been very sincere and earnest undertakings, telling those life stories with varying results from the superb to the overwrought. The Imitation Game falls into the former category and is one of the best films of the year.

    In Morten Tyldum’s film, we follow the life of British mathematician and genius Alan Turing, a major force who, along with a team of similarly-minded decoders from Bletchley Park, help to end WWII by decrypting the Germans’ top-secret messages called the Enigma Code. This hero fall from grace is the crux of this history lesson and makes for some powerful drama. That Turing also suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, stressing odd behavioral tics, strange mannerisms, and distancing him from others, plus carrying with him an illegal love that dare not speak its name, this solemn character has more than his share of hardships to overcome. That he is played by the resourceful and talented Benedict Cumberbatch only makes the film all the more watchable.

    Cumberbatch gives an astonishing performance. The actor zeroes in on his character’s eccentricities in his stammers and hesitated speech patterns. His downturned look and sudden glances add to Turing’s many foibles in the most subtle of ways. Keira Knightley plays Joan Clarke, a smart no-nonsense British working girl who befriends Alan makes him become more human. Knightley brings an authenticity and poignancy to her role. Their final heartbreaking scene together has so much more impact due to their natural chemistry together and the nuanced acting choices these gifted performers bring to these two mismatched loving friends. The entire ensemble deserve kudos for their fine support: Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allan Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance (a perfect foe), and Mark Strong. Alex Lawther as a young Alan Turing and Jack Bannon as his friend, Christopher, round out this glorious cast.

    Director Tyldum crafts a fine film and keeps the exposition to a minimum with effective use of war montages to visualize the era. He paces the film well and builds tension with the emotional and numerical parameters that are set within the limited technology that these cryptanalysts dealt with on a daily basis.

    The literate screenplay by Graham Moore tells its story without pandering to its audience. It expects moviegoers to pay attention to the quick-witted dialog and clever exchanges between all of its well drawn characters. The film structure bounces from Turing’s childhood to his life after the war and the timeline becomes a tad disconcerting. Alan’s private illicit life appears to be downplayed as to be non-existent, a decision that contradicts the film’s tragic ending.

    The Imitation Game is a timeless and engrossing film that shows the dedication and sacrifice of one man’s obsession to do the right thing when all the wrong things finally overwhelm and destroy his own life. Turing’s final days will always remain an enigma to the world, that a man who gave so much of himself was given so little respect and love in return. At least this film is a well deserved testament to a great man. GRADE: A-

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  • There may be no more arresting image in The Imitation Game than that of young schoolchildren in gas masks amidst the rubble-strewn streets of wartime London. The Blitz was underway with England battered by near nightly bombings by the Germans; the assault was sustained and relentless – the city of London was bombed for 57 consecutive nights, the most devastating attack occuring on December 29, 1940 with the Germans dropping more than 24,000 high explosive bombs and 100,000 incendiary bombs.

    Part of Nazi Germany’s success was credited to their possession of the Enigma machine, an encryption and decryption device that allowed them to encode all military radio transmissions. Though three Polish cryptologists had managed to break codes by the Enigma years before World War II, added complexities had rendered the codes practically unbreakable by the time the war began. As Commander Denniston (Charles Dance) describes it to the small group of mathematicians and chess champions engaged to crack the code, the Enigma machine is “the crooked hand of death itself.” It’s not enough to have a corresponding Enigma machine in one’s hands, one needs to know its settings and, as the Germans change the settings every night, the codebreakers have 18 hours to decrypt the day’s message before the settings change and they have to start all over again. The problem is the Enigma has 159 million million million possible configurations, which would take decades to decipher. Time is, most decidedly, not on the Allies’ side.

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  • he Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing, one of the greatest minds in the field of mathematics, a logician and a code- breaker. A man who was integral in the Allies victory in the second world war and a man who is considered to be the father of the modern-day computer. Alan Turing was undoubtedly a British hero sadly he was not treated like one. Bringing Turning’s story to the big screen was always going to prove to be a tricky task considering the subject matter at hand. Luckily Norwegian director Morten Tydlum handles it perfectly crafting a film that is both compelling and frequently thrilling

    The film in particular concentrates on the second world war as Turing and his fellow mathematicians try to crack the impossible Nazi enigma code. Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightly, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance and Mark Strong, The Imitation Game is a slow burn of a thriller that succeeds at being both engrossing and highly entertaining. As Alan Turing Benedict Cumberbatch gives a towering performance. His complex and sensitive portrayal of Turing is riveting, a performance that is very similar to Russell Crowe’s performance in A Beautiful Mind. Kiera Knightly, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong offer strong support in their supporting capacity. Graham Moore’s tightly scripted screenplay keeps you interested at each turn while Alexandre Desplat’s wonderful score captures the mood perfectly.

    The Imitation Game is essentially a movie about a group of people who must solve an unsolvable puzzle. It’s a look at the people who fought the war behind the scenes. Another reason why the film succeeds so well is because it perfectly meshes both the biopic element and the espionage thriller element perfectly. Tydlum’s concentration remains on breaking the code more than Turing’s life. Perhaps, this is the reason the movie highly entertaining as well as thrilling. The film’s narrative may prove confusing at times. This is perhaps the only thing that holds the film back.

    In, conclusion, The Imitation Game is a gripping and thrilling movie about one of Britain’s greatest heroes that succeeds thanks to Morten Tydlum’s steady direction, Graham Moore’s tightly scripted screenplay and a career best performance from Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing.

    Final Score: 8.1/10

    -Khalid Rafi

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  • “Cryptography is the science of codes.
    Like secret messages?
    Not secret. That’s the brilliant part. Messages that anyone can see, but no one knows what they mean, unless you have the key.
    How is that different from talking?
    Talking?
    When people talk to each other they never say what they mean. They say something else. And you’re supposed to just know what they mean. Only, I never do. So how is that different?
    Alan, I have a funny feeling that you’re going to be very good at this.”

    Looking back, the above-mentioned conversation between Alan Turing and his school friend Christopher Morcom, is for me the perfect summary of the fascinating life of the intellectual mathematician Turing. The phenomenon he faced throughout his whole life had to do with “decoding”. From an early age, Alan had trouble dealing with his fellow men. It was for him in a way a kind of cryptogram how to act and react towards his fellow men. A brilliant mind who simply couldn’t grasp simple human interactions. At a later stage he was the one who designed a forerunner of the current computer and who formed the basis of the principles of artificial intelligence, in order to crack the infamous Enigma cipher, which was used by the Germans during WWII and which combination changed every 24 hours. An almost impossible task to do for a human being. But thanks to the pioneering work of Polish scientists in this area it was made possible by him, by building one of the first self-correcting computers “The Bombe”. Ultimately this would drastically change the course of WWII and shorten this dreadful period with 2 to 4 years. So millions of lives were spared in that way.

    This magnificent biopic highlights three important episodes in the life of Turing: his school period in Sherborne where he obviously was the center of harassment’s because of his odd behavior, the war period which took place mainly at Bletchley Park where he and some staff members built the innovative machine and the postwar period. The result is a clever interwoven story that jumps effortlessly from period to period. I’m not a huge fan of these flashbacks normally but the Norwegian director Morten Tyldum succeeds wonderfully in making three parallel stories without too much confusion. Although most of the story takes place during the 2nd world war, it’s not a typical war movie. So don’t expect any heroic battle scenes. The emphasis is on the person Turing and his mental state that haunted him throughout his life. A hard, impatient, arrogant, narcissistic person who wasn’t easy to work with. He had a profound distaste of explaining complicated theorems and he treated everyone in a derogatory way. Many of his traits appear autistic and point in the direction of Asperger syndrome.

    What really impressed me in this film was the interpretation of Benedict Cumberbatch who impersonates the person Turing in a brilliant way. A realistic portrait in which the viewer is trying to decipher the riddle Turing. He managed to change your feelings regarding this genius again and again. From sympathy to irritation and than changing it into pity. One moment you passionately hate this bastard. The next moment you deeply admire him and you are outraged about the treatment this “war hero” underwent. A lack of appreciation for his impossible feat and the fact that it was only in 2009 one pleaded for a posthumous rehabilitation and the British government eventually offered its apologies. Although I also had a mathematical education and am working daily with computers, I must admit that I’d never heard of Alan Turing. This year there was a scene in “The Machine” I enjoyed, where a certain Vincent, also an A.I. expert, subjected certain software systems to a Turing test. Also a known procedure described in an article by Turing while working at the University of Manchester.

    No doubt about it. This was one of the most interesting films of the last year with some masterful acting. Not only by Cumberbatch (and I put my money on him when it’s about the Oscar), but also by Keira Knightley, who I usually dislike when she uses her exaggerated expressive smile again. Also the result of cracking the code and the taken subsequent actions, gave the story an extra dimension. There were some historical inaccuracies though : The machine never got the name “Christopher” (this was purely for increasing the drama content of the film), the impression one gets as if Turing was the initial designer and the fact that he wrote a letter to Churchill on his own. But despite these trivialities, this was a successful tribute to a war hero. Unfortunately you can’t prove this but I’m sure that without the commitment of this person, my vernacular probably would be German.
    Donnerwetter ….

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  • Unless you’ve been living in a dust bowl somewhere, you’ve probably heard more about British actor Benedict Cumberbatch with each passing day. He doesn’t have your vintage, movie star looks and a 20 million dollar per-pic salary. He does however, give a sufficient, multilayered performance in 2014’s The Imitation Game (my latest review). His real life character portrayal (mathematician Alan Turing) is the torn lovechild of Russell Crowe’s John Nash from A Beautiful Mind and Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg from The Social Network. We’re talking a tattered genius with a veritable secret shame to boot.

    With a script by virtual unknown Graham Moore and a true story adaptation that’s been kept in a vault for I guess, fifty years (according to the closing credits), The Imitation Game skillfully focuses on code breaking during the Second World War. Alan Turing, a timid yet intelligent pawn who’s homosexuality ultimately led to his suicide by way of unfair persecution, is this chief codebreaker who designs a machine that no one and I mean no one, has ever seen before. Said machine succeeds in solving the Enigma Code (a method used to decipher secret messages in combative lore). Turing’s posthumous contributions from what I’ve picked up, might have been the evolution of computer usage as we know it today. Government cover up? Maybe. Something that went completely over my head but in a good way? Oh ya betcha.

    Right off the bat, The Imitation Game’s look is glossy and it depicts the mid-1900’s as anti-kitsch. With its perfected period detail, events are told in flashbacks over flashbacks with present day scenes occupying 10 percent of the flick’s 114 minute running time. Although some of it is at times choppy, director Morten Tyldum gets away with Turing’s disseminating journey anyway. In only his fourth effort behind the camera, Mort doesn’t let his storytelling attributes fall into History Channel territory. He livens things up a bit with some solid, single edits. This keeps everything moving at a brisk pace. Basically, “Imitation Game” is to war what 2011’s Moneyball is to sports. What we have here is fascinating, behind the scenes stuff. And like 1983’s Wargames, this is a vehicle that doesn’t need explosions, violent images, sexual innuendo, or harsh language to grab you.

    As for the acting, it never relinquishes a false note. Matthew Goode as Hugh Alexander and Charles Dance as Commander Denniston are effective playing antagonists who butt heads with the Cumberbatch character. In regards to Keira Knightley, she holds her own in a supporting role as Turing’s mild love interest (the lovely Joan Clarke). She underplays her role slightly until emoting with a damnable ultimatum in the last twenty minutes of the proceedings. It’s an Oscar moment of glory and it’s a beauty.

    In retrospect, The Academy Awards are coming in a few days and it looks like Boyhood might clean house. What a shame. This is not a mediocre film by any means but it rides by on its fainted novelty (actors aging in real time over a period of 12 years). The Imitation Game on the other hand, is the archetypal choice, a logical winner for best picture 2015. Like the aforementioned A Beautiful Mind, this is something about a protagonist who was socially inept, had few friends, and harbored a secret which ultimately interfered with his brilliance as a human being. “Imitation Game” captures Alan Turing’s journey in a sophisticated and caring way. Its got that historical aspect which provokes critics to give four star ratings. It also has the ability to tickle Academy voters with the same tutorial. In essence, this coup d’etat of an exercise doesn’t need to “Imitate” greatness. It accomplishes that feat all on its own.

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  • Movie Name : The Imitation Game
    Genre : Drama / Thriller
    Rating : Outstanding 4.5/5
    People ask me how do I manage to watch so many movies. My answer is if you like something, you have to spare time for it. Movies not just entertains you, it helps you learn, motivate and inspire. How many of us have heard about Alan Turing ? Thanks to the wonderful script and direction, The Imitation Game gives a utter truth behind the great personality.
    The Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing, the first person to create a computer with the help of which he cracks the enigma code during the World War II.
    From the director of Headhunters, Morten Tyldum gives you a story never heard and told before. You might have heard about the father of computer revolution- Steve Jobs but have you heard about Alan Turing ? He was a mathematician , ultra-marathon runner, scientist and inventor. It also shows the sad story of his later life and how he succumbs to it. The film is an upright entertainment right from the beginning. There is not a scene to loose with tight script and powerful acting. Art direction and cinematography adds to the charm making it more versatile. Full marks to Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley for pulling all the strings together. There is no doubt about who would have been the best person suited for the role of Alan Turing and with impeccable acting skills, Benedict Cumberbatch deserves a thumbs up. Keira Knightley surprises with honorable performance and should be remembered for this role.
    A movie to be remembered and appreciated.

  • The Imitation Game is a movie based on events from life of Alan Turing was a British pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, logician, philosopher, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner.Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
    The movie revolves around three phases of his life – his school years, his contribution to World War 2 and his last years.
    Benedict Cumberbatch deserves a standing ovation for this one. He has played the role of eccentric scientist brilliantly. I felt his character closely resembles ‘Sheldon Cooper’ from Big Bang Theory, specially during the time when he is trying to break Enigma (what’s that you ask, well watch the movie ;). Also, Keira Knightely was a refresher in the movie. She looked pretty and acted pretty well too.
    Director Morten Tyldum has done a commendable job. The three timelines shown in movie are interlaced beautifully, and unfolds slowly keeping audience in suspense and awe.
    The climax is actually bit of an anti climax and came as asuprise for most audience. Though it is a biopic and director had no control over the plot, I felt the climax did not match with rest of the movie and just did not gel in.
    All in all the imitation game is brilliant movie with formidable performances and crisp direction. Definitely one of the most influential movies of last year. A must watch for all.

  • “The Imitation Game” is a must-see. Perfect for those interested in history, technology, social conventions affecting groups (women, gay people, those with autism) and the struggles of visionaries way ahead of their time.

    I knew a bit about Turing from computer science studies, but was eager to learn more. While The Imitation Game does take some artistic license in dealing with the facts, it more than makes up for it by delivering an intense, thrilling and surprisingly funny drama with a tragic ending.

    The story covers the historical aspects of Turing’s work and includes some glimpses of his earlier years in a beautiful, engrossing way, thanks to a stellar performance by Alex Lawther. Benedict Cumberbatch gives his best performance yet as the adult Turing, and the rest of the cast is excellent as well. I was pleasantly surprised by Kiera Knightley’s strong performance as Joan Clarke; she movingly portrayed the struggles faced by a brilliant woman in a technical setting, and she showed the compassion and support that helped Turing endure some of his struggles.

    Overall, a fantastic movie!

  • Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be making a career out of playing troubled and flawed genius’s, following his huge success as Sherlock Holmes in the TV series Sherlock and the upcoming – and hugely exciting – Dr. Strange in Marvel’s upcoming film based on the sorcerer supreme. His finest work so far is in The Imitation Game as code-breaker Alan Turing, the unsung war hero who helped crack the apparently unbreakable Enigma machine used by the Germans during World War II, helping to save millions of lives in the process and shaving years off the war.

    Turing was recognised as a prodigy from an extremely young age, and his cerebral superiority isolated him from others. He travels to Beltchley Park, where Commander Denniston (Charles Dance) interviews him as part of a recruitment process to form a cryptology team headed by chess champion Hugh Alexander (Matthew Goode), tasked to break the Enigma code. Turing gets the job through sheer intellectual brilliance, but not through his condescending personality, which instantly puts him at odds with the rigid and impatient Denniston. When he joins the team, which also consists of John Cairncross (Allen Leech) and Peter Hilton (Matthew Beard), he wastes no time in voicing his desire to work alone and dismisses the input of the others as simple time-wasting.

    Director Morten Tyldum and writer Graham Moore have not created a work of any great intelligence or subtlety here, and The Imitation Game plays very much by the standard biopic rule book. No great care goes into helping us understand the inner workings of the Enigma itself, or the work done by Turing and his fellow code-breakers, and the film very much relies on great acting and a fast pace. The scenes with Turing, Alexander et al hard at work has them with sleeves rolled-up and chewing pencils whilst staring at boards. We don’t quite know what they’re doing, but we are certainly urging them to achieve their goal, and, of course, this being a film about Turing, there’s only so much of his work that can be squeezed into two hours.

    The Imitation Game also helps make the story relevant to the modern day. At the beginning of the film, set after the war, Turing is burgled and his flippant dismissal of the investigating Detective Nock (Rory Kinnear) puts him under suspicion. He is arrested for participating in lurid acts with a man, a crime punishable by up to two years in prison back then. It all ties in nicely with the recent official apology from Gordon Brown, then-prime minister in 2009, and his official pardon by the Queen in 2014. Flashbacks of Turing’s early childhood at a boarding school and his relationship with close friend Christopher Morcom (Jack Bannon) are peppered throughout. They help gain an understanding of Turing’s love of cryptology and his emerging sexuality, and these scenes are finely played by the young Alex Lawther and do in no way hinder the flow of the film.

    But the film’s trump card is undoubtedly Cumberbatch. Although his delivery at times can border on stage-y, he has a great weight to his voice. His face exudes such intelligence and charisma that you just want to pick it apart to see what’s under there. Keira Knightley too, who I haven’t even mentioned yet, is a surprise revelation as Joan Clarke, a fellow prodigy puzzle-solver who, being a woman, had to be hidden away as regulations didn’t permit women positions of worthy status. She is fierce and full of life, the polar opposite to the withdrawn and work-focused Turing. Yet the two develop an intriguing and entirely convincing platonic love affair, leading to their short-lived engagement in 1941. It’s covered with a thin layer of gloss and a longer running time with more careful story development would have been beneficial, but The Imitation Game is consistently thrilling and engaging, bolstered by a great ensemble.

    Rating: 4/5

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  • What does it take to win a war? Must you have the most men? The strongest weapons? The best resources? Maybe, all you really need is Alan Turing. Throw away your textbooks, notes and any knowledge you might have about World War II. The real reason the Allies won was simply due to one man, Alan Turing. Right now you might be confused or might be thinking that I myself have gotten it all wrong. But it’s time for you to sit down and watch the marvelous work that is Morten Tyldum’s latest film, The Imitation Game which enlightens you on the man who cut the length of WWII by several years and saved millions of lives but before you watch, you have to promise not to judge.

    In THE IMITATION GAME, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.

    Besides his works on Sherlock, I have always felt Benedict Cumberbatch has never played a role that truly showed off the amazing actor that he is. Those feelings remained up until I left the theater after watching The Imitation Game. Turing is a man with a deep dark secret (especially during his time) and he is also a man who is too smart and confident for his own good. The combination of the two causes him to be distant from his peers. Cumberbatch exudes everything Turing is and is not beautifully. We are suppose to be offset by our feelings towards Turing, we are rooting for him to break Enigma but at the same time we are bothered by how self-centered he is when it comes to breaking it. Then at the perfect moment, Morten Tyldum reveals Turing’s true fight and we all fall in love with Turing. Throughout this journey, Cumberbatch hits all the correct emotions at the correct times.

    To say this film is only about Turing and his crew’s journey in deciphering the German Enigma Code is an understatement. The underlying story in this film is Turing’s life as a homosexual. Morten Tyldum weaves three stories throughout the film, the main one being Turing’s attempt to break Enigma with the other two being his life as an adolescent and his first love and life after Enigma as Turing is under investigation that threatens to expose his homosexuality. The three different tales all connect and that is thanks to the brilliant script writing of Graham Moore. We learn absolutely nothing about Turing’s personal life besides his life as a youngster and that causes Turing’s homosexuality not to be over dramatized as Moore uses Turing’s ability to mirror others as he attempts to fit in just so he doesn’t stick out.

    Even though this is Benedict Cumberbatch’s film on all levels, he isn’t the only actor that shines. Keira Knightley plays Joan Clarke, the only female who is apart of the crew trying to break Enigma (indirectly) as she was able to solve a crossword, that played as the interview process to join the crew, in under six minutes; a task that took Turing to do in six. PClarke also has something to prove and that is that women are just as smart and capable in the work place. Finding the strength in outliers is what The Imitation Game does best.

    If you do not know about the relatively new history of Turing, what you need to know besides that he is the man behind the victory for the Allies in WWII is that he is the man who created the first computer. A computer as we all know is a highly sophisticated, brainy device and that is exactly what The Imitation Game is. The directing is amazing, the acting is beautiful, the script writing is brilliant, the score is masterful, and the costumes and cinematography brings the film to life.

  • When it comes to war, frequent successes have been documented in and out of the battlefield. Sure, the act of participating in war results in a much different human being when it’s all over Vs doing everything else behind the lines but either or, they all played a part in the meat grinder that is the lethal conflict between countries. During the first number of years in World War II, Germany had several nations on the run or at least just barely holding their own against Adolf Hitler and his Nazi followers. One of the reasons why Germany was so on top of the game was due to their communication system known as Enigma. Enigma was a crafty setup of transmissions that had a certain code attached to it but had a time stamp of only a day. Once the time expired, the Nazis would then reset their code and start with a fresh slate. For the allied powers (at the time excluding the US), this was a real pain because deciphering the code was difficult enough, but then having to figure out a new set every day turned out being more than many could handle.

    Enter Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), the man who would discover how to crack the complex Nazi communication code. The story mainly follows the points in time of how Turing works towards figuring out a solution to understanding how Hitler and his crew were so untouchable. Along with that are a number of flash forwards and backwards to help develop Turing as the main lead. Headed by Norwegian director Morten Tyldum and written by Graham Moore in their first British film with a west coast release, this movie has a number of points throughout its run time that demonstrate the point of this film is not about the triumph of good over evil in World War II, but of something deeper. World War II and cracking Enigma is more of a backdrop than anything else to this highly character driven story. Throughout the film, viewers are introduced to various other individuals that influence Turing in several ways. Keira Knightley plays Joan Clarke, a tough female who also cares a lot for Turing.

    Matthew Goode plays a collaborative associate with Turing and although they both start off on the wrong foot, they end up mending their points of view for the better of others. Charles Dance plays the commander in charge of Turing and regrets ever giving him a chance after Winston Churchill put Turing in charge of the program. Mark Strong also has a role as 2nd in command and has further information given about him later. Last of importance is Rory Kinnear who plays a detective after the events of World War II who’s looking to interview Turing. What’s great about Kinnear’s part is that he basically serves as the audience – asking certain questions in which the answers given can be interpreted by they themselves along with Kinnear’s scripted reactions. The supporting cast is what truly helps give the story such a strong foundation. Without the right actors and a properly written script, the character development would not have been as strong. There are several moments that may even through the audience off guard.

    Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing gives a believable performance and as awkward as the main lead is portrayed, he still carries an enormous amount of charm. Much of this comes from the fact that Turing speaks his mind very bluntly. This is not because he’s immature or does so just because. He does it because he knows he’s right and the delivery at which it is given is deadpan. This in itself evokes the whole point and main theme behind the screenplay. The moral is to be yourself no matter what people say or think about you. Many viewers will be able understand and connect to Turing as time goes on. Turing was no Albert Einstein who is usually helmed as one of the greatest scientists of an older generation. Turing was a tragic hero, a person who faced failure and aggression everywhere he went all because of him trying to crack a Nazi code with radical ideas. Adding to that development is how Turing deals with discovering the solution and then running into more obstacles after that personally and professionally. It’s not like once the solution was found everything was hunky dory, no sir.

    It is interesting to see the facts given in the epilogue to the story. Knowing and understanding the history behind it is an informative move. However once this happens, in some ways the film feels like it was trying to prove a conspiracy theory because of how top secret this operation was. This is stated because it will make the viewer wonder how things could’ve turned out if Alan Turing did not step up to the task of cracking the Enigma code. Outside of the written areas of the film, the other technical parts were adequate. Oscar Faura as the cinematographer produced well lit and clear shots for the film. No panning landscape shots were filmed but it was nice to see various clips of historical archive footage. The music composed by Alexandre Desplat was kind of a disappointment though. There are some effective tracks but not a whole lot of it stood out as memorable. Most of the score came across as largely generic with no reoccurring motif. Oh well, guess you can’t have everything.

    It’s music feels somewhat underdeveloped and it sometimes feels like it’s trying to unveil a conspiracy theory but it isn’t a huge issue. The cast all act very well, the script develops its characters effectively and the its overall message about accomplishing one’s goals is an inspiring tale told through Alan Turing’s life experiences.

    Points Earned –> 8:10

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