The Imitation Game (2014) Review

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The Imitation Game (2014)

Directed by Morten Tyldum

Starring:
Benedict Cumberbatch
Keira Knightley
Matthew Goode
Rory Kinnear
Charles Dance
Mark Strong

Running time: 114 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Imitation Game is based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the British cryptanalyst Alan Turing, who helped solve the Enigma code during the Second World War and was later prosecuted for his homosexuality.

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My Opinion:

Okay, then – I’ve watched another Oscar nominee for Best Picture. I’ll say right away that these “historical drama” types of films aren’t really my thing. But, unlike American Sniper or The Grand Budapest Hotel (screw those!), I still had an interest in watching this one. I knew next to nothing about Alan Turing or his code-breaking or WWII (seriously – I hate history) before watching this film. Actually, I still don’t know much about WWII… Vietnam movies are usually better. Better soundtracks, too.

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Anyway! I had no idea that Alan Turing really received no recognition for his accomplishments in helping to win WWII & that everything had been kept a secret for so many years afterwards. I knew about his homosexuality & horrible punishment but didn’t realize JUST how appallingly he was treated. So that’s the thanks he got after all he did?! Seriously – he should have told everyone to go f*#k themselves! Well, I guess it’s good he didn’t.

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This movie is good but I don’t think it’s great. I can’t see it winning Best Picture. I’d heard that they really glossed over the homosexuality & chemical castration thing but that’s not true at all – they did touch on it plenty. In a way, though, I find that the more interesting story so would have liked even more exploration of that. However, I understand why the main focus was more on the breaking of the Enigma code and I suppose that IS really interesting but I can barely even do a simple crossword puzzle or add two numbers together without a calculator so a lot of that was lost on me. I found the story of Alan Turing himself more fascinating than the machine he created and I don’t think the movie quite did enough to show us his life outside of the time he spent trying to break the Enigma code, other than showing us a little bit of one important relationship early in his life. I don’t know – maybe not a lot is known? Like I said, I don’t really know anything about him beyond what I just saw in this film.

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As for the performances, Benedict Cumberbatch is very good. I think he does a good job making a very awkward and almost unlikable character sympathetic, especially in the later parts of the film. I think there’s too much competition in the Best Actor category this year so it’s unlikely he’ll win but it’s a well deserved nomination. Keira Knightley is good, I guess, at once again being Keira Knightley. Yeah, I don’t like her or her style of acting so I’m probably being unfair. She’s just always “Keira Knightley” to me in every role she’s in. She won’t win an Oscar for this but she’s fine playing the “pretty smart girl”. Oh! Tywin Lannister is in this! And the creepy uncle from Stoker. And the guy who was quite good in Kingsman: The Secret Service & reminds me of Stanley Tucci. Oh yeah – and a guy from the first episode of Black Mirror that has scarred me for life to the point that I’d really rather never see the guy in anything ever again! They’re all decent enough but Cumberbatch is by far the best thing about the movie.

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Summary:

The Imitation Game tells two fascinating stories: the solving of the Enigma code during WWII as well as the persecution of homosexuals in England’s history. It doesn’t really get as in-depth with either of these stories as it could, though, so it’s probably worth reading about Alan Turing if you want to know more than what you’ll find out from this movie. I don’t feel like I know that much more than I did before watching this but it’s a great story that needed to be told many years ago and, from a film fan’s perspective, it’s worth watching for Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance.

My Rating: 7/10

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37 thoughts on “The Imitation Game (2014) Review

  1. Nice review. I too wished there had been more depth to the end of Turing’s story after the war. The final scenes are incredibly powerful and I wish we had seen more like that. Excellent performance from Cumberbatch though!

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ Yeah – it felt a little weird how they didn’t show much of his story at the end. It really IS just as big of a deal! Felt a little glossed over. But, yeah – Cumberbatch was very good. πŸ™‚

  2. This sounds like something I would hate but I don’t want to get your dander up so:

    comment comment comment smiley face comment comment comment smiley face comment comment comment smiley face comment comment comment smiley face comment comment comment smiley face comment comment comment smiley face!!

  3. OMG QUIT HATING ON GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL IT’S SO GOOD YOU DON’T EVEN KNOOOOOOW!!!!

    …Okay, now that I have THAT out of my system. πŸ˜‰ Good review, lady! I think I liked this one more than you did, but you make some fair points for sure–definitely could have gone more into depth with the stories. Still, I really liked it. And, of course, Cumberbatch is awesome. It’s a shame he’s got such competition this year. He’ll win it one day, I’m sure, but it’s GOT to go to Keaton this year. You didn’t love that one either, did you? Man, these Oscar noms sure aren’t your thing… πŸ˜‰

    • Hehe. I fell behind on replies again & totally missed this! Okay… I still have zero interest in seeing Grand Budapest thingy even after it won a bunch of stuff. πŸ˜‰ I’m quite shocked that Keaton didn’t win! I better check out The Theory of Everything now – hubby liked that & seemed very happy with Redmayne’s win. Nah – I wasn’t really feeling the nominees this year. 😦 Boyhood & Whiplash were the ones I liked. Oh! And, yes – Cumberbatch was very good in this. I’m just not a “history buff”. Fascinating story, though. πŸ™‚

  4. This is one of those films i feel like I’ve seen before, even though I haven’t. It looks a bit slow for the cinema so I’m waiting for dvd or streaming.

    And having said that, this is the kind of story I think I’d rather watch a documentary about, anyway.

  5. Pingback: My Oscars Picks For The 87th Annual Academy Awards | Cinema Parrot Disco

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