Where Imitation Game ultimately falters is in tackling Turing's later years and subsequent demise. In some ways, this period is meant to bookend the film, but instead just leaves unanswered questions while diminishing actual historical events.
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What Cumberbatch delivers is an impressively rounded character study of someone variously kind, prickly, aggressive, awkward and supremely confident. But it's almost too nuanced. Accuracy isn't all, but fumbling in the dark isn't always fun.
Its various riffs on codes, whether moral, sexual, societal or German, are plain to see rather than enigmatic or enlightening. Luckily it’s all anchored in a storming performance from Cumberbatch: you’ll be deciphering his work long after the credits roll.
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.
Strong, stirring, triumphant and tragic, The Imitation Game may be about a man who changed the world, but it’s also about the world that destroyed a man.
The Imitation Game is entertaining and well-crafted, but one still can’t help but wish the drama had a bit more bite and nerve throughout.
So innately compelling is Turing’s story — to say nothing of Benedict Cumberbatch’s masterful performance — it’s hard not to get caught up in this well-told tale and its skillful manipulations.
The Imitation Game is a film about a human calculator which feels... a little too calculated.
Dominating it all is Cumberbatch, whose charisma, tellingly modulated and naturalistic array of eccentricities, Sherlockian talent at indicating a mind never at rest and knack for simultaneously portraying physical oddness and attractiveness combine to create an entirely credible portrait of genius at work.