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The Imitation Game

History . Drama . Thriller . War . Biography

Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

Actors: Tom Goodman-Hill , James Northcote , Mark Strong , Charles Dance , Matthew Beard , Allen Leech , Rory Kinnear , Matthew Goode , Keira Knightley , Benedict Cumberbatch
Directors: Morten Tyldum
Country: UK , USA
Release: 2014-12-25
More Info:
  • Bill Zwecker

    The film works as well as it does due to the genius of Benedict Cumberbatch and the way he has inhabited Alan Turing’s persona.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    Another must-see movie this year-end awards season (the other one is The Theory of Everything) is the brilliant encapsulation of one of the greatest stories of our time — the genius, heroism and ultimately shameful destruction of Alan Turing.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    On its bright face, The Imitation Game, written by Graham Moore and directed by Morten Tyldum, fits into that cozy genre of tortured-genius biopics that sprout like kudzu just in time for the Oscars. But that’s not fair to the film, which outthinks and outplays other examples of the genre.

    Time Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Cumberbatch radiates such intelligence — with Sherlock and this, egghead Benedict is his speciality — that gaps are easily excused. From sets and costumes to Alexandre Desplat's musical score, The Imitation Game is everything classy that Hollywood wishes it could be.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    The disturbing, involving, always-complex story of British mathematician Alan Turing is a tale crafted to resonate for our time, and the smartly entertaining The Imitation Game gives it the kind of crackerjack cinematic presentation that's pure pleasure to experience.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    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.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    In the end, however, the genius behind all the innovations of Bletchley was destroyed by the pettiness of a society that didn't understand him. The Imitation Game doesn't hide this dark aspect and it makes the production sobering and engrossing.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    The film that director Morten Tyldum has made from Hodges’s book is a shinier, less trustworthy thing, but it’s ripping old-school Oscar bait, and if it sends moviegoers off to check the facts, all the better.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    It does a poor job of showing the tragedy of Turing’s hidden life but a better job at making a bigger case — unconventional people make unconventional thinkers.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Susan Wloszczyna

    The Imitation Game is most on its game when it primarily sticks to being a John le Carre-lite espionage version of “Revenge of the Nerds.” Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    It's been a long time since intellectual sparring created such excitement onscreen. I've heard a few critics dismiss this mind-bender as hopelessly old-hat. Ha! If so, long live retro. ​

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    Cumberbatch's scenes with Knightley are a model of how a buttoned-up character can open and reveal himself.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    The film is anchored by yet another hypnotically complex Cumberbatch performance. He's turning greatness into a habit.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • James Mottram

    A finely etched character study, with Cumberbatch on towering form. Set coordinates for the Oscars.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    While Graham Moore's screenplay isn't without its flaws, it brilliantly weaves into the story a case that being different shouldn't necessarily be a negative thing. In fact, The Imitation Game argues in no uncertain terms that those differences can be something to celebrate, not to "cure."

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    When it's good, The Imitation Game is very good. Cumberbatch is terrific, which is not surprising, given the marriage of role and actor.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Even with all its elisions and distortions it tells a cracking good story. Turing is played with captivating strangeness by Benedict Cumberbatch.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Dan Jolin

    A superb thriller and a worthy biopic of a real hero. It’s also simultaneously an encouraging follow-up for Headhunters’ Morten Tyldum, an impressive debut for screenwriter Graham Moore, and a big-screen career highlight for Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Empire Full Review
  • 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.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • 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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • 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.

    Variety Full Review
  • 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. Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    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.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The Imitation Game is the one film that might have been better off longer. Starting the story in 1938 and just going through Turing’s life chronologically might have taken an extra 20 or 30 minutes, but it would have been worth it.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    As MI6 head Stewart Menzies, Strong is my favorite of the supporting players — witty, knowing, deserving of his own movie and yet comfortably a part of this one.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Viewers may get the sense that The Imitation Game leaves Turing’s essential mysteries intact, but they will nonetheless find even the most public contours of his story ripe with drama, excitement and deeply affecting resonance.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    "Imitation" illuminates Turing's brilliance in an engrossing and moving film that features a standout, Oscar-worthy performance by Benedict Cumberbatch.

    USA Today Full Review
  • 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.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    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.” Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    The Imitation Game is a highly conventional movie about a profoundly unusual man. This is not entirely a bad thing.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    The constant in The Imitation Game is Benedict Cumberbatch’s terrific performance as Turing, which has much in common with his delightfully mercurial Sherlock Holmes, but with an underpinning of repressed emotion and quiet despair.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    Turing will survive this film with his enigma intact, but the movie itself is the opposite of enigmatic, and Cumberbatch merits more.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    What lingers is the feeling that the filmmakers may pay lip service to Turing’s sexuality, but they prefer to keep his sex life strictly theoretical. Careful, there: No tracking dirt on the nice clean prestige picture.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    The Imitation Game is at its best when it focuses on the collision between cryptography and proto-programming. (No individual can truly be said to have invented the computer, but Turing comes close.)

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Michael Nordine

    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.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Geoff Pevere

    Although sturdy enough in the middlebrow entertainment department, and handsomely mounted in a stiff upper-lip, prestige period-piece sort of way, The Imitation Game is ultimately a frightfully ordinary sort of seasonal ritual.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Turing’s tale needs to be more widely known, and while The Imitation Game may not be a great film, it is an important one.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Joe Walsh

    The Imitation Game's approach is successful as entertainment but not totally satisfactory in providing greater insight into its subject.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    It’s a marvelous story about science and humanity, plus a great performance by Benedict Cumberbatch, plus first-rate filmmaking and cinematography, minus a script that muddles its source material to the point of betraying it. Those strengths make the movie worth seeing, but the writing keeps eating away at the narrative’s clarity — and integrity — until it’s impossible to separate the glib fictions from the remarkable facts.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Inkoo Kang

    The romance of patriotism and pain, depicted here in lush greens and velvety blues, makes “The Imitation Game” enjoyable enough to render it a vindication of the formula. It disappoints as biography, but makes for a great yarn, even if you've heard it before.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Ultimately, though, director Morten Tyldum’s conventional approach doesn’t do full justice to his tragically unconventional hero.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • 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.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    The Imitation Game is a film about a human calculator which feels... a little too calculated.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Gregory Ellwood

    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.

    HitFix Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Throughout The Imitation Game, there’s a sense the filmmaker is trying to shield viewers from the story’s most difficult parts — whether it’s the horrors of war, the technical complexity of the Enigma code and its solution, or the bleakness of Alan Turing’s final fate. I wish Tyldum had trusted the audience enough to let us in on the worst. It would have made his movie so much better.

    Slate Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    Tyldum has robbed his own film of emotional depth — this Turing is as simple as Morse code. Rather than a complex human portrait, this is an assemblage of triumphs, tragedies and tics.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • 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.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    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.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    It's a good story, a sad story, a story of triumph and prejudice and terrible hypocrisy. And Cumberbatch aces it all - another smartly realized but deeply soulful performance from an actor who seemingly can do no wrong.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
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