Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 52 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that would lead toDuring the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine. [The Weinstein Company] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Zwecker
    Dec 11, 2014
    100
    The film works as well as it does due to the genius of Benedict Cumberbatch and the way he has inhabited Alan Turing’s persona.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Nov 26, 2014
    88
    It's been a long time since intellectual sparring created such excitement onscreen. I've heard a few critics dismiss this mind-bender as hopelessly old-hat. Ha! If so, long live retro. ​
  3. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 18, 2014
    88
    In the end, however, the genius behind all the innovations of Bletchley was destroyed by the pettiness of a society that didn't understand him. The Imitation Game doesn't hide this dark aspect and it makes the production sobering and engrossing.
  4. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 11, 2014
    75
    Viewers may get the sense that The Imitation Game leaves Turing’s essential mysteries intact, but they will nonetheless find even the most public contours of his story ripe with drama, excitement and deeply affecting resonance.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Nov 27, 2014
    70
    The Imitation Game is a highly conventional movie about a profoundly unusual man. This is not entirely a bad thing.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Nordine
    Aug 31, 2014
    67
    It's a reserved, almost conservative performance, and in holding so much back so much of the time, Cumberbatch makes his few outward displays of emotion far more impactful.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Oct 27, 2014
    50
    Given the liberties the film takes, it's surprising that it refuses to penetrate Alan Turing's carnality and allow Benedict Cumberbatch to truly wrestle with the torment of the man's sexuality.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Nov 28, 2014
    10
    This true story of the breaking of the enigma code, which effectively ended World War 2, could so easily have turned out to be one of thoseThis true story of the breaking of the enigma code, which effectively ended World War 2, could so easily have turned out to be one of those overly clichéd and conventional bio-pics. However, in the hands of director Morten Tyldum it has, surprisingly, become so much more. Starting with a smart and dense screenplay, which hones in on three different periods of time in the life of code breaker Alan Turing, the story is utterly compelling. Wisely, it has also been told in a straightforward and un complicated manner and after about 10 minutes one gets a dizzying sense that the film is going to be an absolute gem, a feeling that reaches fulfilment 2 hours later as the credits roll.
    The recreation of time and place has been lovingly captured via excellent production design. In fact, the film is rich in detail. There are breathtaking vistas of war torn Britain which includes shots of bombers wreaking devastation over London and submarines firing rockets, as well as more ordinary depictions of rubble strewn streets and houses. It is also good to see the appropriate use of historic Bletchley Park as a backdrop to where all these events actually unfolded over 70 years ago. The editing seamlessly takes us from year to year without confusion or jarring transitions and the scenes leading up to, and immediately following, the breaking of the code are just thrilling. The music is another plus and whilst not particularly melodic it underscores what is happening on screen brilliantly.
    Criticism has been levelled at the film for not focusing more on Turing’s sexuality which is as untrue as it is unfair. Beyond seeing him actually bonking we have more than enough information as to the effect his sexuality had on his life and, ultimately his death. Scenes of his childhood also give insight into the man he would become. End titles, unlike the recent ‘Foxcatcher’ are also helpful and informative.
    Ultimately, the film belongs to its powerful cast. Benedict Cumberbatch is a revelation and he brings real humanity to the tortured Turing. Some of his moments, particularly near the end, are almost unbearably moving. Keira Knightley is almost his equal in a smaller but crucial role. She has real power here as Turing’s one time fiancé, the lone woman breaker who as it turns out is better than the men. Supporting actors Charles Dance, Rory Kinnear and Mark Strong all contribute characters that are more than mere ciphers. Also, it is to the credit of the boy playing Turing as a young man that we believe in the subsequent actions and performance of Cumberbatch.
    Rarely is a film as all encompassing and engrossing as this one. It is a triumph on every level and a cinematic treat.
    Expand
  2. Dec 1, 2014
    10
    The Imitation Game is quite possibly the finest movie of the year. Pure brilliance to all involved--superbly acted, exceptional direction, andThe Imitation Game is quite possibly the finest movie of the year. Pure brilliance to all involved--superbly acted, exceptional direction, and a screenwriting debut from Graham Moore showing prowess in writing well beyond his years. We find ourselves wondering: how is Alan Turing not a household name? Perhaps now, he finally will be. Expand
  3. Dec 11, 2014
    9
    This film is gloriously good. I loved almost every second of it. It had excellent writing, an excellent cast and just was a delight to sitThis film is gloriously good. I loved almost every second of it. It had excellent writing, an excellent cast and just was a delight to sit through on a lot of levels. If this film is not nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars it is doing itself an injustice. If you haven’t been to the pictures to see this, then go and see it. Hell if you don’t want to go to the cinema to, then get this on DVD as soon as it comes out. It is excellent and Benedict Cumberbatch is really going places with his acting career. It makes me glad that he had been cast as Dr Strange in the upcoming Marvel movie and he has also been cast as Shere Khan in the Jungle Book remake, so we the audience are winning all the way. Expand
  4. Dec 13, 2014
    8
    A well-crafted biopic about hard choices and extraordinary circumstances and one man's struggle to cope with them while wrestling withA well-crafted biopic about hard choices and extraordinary circumstances and one man's struggle to cope with them while wrestling with challenges of his own (and that he must necessarily keep secret). Although a bit formulaic at times, the film shines on most fronts, especially in its acting, period piece production values and ability to genuinely generate suspense. A strong contender to take home top honors as this year's best picture. Expand
  5. Dec 20, 2014
    8
    they should have got idris elba to play turing in this film. elba would have been able to capture the nuances that cumberbatch failed to inthey should have got idris elba to play turing in this film. elba would have been able to capture the nuances that cumberbatch failed to in his portrayal of alan turing Expand
  6. Nov 29, 2014
    6
    The movie was certainly decent, but very uneven. It unsuccessfully tries to weave together 3 different periods of the protagonist's life. TheThe movie was certainly decent, but very uneven. It unsuccessfully tries to weave together 3 different periods of the protagonist's life. The jumping around is superfluous and at times annoying. Had the structuring of the film been handled differently, I probably would have like the movie more. Since it is based on a true story, it was engaging and the performances were good. It has at times a very hollywood feel - making audiences want to 'root' for the hero, so to speak. I'd recommend seeing it, but it has a lot of flaws. Expand
  7. Dec 3, 2014
    3
    THE IMITATION GAME is a 'nice" movie. And that's it's core problem. This middle-brow entertainment makes WWII, misogyny, and homophobiaTHE IMITATION GAME is a 'nice" movie. And that's it's core problem. This middle-brow entertainment makes WWII, misogyny, and homophobia digestible for an audience that clearly does not want to be challenged or believe the world can truly suck. The film feels like a network TV movie from the 1980s which would deal with adult issues all with a very pretty little bow and a post-script that would often indicate the opposite. In its last moments, THE IMITATION GAME, suddenly underscores the homosexuality of Alan Turing who is depicted as asexual throughout. So why the fuss? And then there is the plot driven AH-HAH moment when out of a simple convo the enigma code is broken! Isn't it time we stopped making films like this? Expand

See all 18 User Reviews

Showtimes

To get showtimes near you, enter your zip code.