Alan Turing was a British scientist, mathematician, and all around genius. During World War II, he was part of a team tasked to solve the Enigma Machine, a code machine that was believed to be unbreakable. Turing's work helped the Brits defeat the Nazis, and simultaneously created what was essentially the first computer program. In addition to all his mental abilities, Turing was also homosexual. At that time in Great Britain, it was simply illegal to be gay. If you were caught, you either went to prison or endured chemical castration. In order to be able to continue his studies, Turing chose the latter.

Cumberbatch is recruited by the Royal Army to be part of a team of the best code-breakers and puzzle-solvers in the United Kingdom. The Nazi Enigma Machine is considered to be the peak of encryption, and the armed forces of the UK, USA and France had all be unsuccessful in decoding Enigma messages. The biggest hindrance is that the machine changes the code every 24 hours, meaning by the time the first message is received, the British team has less than a day to try to break the code before the stroke of midnight, when they are forced to start all over again.

The rest of the team are just attempting to figure out the code mentally, to find the pattern, to have the "Eureka!" moment; Turing, however, takes a more technological route. He obsessively works on a machine that will be able to do multiple permutations of the codes at the same time, and his obsession alienates him from the others.Since this is based on a true story, take this *SPOILER ALERT* for what you will: Turing's machine works, the Allies are able to break the Nazi codes, and Turing and his team help swing the momentum of the war.

This movie was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Morten Tyldum), Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), and Best Supporting Actress (Keira Knightley). It won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Despite these accolades, I never felt entirely impressed. The directing was appropriate for the type of film, it wasn't an action movie filled with fast cuts and crazy camera moves; for a drama, it was fine to use simple shots. Cumberbatch was fine, Knightley was fine, Mark Strong was fine, Matthew Goode (who I usually love) was fine...and I think that's the best/worst I can say about it: it was fine.



On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "The Imitation Game" gets a 5 out of 10.




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