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

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 516 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 122
  1. Jan 4, 2015
    10
    A Gay Man Saves 14 Million Lives Throughout the World....by shortening humanity’s worst war of all time by at least two years! He may evenA Gay Man Saves 14 Million Lives Throughout the World....by shortening humanity’s worst war of all time by at least two years! He may even have saved the life of my own beloved grandfather who worked in the Brooklyn (New York) Navel Yard all throughout World War 2! A military target that would have eventually been within reach of German submarines.

    If it wasn’t for Alan Turing’s genius, integrity and perseverance all of history would have been changed for the worse. Another minor footnote: He’s also the father of the modern computer and one of the greatest mathematicians who ever lived.

    Despite being one of the giants of the 20th century, few people outside those with a passion for history or computing have ever heard of the man until now. No universities or streets are named after him. No statues or portrait honor him anywhere in the world all because he is gay. In fact, it took the Queen of England to the year 2013 to issue him a pardon for having consensual sex - in the privacy of his home - with another man! In 2013! That’s an abomination. The Queen of England is sitting on her throne in one piece because of this man! She should have laid a wreath on his grave decades ago!

    I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I sobbed at the end of this movie! This is a most profound story about love! YES! LOVE! Intense, passionate love is not limited to just heterosexuals!

    It’s also a story about sex. I was born in the 1960’s and consensual sex - in the privacy of one’s home - between men was legal in the State I was living in when I turned 18. But the stigma of being a sexual minority remains in way too many places – and affects me greatly in my own personal life to this very day. The pain I – and others – have suffered for being “different” is indescribable. This story validates my experiences and the experiences of millions of other sexual minorities – from around the world - both living and deceased.

    The cruelty Alan Turing experienced from his classmate is similar to what I had to endure in high school. But I was lucky; I never had to worry about having consensual sex with another man in the privacy of my own home. But in Alan Turing’s case you get to see a good man who gave so incredibly much to the world be ripped apart by pure evil that was 100% legal back in the 1950’s! It’s so ironic too! Watch closely. The police officer breaks the law and he is the one who should be legitimately imprisoned! It’s not just in the United States that police officers feel they are above the law they supposedly serve!

    Memo to Hollywood: This shows you know how to make great movies. Sure, you won’t make billions every time, but you’re gonna make a tidy profit by doing a spectacular job. Wouldn’t you rather make a film people will be watching 500 years from now on another planet in another solar system then making trash, like The Hobbit trilogy, that no will care about once it leaves the theaters?

    One more point to ponder: Michelangelo is considered by most people to be the greatest sculptor who ever lived. He was a gay man and he lived centuries ago - in peace - till he reached 88 (Yes 8-8). Now fast-forward to the 1950’s - in what was supposedly the country that birthed modern democracy - and look what the British did to one of the greatest mathematicians that ever lived only because he is gay!
    Expand
  2. 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
  3. Feb 21, 2015
    9
    You can't actually argue that there's a bad side to this movie. This Alan Turing-oriented biopic actually shows a story about a mathematicalYou can't actually argue that there's a bad side to this movie. This Alan Turing-oriented biopic actually shows a story about a mathematical genius in the manner of a Sherlock Holmes story. It is full of thrills, drama and excitement and it is surely to prove lots of pleasure for the viewer. Cumberbatch is absolutely brilliant in his interpretation and Tyldum's slightly altered reality is so well constructed that you don't even doubt it being correct. The casting in general was excellently done and there was a very special team chemistry between the members. What the movie is missing is that specific artistic string present in the movies 'Birdman' and 'Boyhood', but despite that it is certainly one of the best movies of the year and it is an absolute must-see. Expand
  4. Dec 1, 2014
    9
    First movie review, alright here we go,
    The Imitation Game is without a doubt one of the best film's I've seen in 2014, based on a true
    First movie review, alright here we go,
    The Imitation Game is without a doubt one of the best film's I've seen in 2014, based on a true story, the film is based on the life of Alan Turing and how his genius saved England from Nazi, Germany.

    The film is set in the World War 2 and the Germans are getting the advantage over England because they are using cryptic messages to each other to plan attacks or change strategies, these cryptic messages are known as the ENIGMA code and its supposed to be the most unbreakable code in the world, and it's up to Turing and his team of geniuses to crack the code.

    Now the plot of this film is so good, at times it can show entertaining, emotional or tense scenes and it all works so perfectly. You even get to see flashbacks from Turing childhood and find out how he becomes the man or should I say hero of his time and even the today's modern era.

    Now about the characters in this film, Benedict Cumberbatch does an amazing job as Alan Turing, and what about Turing himself well all I'll say is that he is such a smart, to the point, and sees the world in a completely different way, that's what makes him so interesting, however the other characters in this film aren't really that interesting.

    So if your a fan of history or a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch or just enjoy great films, than The Imitation Game is just for you.
    Expand
  5. Jan 11, 2015
    8
    2014 still have the ability to surprise me, and that includes The Imitation Game.

    We follow a great mathematician during WW2 and his new
    2014 still have the ability to surprise me, and that includes The Imitation Game.

    We follow a great mathematician during WW2 and his new job, to crack an almost unbreakable code. There’s a deep message surrounding what the difference between a machine and a human is, and what their similarities are. The movie also does raise moral questions on what’s normal and what’s not, and what that means. I totally love this movie. It surpassed my expectations and it’s both ingenious as it is clever. As Alan Turing said in the movie: “Are you paying attention? Good. If you’re not listening carefully, you will miss things”. That quote is the one thing that kept me entertained, because you really need to pay attention if you want to perceive everything. The structure is very nonlinear, and you must pay attention!

    The first half of the movie is more of the main mission, to crack the code. The rest is much more versatile and exiting. The action-sequences are especially great. Benedict Cumberbatch is really good; it might be one of his greatest performances to date. His character; Alan Turning is extremely well presented, and I really felt close to him during the whole movie. Especially when it comes to how he felt, and how it feels to be other than normal.

    I really love The Imitation Game, and the movie is overall much greater that what I expected. It’s the most flawless film of 2014.

    The Imitation Game gets an 8/10.
    Expand
  6. Jan 25, 2015
    7
    Cumberbatch pays Alan Turing, the mathematician who managed to crack the Enigma code, WITH a team of other people and then proceed to getCumberbatch pays Alan Turing, the mathematician who managed to crack the Enigma code, WITH a team of other people and then proceed to get infamously arrested for indecent exposure. The core of the movie is the cracking of Enigma with some flash back to Turing youth and flash forward to Turing last year (actually, the movie starts in the 50s and then jumps back to the war years – a completely useless editing idea).

    Altogether not a bad story and certainly a great Cumberbatch and Knightley interpretation. The supporting actors are also good and there is some moment of British humor to lighten the atmosphere. The only thing I find objectionable is that the movie gives the idea that Turing was the only one who actually cracked the code. The solitary genius who did it all on his own and even against his own team - with the exception of the Knightley character.

    All this to put Turing on an even higher pedestal and to underline that he was such as genius AND gay. Basically gay = genius in this movie. Which seems rather far-fetched, because it surely is a fact that not all gay people are geniuses, just like not all straight people are….. Then again, the “solitary” hero concept is a lot more fascinating than “team work”.
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  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 122 User Reviews

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