Blimey, it’s a computer!
  • Blimey, it’s a computer!

Alan Turing was a mathematician whose work laid the foundation for modern computing. His team was instrumental in cracking previously unbreakable German codes during WWII, part of a highly classified project that remained confidential until years after his death. The bulk of The Imitation Game—an Alan Turing biopic boasting a fast-paced, Swing Kids–meets–John le Carré tone—is set during WWII, as Turing and his team of geniuses race to build a machine that can crack the world's most sophisticated code.

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A zippy nostalgia suffuses these segments of The Imitation Game. Director Morten Tyldum makes air raids look like promotional posters, bombed cities like postcards of ancient ruins. The Imitation Game saves its real stakes for Turing himself. Flashbacks reveal his childhood as a tiny, brutally bullied genius at boarding school; flash-forwards to the 1950s gradually reveal Turing's future, and his treatment at the hands of his own government. It's an effective structure: When thoroughly grounded in Turing's influence and his contributions, the details of his life are even more heartbreaking…