The Imitation Game (2014)

logoDirector: Morten Tyldum

Writer: Graham Moore (Screenplay) Andrew Hodges (Book)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance, Mark Strong


Plot: During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Code Cracking Drama


Story: The Imitation Game starts with Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) explaining how he is in full control and if you don’t listen you will miss things. Alan has been robbed but won’t admit having anything taken from his house. In a second time frame we watch how World War II has broken out and watch how Alan travels Bletchley Radio Manufacturing for an interview with Commander Denniston (Dance). Alan wants the job so he can crack the enigma coding system. Alan gets bought in along with other experts including chess champion Hugh Alexander (Goode) and with the case headed up by MI6 member Stewart Menzies (Strong) we get to see how serious the case is.

Unhappy with the ideas the head of the department Alan goes above everyone’s head to gets himself put in charge of the code breaking team and sets out on making his machine that will help crack the enigma. Alan designs a crossword puzzle so he can recruit the best and brightest the country has to offer.

We get a flashback to see Alan through his education and how he first got into the love of code breaking with his one trusted friend at the school. We also see the candidates get a final test to prove their worth and Joan Clarke (Knightley) proves to be the best of all of them but she has to get Alan to push her parents into allowing her to join the team.

The team together working on the basic code breaking, while Alan tries to build his machine along with secret meetings with Joan as they try to learn the codes being used.  Joan teaches that Alan needs to become more open to his co-workers and by doing this it opens up the working levels to reach out and get help on the machine and achieve the same required goal.

We continue to go through the three time periods watching how Alan’s personally problems could put all his work at risk. We also see just how determined he is to prove break the enigma and help win the war for his country. Alan faces the next problem when after they crack the enigma they can’t just stop every attack because they will be discovered as it will become apparent to the Germans that the code is cracked.

The Imitation Game is a story that needed to be told, we have seen all the heroic stories on the battlefield but this story tells the tactical side to the war that is one of the most important twists in the war effort. Managing the three stories works really well even if the true highlight is the war effort one, it also gets the most time. The pacing is brilliant because we get to see the ups and downs during the creation of the machine and even what was meant by it after all was completed. This really is one of the most interesting stories of what was happening during the war. (9/10)


Actor Review


Benedict Cumberbatch: Alan Turing the brilliant mastermind who heads up the enigma cracker team that will help win the war, but his personal life will put his reputation at risk. Benedict gives a brilliant performance and you can see why he was nominated for an Oscar. (10/10)


Keira Knightley: Joan Clarke the brightest of all of the candidates who complete the crossword qualifying them for the team working on the code breaking. Keira gives a brilliant performance showing how a strong minded lady made an impact through the war. (9/10)


Matthew Goode: Hugh Alexander chess champion who has all the flair to run the enigma but becomes a professional rival of Alan before later becoming good friends and co-workers on the project. Matthew gives a great performance in the supporting role. (8/10)


Mark Strong: Stewart Menzies MI6 agent who knows all what is going on and because of Alan’s involvement keeps everything together while others try to push them apart. Mark gives a great performance as the mysterious know it all. (8/10)


Support Cast: The Imitation Game has a supporting cast through all three time frames, they all help motivate Alan to reach the next level of his achievements while he keeps his secrets close to his chest.


Director Review: Morten Tyldum – Morten does a great job directing putting the three stories running next to each other perfectly and telling us the important story we needed to know. (9/10)


Biographical: The Imitation Game does a great job telling us the story of the rise, the achievement and the downfall of Alan Turing, even if the last part is completely wrong in the world we live in now. (10/10)

Thriller: The Imitation Game does keep you guessing on how they will crack the code before it is too late. (9/10)

War: The Imitation Game shows just how much was put into the war effort on the code breaking side of it. (9/10)

Settings: The Imitation Game uses authentic looking settings to put us in the time period nicely. (10/10)

Suggestion: The Imitation Game is a must watch, it is a very important part of our history and should be taught to everyone. (Must Watch)


Best Part: Cumberbatch is brilliant.

Worst Part: The treatment of Turing but the government.


Believability: Based on a real person and the people he worked with. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Won one Oscar

Box Office: $192 Million

Budget: $14 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Behind every code is an enigma

Trivia: Alan Turing is shown running on various occasions and although never mentioned in the movie, he was a world class distance runner with a personal marathon time of 2:46:03, achieved in 1946.


Overall:  This really is a brilliant film that fills in an important part of history that can easily be looked over.

Rating 92


  1. The best performance in the already brilliant career of Benedict Cumberbatch. An incredible film that showed us an immensely important man who has been lost in history.

    • I would love to hear what you think after seeing it, i enjoyed it because i learnt about the work of Turing, but i would imagine you would already know about it, so i would like to see how close to what has been said it is

      • Turing was perhaps one of the most important people to have ever lived, so I’d be really surprised if they butchered anything about his life or his work.
        Although, the secrecy around the whole Bletchley Park workings was an official state secret in the UK up until a few years ago, so maybe they didn’t have that much to go on.
        Anyway, I’ll see this, no doubt. I’ll get back to you with what I think. Haha 😉

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