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Generally favorable reviews - based on 49 Critics What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 547 Ratings

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  • 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
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 49
  2. Negative: 0 out of 49
  1. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Feb 2, 2015
    100
    This suspenseful drama reveals pieces of its puzzle steadily and slowly, until the final heartrending picture can be seen at last. Remarkably, it comes from a screenwriter who had never had a feature film produced and a director who had never made one in English.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Dec 27, 2014
    88
    Many of the people reading this review are doing it on a computer. And all of them are reading it in English. It’s not much of stretch to say that you could credit both of those things to a man named Alan Turing.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    Dec 27, 2014
    83
    Cumberbatch's scenes with Knightley are a model of how a buttoned-up character can open and reveal himself.
  4. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Dec 27, 2014
    75
    The Imitation Game is vibrant and lively, engaging you on three levels: The fascinating way the Nazis managed to outwit the rest of the world until Turing came along, how his giant contraption (essentially the world’s first computer) will work, and what will happen to him and everyone he knows when the truth about him is finally revealed.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 27, 2014
    70
    This could have been a story of immense heroism, tragic sacrifice and agonizing historical irony, and it hints in that direction, in its stiff-upper-lip fashion, before retreating into a vain search for a happy ending and an effort to turn itself into “The King’s Speech.”
  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 49 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 129
  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. Feb 26, 2015
    10
    Loved the actors, loved the story, loved everything about this movie. Even if you don't like history or drama movies, you'll def like thisLoved the actors, loved the story, loved everything about this movie. Even if you don't like history or drama movies, you'll def like this one. It's a truly inspiring though sad story about an amazing hero. What a shame it is to know how cruel our own governments could be. I recommend you read more about Alan Turing, because you can learn a lot. 10/10 Expand
  3. Apr 15, 2015
    9
    Whether it's Benedict Cumberbatch's heartbreaking turn as the brilliant yet troubled tech pioneer Alan Turing, Morten Tyldum's clever andWhether it's Benedict Cumberbatch's heartbreaking turn as the brilliant yet troubled tech pioneer Alan Turing, Morten Tyldum's clever and polished directorial work, Graham Moore's emotionally broad screenplay, or Alexandre Desplat's resonant score, one of these astounding aspects of "The Imitation Game" is sure to blow you away - if not all. Expand
  4. Jun 11, 2015
    8
    The Imitation Game tells the beautiful story of the dramatic creation of the Enigma Code during WWII. Benedict Cumberbatch portrays AlanThe Imitation Game tells the beautiful story of the dramatic creation of the Enigma Code during WWII. Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Alan Turing, the mastermind behind the weapon, to absoloute perfection. Strong character development all round, combined with a fantastic yet sadly realistic story and a beautiful soundtrack help to bring this miraculous tale to screens most impressively. Expand
  5. Dec 30, 2014
    8
    Biopic about Alan Turing. It gives a decent window into the man's life and a window into the times in which he lived. Some cliche moments,Biopic about Alan Turing. It gives a decent window into the man's life and a window into the times in which he lived. Some cliche moments, some surprising moments, but even the cliches seem to work. I'm not qualified to speak on the accuracies of the history, but this movie tells quite a compelling story. Expand
  6. Jan 10, 2015
    7
    This is one of those movies where I wanted it to be on a grander stage since the story is very important to the overall war. All in all it wasThis is one of those movies where I wanted it to be on a grander stage since the story is very important to the overall war. All in all it was a good movie that engages you in the material guided by a great score. Expand
  7. Feb 6, 2015
    0
    Utter rubbish is very polite. Keira Knightley is hopeless as usual and Alan Turin was not a genius and neither did he have a basicUtter rubbish is very polite. Keira Knightley is hopeless as usual and Alan Turin was not a genius and neither did he have a basic understanding of logic . This film is nothing but propaganda about a pathetic waste of money and a failiure . Anyone with any maths or logic solving abilities would have applied a 650 year old principle. If Alan Turin had looked at the problem for what it was, the code could have been cracked with a widely available at the time piece of equipment very quickly sat on the toilet. Occams Razor is the most basic logic principle that any supposed mathmetician would have applied first but what do you expect from Cambridge or Oxford University other than lies and false claims. I wouldnt even watch a film on TV with Keira Knightley or anything associated with her or the Benedict dork in as I find them both very distasteful given that they are trying to make money out of glamourising a creepy failiure of a man whose ineptness cost people their lives and also cost a lot of money. Expand

See all 129 User Reviews

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