The Imitation Game

Documentary | English | 114 minutes


In 1939, the beginning of World War II, the British government recruited brilliant Cambridge mathematician Alan Turing to help  break the German code, Enigma. Housed in an estate, Bletchley Park, 53 miles from London, the group of talented mathematicians and linguists, worked three eight-hour shifts for the rest of the war. Cracking  Enigma  was vital for the survival of Britain as it was suffering badly from the destruction of merchant ships by  German U-boats and the blitz. Turing hired Joan Clarke, a crossword puzzle whiz, to be the only female part of the team. She also became Turing’s  confidante and friend. Turing believed that a computing machine must be constructed to crack Enigma. When Turing’s superior, Alastair Denniston refused to fund the construction of the machine, Turing went over his head and contacts Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Despite threats from Denniston to close down the machine, Turing plods on. The machine ultimately works and the Enigma code is broken. It’s then revealed that Turing is gay, and being gay in Britain at that time was against the law. Rather than be praised and honored , Turing is convicted of Gross Indecency. Instead of prison, Turing agrees to undergo chemical castration. On June 7, 1954, Turing commits suicide. In 2013, Queen Elizabeth honors Turing with a posthumous Royal Pardon. Turing is also credited with being the creator of the modern computer.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Alan Turing) / Keira Knightley (Joan Clarke) / Charles Dance (Alastair Denniston)
Why Stream This Docudrama? 
The codebreakers were the unsung heroes of World War II. They provided information to the allies of the enemy’s precise strength and disposition and how, when and where the enemy intended to carry out his operations. Or, to put in another way, the Allies could have lost the war if not for the work of the codebreakers.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 89%
  • Metacritic Score: 73
  • Academy Awards: Winner, Best Adapted Screenplay (Graham Moore); Nominated, Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Benedict Cumberbatch); Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Keira Knightley); Best Director (Morten Tyldum)
  • Golden Globe Awards: Nominated, Best Motion Picture, Drama; Best Actor, Drama (Benedict Cumberbatch); Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Drama (Keira Knightley)
Dominating it all is Cumberbatch with a mind never at rest and creating an entirely credible portrait of a genius at work.
Todd McCarthy

The Hollywood Reporter

Just a few years ago, this film might have felt radical and counterintuitive, like a daring, inspired leap from one era to another. Instead it has the shiny ring of conventional wisdom. It’s kind of perfect.
A.O. Scott

The New York Times

One of the most important stories of the last century and one of the greatest movies of 2014.
Rex Reed

New York Observer

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