This is an adaptation of the now famous story of how during World War II mathematician Alan Turing cracked the Enigma code, saving millions of lives.
This is an important film, not because of any advances in filmmaking, but because the story itself is such an important one. You do get the sense then, that the filmmakers here were more worried about not fucking it up, rather than making a masterpiece. That said, it is one of the most purely watchable films to come out in 2014.
Benedict Cumberbatch in the central role is brilliant in the way he speaks and acts as an outsider, but the real beauty of his performance is the way he conveys emotions much deeper than this, even through all of the mannerisms and oddities. He plays a character than runs the risk of becoming a stereotype, but he manages not to let that happen, whilst at times using it for comic effect. There are also strong performances elsewhere with Keira Knightley doing the best possible with a role that is underwritten, and Mark Strong being fab (as he always is) as the shifty MI6 guy. Charles Dance and Matthew Goode are also strong.
I do have one niggle. I find the movie to be a little safe. I think the filmmakers could have probably played up the sheer horror of the government’s actions towards Turing a little more. As while it is mentioned what is happening, I think more should have been made out of the homophobia inherent in the governmental system not too long ago. This is not to say that it’s not fantastically well made, the score does is job very well (except for one sequence in which the music seems to me to be making light of the blitz, but maybe I took that the wrong way) it is shot very nicely, and you don’t for one second lose interest in the movie. It is funny in places, tense in others and a little bit heart-breaking.
Overall, The Imitation Game is a really great watch, and it tells a hugely important story. I think it is played a little safe, but that might just be me.