My Thoughts on The Imitation Game

I’ve been chomping at the bit for months to see The Imitation Game. It arrived in larger cities well before it appeared here in central Illinois, even being postponed further because the theaters bumped it to show The Interview. Theaters disappoint me with their skewed priorities!

You may have heard the buzz around this movie about British mathematician Alan Turing as played superbly by Benedict Cumberbatch, which is based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma: The Book That Inspired the Film “The Imitation Game”. As a piece of filmmaking, this movie is absolutely spectacular. The elements of the movie– the filming, directing, editing, acting, clothing, the music– all worked together to create a seamless film that engages you from start to finish. I highly recommend going to watch it! Sure, it has mathematicians and computers and no gratuitous sex or violence, but it won’t leave you bored, I promise. It is certain to win some of the awards at upcoming ceremonies.

My super short synopsis:  a group of mathematicians are recruited to break a code that the Germans were producing in World War II using their Enigma machine. The code would change daily which made figuring it out each day an impossible chore. Alan Turing wanted to build a machine that would be able to break the code faster, which he and his team ultimately did, resulting in the war shortening by about two years. The movie isn’t perfect, as I doubt very many historically base ones are. One of my favorite places to check up on movies is History vs. Hollywood, which does a level-headed analysis of comparing movies with the historical facts. They have analyzed the facts in The Imitation Game, so I won’t spend time nitpicking the movie in that regards here. There are also numerous articles about the perceived shortcomings of the film on the internet if that interests you, too.

Since I watch movies through my science worldview filter, let’s take a look at my very subjective sense of the film. I made a handy flask rating system for a quick tl;dr.

Imitation Game: 3.8 Erlenmeyer Flasks