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The Imitation Game

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, United States

Rated PG-13 · 1h 53m

Director Morten Tyldum
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear
Genre History, Drama, Thriller, War
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Alan Turing races against time to build a machine that can decipher Nazi codes during World War II, including Enigma, which experts thought to be unbreakable. Turing's invention changed the world and saved millions of lives, but the hero is imprisoned by the government when his sexuality is discovered.


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Jamie Bitz Profile picture for Jamie Bitz

Benedict Cumberbatch gives a masterful performance, bringing to life the story of a complex man in the world that broke him. Although the focus on Turing's intelligence and the story behind how he cracked the code is intriguing, both the complexities of being a gay man in England at that time and his ultimate demise felt like an afterthought when they were actually the most compelling parts of his story. Maybe Alan Turing's life was simply too intricate to fit into a 2 hour film, but what the film does cover is well-executed.

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Hitfix by

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.

The Guardian by Catherine Shoard

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.

Time Out London by Dave Calhoun

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.

Slant Magazine by Ed Gonzalez

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.
78 by James Rocchi

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 Playlist by Rodrigo Perez

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.

Variety by Scott Foundas

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 Hollywood Reporter by Todd McCarthy

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.


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