The Imitation Game [2014] ★★★½

TheImitationGame-BCEverything adds up- just like a perfectly solved mathematical equation- in “The Imitation Game”, a fantastic movie about the life of Alan Turing, the man who helped crack the notorious German enigma code during World War II (and ultimately won the war). This is one of the best biographies I’ve seen in a long time; It puts most of Hollywood biopics to shame and offers a candid portrait of an intriguing figure whose private life and struggles make for compelling drama. Best of all, he is brought to life with charm and credibility by the gifted Benedict Cumberbatch (get him on that Oscar list right away). We first meet Alan in 1951 when he arouses the suspicion of a local police detective in Manchester, then the film goes back in time, as we witness his recruitment by the British Government at the beginning of the war. What follows is so interesting, that even a mediocre dramatization would command our interest, but director  Morten Tyldum (in his English language debut), screenwriter Graham Moore, and the actors go above and beyond the norm. Cumberbatch, whose star status is already on the rise, gives an Award caliber performance.  Everything about the film is first-class: Oscar Faura’s cinematography, Maria Djurkovic’s period production design (with an incredible eye for detail), Alexandre Desplat’s score, and the contributions of such fine actors as Matthew Good, Keira Knightley and Mark Strong. “The Imitation Game” held me spellbound for almost two hours. It’s definitely one of 2014’s best movies.

Rating: 3.5/4

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