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Movie Review: The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician in World War II era Great Britain with little to no people skills.  He is hired by British intelligence to crack Enigma, Germany’s machine which it uses to send encrypted messages to their army.  Cracking Enigma would give the allied forces a huge advantage over Germany, as they would know their every move beforehand.

The Imitation Game is a great film.  It is a tragedy, a cautionary tale about the way we should treat others who are different, and the unexpected consequences that could result from unfair and prejudicial judgment.  As serious as it sounds, and it is serious, there are also a lot of really funny, lighthearted moments throughout.  Turing is brilliant, but he is so rude that none of the other scientists want to work with him, and he is almost fired from the project several times.  As the movie progresses and his team warms up to him, thanks in large part to his friend Joan Clark (played by Keira Knightley), breakthroughs are made that likely saved thousands of lives and brought an early end to the war.

All of the performances are great (especially Knightley), but Cumberbatch steals the show.  He was great in the BBC series Sherlock, as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, and 12 Years a Slave, but this is his best performance in a starring role, and if he hadn’t broken through as a mainstream star, he has now.

The Imitation Game is the best movie I’ve seen so far this year.

Grade: A-


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