Morten Tyldum's espionage thriller about Alan Turing is purely sensational with a performance for the ages by Benedict Cumberbatch... (by ClaytonDavis)
It took a little over 24 hours before I weighed in on my official thoughts on Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game from The Weinstein Company. My initial reaction upon leaving the screening room was it was astonishing, a magnificent achievement that stands tall as one of the year's best movies. As the film continues to settle within my cinematic soul, this very well could be the best film of the year, anchored by a career best performance from the amazing Benedict Cumberbatch. Full disclosure, I'm fairly oblivious to European history and the heroes that had a hand in one of the <more>
deadliest wars in history. I've heard the name Alan Turing from high school and college but either didn't care enough to learn or have no recollection of his contributions. Minutes following the screening, Amazon.com got $15.82 from my bank account in order to read "Alan Turing: The Enigma," the book in which screenwriter Graham Moore based the story upon. Telling the story of Alan Turing, a mathematician who in 1939 led a pioneer in cracking one of the most difficult codes in history. His contributions paved the way for essentially the way we exist now. However, Turing, who is a homosexual, has to wrestle with his secret in order to keep his status and his work years later.Masterfully told and encompassing an emotional complexity, Tyldum's film is both engrossing and disturbing. It has genius aspirations in which it wants to exist in the cinematic world. It's an impeccable thriller, taut and brilliant, exploring the horrors of war along with the choices that doom mankind for all eternity. Tyldum is methodical and precise in which he decides to unravel the story, Turing is one of the fallen heroes of our history and his story stands as one of the most tragic. Screenwriter Moore crafts a murky, dark, yet totally enjoyable spy film that stands taller than any James Bond film ever released. It's a sure-fire Oscar contender for several Academy Awards including Best Picture. They should feel so lucky to have the gumption to choose something this methodical and majestic.Benedict Cumberbatch continues to climb the ladder as one of the best actors working today. After impressive performances August: Osage County, 12 Years a Slave, and TV's "Sherlock," this is the role that will make him a bonafide movie star. Oscar-winner or not, this will be looked upon like the greats such as Gene Hackman in The French Connection or any legendary 70's movie that you love today. Cumberbatch hones in on all of Turing's character flaws and good qualities that make him a real person. He constructs him from the toes up, inflicting mannerisms and behaviors that all ring true. He stimulates all the sensual beats that keep us fixated on a performance. I can't help but go back to someone like Joaquin Phoenix in The Master, who delivered a construction of epic proportions. Though based on a real person, the talented Cumberbatch ignites his own masterpiece performance. He follows the demons of Turing down to his bones. Unsure, arrogant, and dismissive to the world around him, Turing shows only what he must, what he chooses, and every once in a while, we get a front seat to his soul. Thank you Cumberbatch.The rest of the cast is completely on their game. It's probably a contender for the SAG Ensemble prize. Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley, as the feisty and fiery Joan Clark, is as loose and comfortable as I've ever seen her. She wears Joan like an old coat from the back of the closet. Remembering it fondly and seeing that it fits just perfect. She has all the things that make up an Oscar nominee; a scene that will likely bring you to tears, plenty of scenes that play as the comic relief in a dark tale, and being simply charming in every part of the film. I don't know when it's going to happen but the world needs to make Matthew Goode a mega-star. In his brief time on-screen, Goode makes his mark, becoming essentially a co-anchor with Knightley of the supporting players, showcasing a reason to give this guy his own leading role sooner rather than later. As our resident sleazy authority figure, Charles Dance shows that he's still got it. Mark Strong and Allen Leech also deliver memorable, fascinating scenes, both getting an opportunity to shine.Technical merits are no shortage of excellence on display. Oscar- winning Editor William Goldenberg Argo shows that tension is his second language. Cutting the film to perfection, and forcing your heart into throat, this espionage thriller succeeds for general audiences because of Goldenberg's efforts. It's something that anyone can seek out and get fully immersed into. Alexandre Desplat tacks another impressive composition to his already thick resume. With films like The Grand Budapest Hotel already in his arsenal, I assume this to be another Oscar citation in his future. Shot by the talented Oscar Faura, responsible for painting the canvas that was J.A. Bayona's The Impossible, he utilizes the standard brilliance of capturing a moment. Knows when to pull back and get close. Let's not forget the Production and Costume Design by Maria Djurkovic and Sammy Sheldon Differ. Those two will surely be mentioned for the rest of the film year.The Imitation Game is assertive and makes a serious claim as one of the best spy thrillers ever made. There are sub plots that all resonate and never feel forced. This will not only keep your tension level at a fever pitch but could leave you in tears to walk home with. It's a complete realistic view at the spy game that stands as one of the best films of the year and a performance for the ages from Benedict Cumberbatch. A captivating achievement that I'll likely remember for some time.
Compelling and Enthralling from start to finish. (by fruitbat00)
Truly excellent film and definitely Ocsar worthy material for both the film and the actors. The entire cast are amazing.As Cumberbatch says near the start of the film "are you paying attention". You should pay attention, Alan Turing deserves your attention, his story deserves to be told.I went to see this at the London Film Festival last week and I am going to be one of the first ones in the cue to see it when it comes out next month. It is an excellently paced and executed script that has you gripped from beginning to end. The whole audience were laughing and applauding and crying <more>
in places, including the man next to me who had to borrow a hankie from his wife.The film switches between the drive of the team of code breakers to solve the Enigma code, young Alan Turing and the events after the war that destroyed his life. It is truly heartbreaking in places, and Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as Alan Turing is outstanding. He really deserves an Oscar nomination for his performance.It has been a very, VERY long time since I enjoyed a film so much, that when I came out of the Cinema I wanted to turn right round and go back in and watch it again. A lovely script that had you switching back and forwards between tears and laughter.I know some wanted a more in depth and in detail look at Alan Turing's life and have commented frequently that this does no focus enough on his sexuality or the events after the war.In this case I think less is more, this film highlights the man and the mind. It shows us the genius that was destroyed by a society that was seriously homophobic. It brings to life the man behind the facts and we laugh at his interactions with his fellow code breakers and cheer as he proves his theories and our hearts break as we watch him try to cope after his court case.One of the best films I have seen in a long time. Go and see judge for yourself.
The best British movie I've saw in a long time! (by darrin-reay)
I went to see this movie at a screening. I have to admit, I went into this movie not knowing anything about Alan Turing and Enigma, but I love movies based on true events; especially those about the history of our country. Despite not knowing anything about Mr. Turing or the events of his life, as soon as I left the movie theater, I went home and looked him up and spent the next few hours learning of his life, everything he did for this country and the invention of what we now call 'the computer'.I want to start by saying that Benedict Cumberbatch in this movie is outstanding. He <more>
plays Alan Turing perfectly; his accent, his movements and just the way he plays the character on screen is beautiful. I can honestly say that this is the performance of his career! The movie focuses on different aspects of his life: it shows him and his team trying to break Enigma, it shows Young Turing during his time at boarding school, and the events after the war. There's a quote at the beginning of the movie: "are you paying attention?". Throughout the movie, that's what I did. It's all that I could do because the story and the acting kept my eyes glued to the screen and I couldn't take them away. It's emotional, it's exciting and it is truly heartbreaking in some moments. It was a very comedic movie, too. There were some scenes that had me in fits of laughter and that's what makes it a beautiful script; despite the movie being based on the darkest days of World War 2, they added comedy into it which brought the movie alive. I remember getting home and after researching Alan's life, I wanted to go back to the cinema and watch the movie again. It's rarely that happens to me but when this comes out in November, I will be straight to the cinema and purchasing a ticket to watch it. I've heard reviewers mentioning that this film doesn't focus enough on Turing's homosexuality. Now, be that as it may, it focus' enough on the subject. Remember: this movie is about his mind, about the man himself. He was a genius! This is the best British movie that I've saw in a long time, and it's probably one of the best movies that I've ever had the pleasure of watching, period. I would recommend going to watch this movie when it comes out because it will take you into the world of Mr. Turing and the struggles and successes he made in his short life.
Alan Turing, Mathematician, Logician, Wartime Codebreaker and father of Computer Science. A great British Hero. A great hero in the fight against prejudice.This film tackles themes of prejudice against the feminine, against homosexuality and more generally against anyone who is different. How? By simply pointing out, using the example of Alan Turing and his colossal achievements, that it takes someone different to do something amazing.And an amazing story it is, packaged in a beautifully tight screenplay without a wasted scene, that keeps the audience fully engaged throughout. All the cast <more>
are on top form, in orbit around a stellar performance by Benedict Cumberbatch that layers humour, complexity, sexuality and the palpable frustration of a brilliant mind not quite able to communicate with his fellow humans.A film that depicts a man who perhaps fails the test he invented, that is now named after him. The Turing Test. Can he fool you that he is a real human being and not a super intelligent machine? The stress of playing that Imitation Game is set into every micro twitch of the central character.Should you go see it? No special effects. No interstellar spaceships. Why not wait for the download?Go see it! Because otherwise you would be missing the chance to see a most remarkable film, performed to perfection. A film about a story that matters, about events that changed history and simply about a man without whom you might not even be able to read this review on your Turing machine.
A movie which oozes Britishness from every frame, The Imitation Game is an instant classic. Wartime Britain is depicted vividly, if a little caricatured, with an autumnal palette and a jaunty air.A true story, sympathetically told, with good performances all round and a stand-out Turing from the indefatigable Mr Cumberbatch. The young Turing is also extremely well realised by Alex Lawther.Meandering through Alan Turing's life since school until shortly before his death, the script demands your attention and regularly makes you smile.Highly recommended.
Excellent (by eventonemedia)
This is THE movie for anyone who wants to learn about the birth of all modern computing and cryptography. It also provides a deep commentary on the ignorance of people who hate those who do not fit in. I wish the film could have gone into more detail about Alan Turing after the war when his deepest personal struggles were in full force. However, for a theatrical film it would have been far too long. This film illustrates how far we have come as a society in terms of accepting gay and lesbians and their contributions to society. I will not spoil the film but for the cypherpunks out there you <more>
will be a little uneasy if you compare the MI-6 tactics to those of today's NSA and other three letter agencies that spy on our every digital move. All in all a brilliant film with great actors that will move your hearts and minds.
Hello Best Picture frontrunner. Consider me satisfied. (by Sergeant_Tibbs)
There is something appropriately mechanical about The Imitation Game. It has a theatrical rhythm and attention to detail that ticks like a clock. That's not to say that it's necessarily overly dry and hard to connect to, this biopic of the extraordinary and tragic mathematician and inventor of the digital computer, Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is emotionally engaging and utterly endearing. With a slick exquisite script and an eclectic ensemble strong enough to deliver, it's an accessible film that although may feel familiar, is thoroughly refreshing, bringing <more>
laughter, tears and thrills. It will undeniably be a huge contender at the big awards this season, perhaps going all the way.Director Morten Tyldum's film follows Turing's journey to break the Enigma Code, the form in which the Germans communicated during WWII to conduct surprise attacks. He attempts it by building the first computer, a passion project of his that was frequently criticized for devoting so much Government time and money. He deals with a social ineptitude while also accepting his own homosexuality, which lead to unforgivable persecution and depression that caused Turing to take his own life. The film focuses on his life achievements rather than his demise, though it does explore that part of his life, if not illustrate it as much as it could have done.It's easy to root for Turing, even if his arrogance and standoffishness repel the other characters. Benedict Cumberbatch is a real crowd pleaser here. I've only seen him in short supporting roles such as last year's August: Osage County and 12 Years A Slave and I'm certainly quite impressed, if not quite as astounded. There's a very rehearsed quality about his performance, similar to Anne Hathaway's Oscar winning turn in Les Miserables. Every stutter and nuance feels perfectly placed rather than organic. But this isn't necessarily a turn off, it fits the tone of the film. He could go all the way to the Oscar but it depends on buzz and the competition.The highlight of the film is the writing by Graham Moore, adapted from Andrew Hodges novel 'Alan Turing: The Enigma.' It's not groundbreaking, but it has the right ingredients and the perfect recipe. Even if somehow it's the only film's nomination, it's still a frontrunner for the win in Adapted Screenplay. This will be a film known for 'ticking boxes,' but it does it in a way that all films should. It's economical without ever feeling like it's rushing or only scratching the surface. It constantly pummels the characters with adversity, presenting heart-wrenching moral dilemmas, particularly for Keira Knightley's Joan Clarke. It turns something complicated and bleak quite lighthearted, especially with the casual approach to war outside of moments of justified despair.Knightley will certainly get awards attention for her fine supporting role as Turing's counterpart. Her role may not be as meaty, lacking the highs and lows Cumberbatch has, but she makes the most of her relative sparing use, becoming the heart of the film. Thanks to her, their relationship is completely believable, given that Turing is a man who struggles with connecting to people, and the way she manages the choices her character is set upon is dealt with deft conviction. Charles Dance, Mark Strong and especially Matthew Goode are commanding side presences who bolster the film's charm. The titular 'imitation game' is essentially the Replicant test from Blade Runner, something Turing has practiced on himself. However, all the characters are human here, if with a confidence you only find in the movies.Instead of a linear structure, the film chooses flashbacks to flesh out the full story of Turing. It does seem a little extraneous to go back to school with him, but fortunately the focus of their objectives and the performances of the young actors make them worthwhile, as well as showing the origin of something that changed the world as we know it. The scale is further expanded with newsreel footage and scenes of the world at war, even if the special effects are relatively primitive compared to what can be achieved these days though that doesn't hold the film back as such. It's very easy to get suckered into films that convince you that you're watching one man change the world and The Imitation Game achieves that effortlessly.Although it's dense in character and plot, The Imitation Game flashes more on the surface than it has to offer beneath. Kinetic energy in the editing brings an instant gratification, especially in the edge of your seat sequences. There are liberties with the tone for such a somber event and protagonist that most likely doesn't reflect the honest emotions involved, but obviously it's easier to digest for audience. I was unsure at first, but then it had me under its spell. This also may be Alexandre Desplat's best bet at finally winning an Oscar. It adds to that whimsical cinematic tone, almost reminiscent on his work on Harry Potter sans the magic. It will certainly be warmly embraced in the mainstream. The film is poignant, but not powerful. Entertaining, but not enlightening.I'm content calling this the Best Picture frontrunner until further notice. The film feels like a combination of Argo, with the secrets and the camaraderie of the unit, and The King's Speech, with its Britishness and charming partnerships. It depends whether the Academy fall for the ambition of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar or the Chariots of Fire + The Bridge on the River Kwai formula of Angelina Jolie's Unbroken. Either way, The Imitation Game will belong amongst the most deserving winners, but the test of time remains to be seen. It's not like it'll be alone in that group. Nevertheless, with Queen Elizabeth II's pardon for Turing last year, there's never been a better time to educate the masses on his legacy that we use everyday.8/10edit: guess it isn't. Oh well. Boyhood and Birdman are better anyway.
I thought this film was a great portrayal or Alan Turing who really should have a lot more credit for his role in world war 2. I thought the storyline was great and the acting made it more compelling. I will defiantly watch this film again and hope it does become critically acclaimed as it deserves it. The film also brings up issues of certain laws which I will not spoil for anyone looking to watch the film, and these laws have since been changed for the better but is good to see a portrayal of them within this film.I also thought Benedict Cumberbatch played the role really well with the <more>
sense of arrogance and likability well balanced. Keira Knightly and Mathew Goode along with other supporting cast all played their roles very well. The cast was a great choice and all ad good chemistry between them.I would recommend this film to anyone and hope it is rewarded for its achievements.8/10
A film carried by the strength of an actor and the intelligence of a writer (by StevePulaski)
The Imitation Game concerns Alan Turing Benedict Cumberbatch , an often unsung but wholly important figure of World War II, who worked as one of several code-breakers for Britain's secret Government Code and Cypher School. The men were a gaggle of mathematicians and linguists, who spent hours evaluating secret naval messages sent by the German's Enigma-software. Over three-thousand codes were sent through Enigma a day, and despite pervasive, around-the-clock work, the code was deemed "unbreakable." The Imitation Game follows Turing, an humble but ambitious man who worked to <more>
construct a machine to decode Enigma, as well as Turing's frequently abusive childhood, his relationship with Joan Clarke Keira Knightley , a fellow-codebreaker, his other group members, and his personal recognition of his own homosexuality in a time when homosexuals were being charged with gross indecency.Alan Turing's story may be largely unknown by many people, but at least he has the honor of being played by Benedict Cumberbatch, one of the finest leading male actors working today. Much like his work in the now forgotten Fifth Estate last year, Cumberbatch is the stitching that holds The Imitation Game together, and makes the film more interesting than a film about code-breaking would suggest. He is meticulous in his portrayal of Turing, right down to mimicking his anxiousness and his often antisocial behavior, which would lead to him creating the Turing-Machine. Cumberbatch has always been an intriguing actor simply because he is eloquent and unpredictable in how he wants to approach the characters he plays, yet consistent in being a convincing screen-presence.Cumberbatch's acting ability is so strong he often distracts from some of The Imitation Game's lesser elements, such as the rather formulaic structure of the film, which cycles through flashbacks to tell stories in a vaguely disjointed manner. The film suffers from occasionally telling a remarkable story with either an indifference to the narrative structure or a foreseeable chronological timeline. Admittedly, however, screenwriter Graham Moore has quite the challenge at hand with The Imitation Game, as the material here isn't compelling in the traditional sense, and it's hard to concoct a great deal of suspense from a gaggle of guys trying to solve a cryptic message in one specific location. Because of this, Moore wisely decides to invite intrigue into the story rather than suspense, providing background to how Turing and company did their work and the meticulous process involved with cracking even a basic German message.In addition, The Imitation Game proves it's more of a thought-provoking, contemplative picture than anything when it shows off some of the year's most lackluster CGI in some of its action sequences. It's hard to place too much of an emphasis on the quality of the film's special effects, being that, again, the film is more about revealing the nature of the job of a code-cracker than anything else. However, the film features CGI that begs to be validated, as it almost looks as if the film was modeling itself after sequences taken from films over a decade old.Once again, though, it doesn't matter, for most people who will see The Imitation Game won't even bat an eye; they'll be too busy being completely amazed and captivated by the work of Cumberbatch and his ability to take a strange, off-kilter, but genius character and turn him into a human being through just a couple of scenes. Cumberbatch establishes Turing as not just an incredible man, but as a human, insecure, vulnerable, and unsure of himself when it comes to anything that doesn't involve his ability to create in just a few sequences, making most of the film centered on him and his issues for almost the entirety of its runtime. For an actor to not only be the foundation of a film, but the reason for the film's exceptional quality almost all around, sharing much of the glory with Moore, who competently structures the film around Turing as a human and works to make the film about the mystery of cracking the code, is quite the achievement.Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, and Charles Dance. Directed by: Morten Tyldum.