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The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life

The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life

USA/Großbritannien 2014 - with Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:The Imitation Game
Direction:Morten Tyldum
Cinema release:22.01.2015
Production country:USA/Großbritannien 2014
Running time:Approx. 114 min.
Rated:Age 12+

England at the beginning of World War II: The young Cambridge graduate Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) is recruited by the British secret service as a code specialist because of his ingenious mind concerning everything mathematical. Together with a small team, he is to crack the previously undecipherable Enigma code of the German Wehrmacht. While Alan is quite confident in this almost impossible task, he is not very fond of his new colleagues. With his arrogant nature, he soon brings not only the whole team, but also the head of the newly formed MI6 (Mark Strong) against him. And so he is soon given an ultimatum to convince his superiors of the effectiveness of his unconventional methods. With the help of a young mathematician named Joan (Keira Knightley), Alan manages to open up a bit to his team, getting vital help to build his electric calculating machine. But the closer Alan gets to solving the Enigma riddle, the more he runs the risk of his own secret coming to light - and that could not only spell doom for the project, but put him personally in grave danger.

The Imitation Game is not the first film to tackle the Enigma code. But Morten Tyldum, director of the superb Jo Nesbø film adaptation Headhunters, manages perfectly to make the thrilling spy story also a deeply human drama, an interesting biography and a stirring portrait of mores in 1940s and 1950s England. The result is an extremely multi-layered film that not only provides extremely good entertainment, but also offers a much more multi-faceted picture of the historical background than would be the case with pure spy films. Because although it's actually clear that Hitler's Nazi regime is the enemy (invisible in the film), even on the side of the good guys the lines between good and evil, between friend and foe become increasingly blurred. And this is exactly what makes this drama a truly outstanding work already on a purely dramaturgical level.

This impression is furthermore manifested by the screenplay, which has some quite wonderful and extremely clever dialogues to offer. Through them, not only does Alan Turing, despite his very condescending nature, become an extremely engaging, interesting and, in his own way, likeable character. His special relationship with Joan is also given important credibility by the superbly written screenplay. But the best direction and the best script do little good if the actors can't convince. And this is where the film can boast several lucky breaks. Because The Imitation Game is almost perfectly cast down to the smallest supporting role. With a character like Alan Turing in the center of the story, there was of course the danger that the other characters would be pushed completely into the background. That is expertly avoided here by the fine direction and outstanding acting of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Because even though the Alan Turing he portrays often acts against the people who surround him, Cumberbatch plays right along with his fellow actors. While he delivers an extremely engaging performance here, one that was rightfully recognized with an Oscar nomination, he manages to do so especially through perfect interaction with his counterpart. Whether that's Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, or Mark Strong, none of them are placed in Cumberbatch's shadow. Rather, they are all able to perform at their best in the glow of his outstanding performance, which also makes the film quality cinema of a very special kind in terms of acting.

The Imitation Game manages the feat of being perfect entertainment cinema while also telling a meaningful, sophisticated story. In this way, computer visionary Alan Turing is finally given the attention he deserves. In addition, the film is also an important plea for tolerance and against homophobia. Morten Tyldum has directed an exciting piece of contemporary history, the effects of which can be felt right up to the present day and the message of which seems to be more topical than ever. A film that is fun without insulting the intellect. And for that there is clearly the top mark: Absolutely worth seeing!!!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


  • The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life
  • The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life
  • The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life
  • The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life
  • The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life
  • The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life
  • The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life
Cinema trailer for the movie "The Imitation Game - A Top Secret Life (USA/Großbritannien 2014)"
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