If you are a fan (like me) of the TV series “Sherlock”, you already know that Benedict Cumberbatch is uncanny at playing the smartest person in the room. In “The Imitation Game” he plays a real live genius who is kind of like his Sherlock character. The only main difference is that Sherlock was more aware of the fact that he may have hurt feelings. There is a second difference as well which is (minor spoilers) that his character in this movie is a homosexual.
Cumberbatch plays a mathematician named Alan Turing, who was brought in by the British government to help break the enigma code that the Nazis were using to communicate in battle. Turing takes the job mainly because he loves puzzles. The code is reset every day at midnight, and restarted again six hours later. Turing figures that the only way to stop the machine is not with human minds, but a human made machine.
Benedict Cumberbatch is remarkable in the main role. There were many times I was reminded of Russell Crowe’s John Nash in “A Beautiful Mind”. Turing is smart, but horrible social wise. His only sign of relief is in another genius Joan Clark (played wonderfully by Keira Knightly). They work perfectly off each other as actors, and that is the best form of acting.
My only flaw with the film is the flashbacks. There were times when I admit I was confused (we see Turing and his team working in the 1940s, we see Turing being interrogated in the early 1950s, and we see him as a school boy in the early 1920s). Eventually, I got used to the flashbacks, and did find them to be affective towards the end.
Parents, there is no real danger to any teenagers to worry about (I was sitting next to a man and his son who could not have been older than 11 or 12). There is hardly any swearing, talk of homosexuality (nothing shown, not even kissing), and the only violence is one brief shot of a wounded soldier with an amputated leg). For those young people who can handle it, I say take them.
Overall: 4 Stars ****