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The Imitation Game

Behind every code is an enigma 

Year: 2014 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Morten Tyldum 
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode  
An image from The Imitation Game

Fast paced and lean, The Imitation Game is fantastic biopic of the late Alan Turing’s success at cracking the Nazi Enigma code in World War II. Directed by Morten Tyldum, known best for the hilarious Norwegian film Headhunters, The Imitation Game captures the audience from the first scene where Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) almost sinisterly asks “Are you paying attention?” in that fantastic way Cumberbatch only can.

The Imitation Game is littered with big name British actors throughout, including Mark Strong as the mysterious head of MI6, Charles Dance as Turing’s aggressive commanding officer and of course Keira Knightley as Turing’s fellow female code cracker, Joan Clarke. The film develops rapidly into a gripping piece; flashing between the his arrest for homosexuality in 1951 and his war work.

Based on the best selling book, Cumberbatch drives the film along throughout and delivers punchy hard hitting acting. Turing bumping heads with his superiors is entertainingly done and the film has plenty of time to squeeze in a few laughs, making for an easy watch. Whenever the film feels like it might be losing its edge slightly Joan Clarke, Turing’s ill fate love interest, chivvies the film along with some great dialogue. It’s amazing to discover that the this screenplay is Graham Moore’s silver screen debut, marking him as one to watch in the future.

Focusing mainly on his WW2, success the film has apt time to deal with Turing’s greatest secret, his homosexuality. Flashbacks to his school life and his first love cement this in the viewers mind, while showing the conflict and secrecy Turing has to go to in his day to day life later on to conceal this, even becoming engaged.

Overall, this film is a masterpiece and definitively one to watch.

Harry Austin

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Screenings of this film:

2014/2015 Spring Term (digital)
2014/2015 Spring Term (digital)
2014/2015 Spring Term (digital)
2021/2022 Autumn Term (digital)