The Imitation Game

Critics Consensus

With an outstanding starring performance from Benedict Cumberbatch illuminating its fact-based story, The Imitation Game serves as an eminently well-made entry in the "prestige biopic" genre.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 276

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 103,569
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Movie Info

During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of 'gross indecency', an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality - little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, THE IMITATION GAME follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives. (c) Weinstein

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Cast

Keira Knightley
as Joan Clarke
Allen Leech
as John Cairncross
Rory Kinnear
as Detective Robert Nock
Mark Strong (II)
as Stewart Menzies
Matthew Beard
as Peter Hilton
Matthew Goode
as Hugh Alexander
Charles Dance
as Commander Denniston
James Northcote
as Jack Good
Tom Goodman-Hill
as Sergeant Staehl
Steven Waddington
as Superintendent Smith
Jack Tarlton
as Charles Richards
Alex Lawther
as Young Alan Turing
Jack Bannon
as Christopher Morcom
Dominic Charman
as Sherborne Student 1
Charlie Manton
as Sherborne Student 3
Victoria Wicks
as Joan's Mother
Laurence Kennedy
as Headmaster
Tim Van Eyken
as MI6 Agent
Miranda Bell
as Margaret
Tim Steed
as Electrical Assistant
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News & Interviews for The Imitation Game

Critic Reviews for The Imitation Game

All Critics (276) | Top Critics (56)

  • A moving tribute to an extraordinary man.

    Jan 19, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The "action" here is Turing tinkering with his machine. Or simply thinking -- which, as Cumberbatch portrays it, is adventure of the highest order.

    Jan 4, 2015 | Full Review…
  • We go into a movie knowing that the subject was as genius or a hero, a martyr or titan. We should leave with a more nuanced understanding of who he was, his complexities and flaws.

    Jan 4, 2015 | Full Review…
  • For the filmmakers, there are simplifications that must have been inevitable, for dramatic and narrative purposes, when it comes to depicting the years of wartime work. But what of the other choices that have been made?

    Jan 4, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • This film about one of the past century's smartest humans at times treats its own audience like a classroom of remedial learners.

    Jan 4, 2015 | Full Review…

    Dana Stevens

    Slate
    Top Critic
  • It's a film about drive, about imagination, and how brilliance thrives outside the mainstream. These are common enough themes given uncommon purchase in a film about a man who likely saved millions of lives by never fitting in.

    Jan 4, 2015 | Rating: A | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Imitation Game

  • May 27, 2017
    a sound piece of cinema. mathematics, war and homosexualism. benedict cumberbatch plays the totally not normal genius alan turin passionately. good job from all the supporting cast.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2016
    The dialogue is wonderfully snappy, but the problem with Benedict Cumberbatch playing fundamentally unlikeable characters is that, well, he plays characters that are fundamentally unlikeable. Still, a great film for the progressive cause.
    Letitia L Super Reviewer
  • Jul 01, 2016
    Alan Turing turned out to be one of our greatest minds in history. What he accomplished during WWII and beyond just before his death will forever be remembered, and The Imitation Game gives us a moving tribute to a brief period of his life that mattered most. Even with some stellar acting from our lead Benedict Cumberbatch and quite the proper supporting cast, why do I feel like the climax never quite reached the top of the crest before coming back down the other side? I get that Turing was a tinkerer, but throughout the film, instead of feeling connected with a character's mind to see at least try and understand what's going on, the movie instead keeps the viewer at arms length, much like the rest of his team until the machine magically gets completed at the end of the second act. Sure we get the machine cost 100,000 pounds and that it works on electricity from being unplugged or switched off and on countless times, but at least give the audience the benefit of the doubt to try and understand how it works with some more depth. That aside, Cumberbatch and company put in excellent performances from beginning to end. Keira Knightley and him shine together on screen with each other's nuances worn on their sleeves. The importance of the film is doubled with the inclusions of Mark Strong and Charles Dance in brief, but crucial scenes they act the hell out of over the two hours. Immediately, my mind went to comparing this movie to A Beautiful Mind. While that ended up being more of a love story and look into mental illness, The Imitation Game sticks to more of an espionage theme. Perhaps that's why I still consider the former better than the latter here, but overall, whenever the silver screen gives us a chance to peek into great minds like these, I'm more than happy to sit back and be amazed.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer
  • Jun 17, 2016
    Interesting and absorbing biopic of Allan Turing, the man who cracked Enigma, the Nazi code-generating machine, thereby helping win the war and marking the dawn of the computer age. If there ever was a name that predestined it's bearer to take the stage, it's Benedict Cumberbatch, and he lives up to it with a galvanizing portrayal of a man with a brilliant mind but severe lack of social skill. Keira Knightley is a treat providing the lone female presence, a math savant who joins Turing's team and later enters into in an engagement of mutual convenience with him. A well-written, informative film covers these events of historical importance with intelligence, wit, and class.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer

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