Run time: 114mins

Director: Morten Tyldum

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

Synopsis: Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, ‘The Imitation Game’ portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.


In recent years steps have been taken to give recognition to the genius of Alan Turing and to his pivotal role in ending World War II and saving countless lives by building the first super computer and cracking the German Enigma message code. This good looking thriller comes from Norwegian director Morten Tyldum (Headhunters) with a script from Graham Moore, based on the major biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.

Brilliantly played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who perfectly inhabits the role of the socially awkward genius Turing, this tense thriller has an outstanding ensemble of acting talent, a masterly score from the ever reliable Alexandre Desplat and atmospheric cinematography from Oscar Faura.

Keira Knightley plays Joan Clarke, the only female code breaker at Bletchley Park who became close to Turing and briefly his fiancée. Other members of the Bletchley team include Matthew Goode as Hugh Alexander and Downton’s Allen Leech as John Cairncross, with Mark Strong as Stuart Menzies, Director General of MI6 and Charles Dance as Bletchley’s Commander Alastair Denniston. Rory Kinnear plays Nock, a police investigating officer who is instrumental in Turing’s post-war downfall.

Despite his brilliance at Bletchley – making “the greatest single contribution to the war effort” according to Churchill – Turing’s life didn’t end happily.  Prosecuted in 1952 for homosexuality, in an era when it was still criminalised, he was barred from further code breaking and underwent a programme of chemical castration that may have contributed to his tragic death before his 42nd birthday. It was only at the end of 2013 that Turing received a posthumous Royal Pardon.

The Imitation Game is exciting and engrossing – part thriller, part spy story and part emotional roller-coaster – with another superb, award-worthy performance from Benedict Cumberbatch.

Images courtesy of Studio Canal