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Oscar®Oscar® Winner for Best Writing—Adapted screenplay
NOMINEE FOR: Best Picture, Directing, Actor in a leading role, Actress in a supporting role, Film editing, Original score, Production design

Movie Review

The Imitation Game

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual references, mature thematic material and historical smoking.

Reviewed by: Samuel Chetty

Offensive, due to worldview
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Biography Thriller Drama
1 hr. 54 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 28, 2014 (limited—4 theaters)
December 19, 2014 (34 theaters)
December 25, 2014 (wide—747 theaters)
January 9, 2015 (1,566)
January 30, 2015 (2,402)
DVD: March 31, 2015
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Relevant Issues
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logical thinking and codebreaking using mathematics and mathematicians

importance of perseverance

unsung heros

Alan Turing (Wikipedia biography)

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Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer

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GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.

What does the Bible say about same sex marriages? Answer

Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality

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SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer

Featuring: Benedict CumberbatchAlan Turing
Keira KnightleyJoan Clarke
Matthew GoodeHugh Alexander
Mark StrongStewart Menzies
Charles Dance … Commander Denniston
Allen Leech … John Cairncross
Tuppence Middleton … Helen
Rory Kinnear … Nock
Steven Waddington … Supt Smith
Tom Goodman-Hill … Sergeant Staehl
Matthew Beard … Peter Hilton
more »
Director: Morten Tyldum—“Headhunters” (2011)
Producer: Black Bear Pictures
Bristol Automotive
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

“Behind every code is an Enigma.”

“The Imitation Game” presents the life of Alan Turing, a mathematical genius who worked with the British forces in World War II to develop a machine that could crack the Germans’ cryptography method called Enigma. The movie succeeds in depicting Turing’s work in a way that can engage a wide audience, while remaining relatable to audiences involved with computer science and mathematics. The closing credits include a disclaimer that the movie is not committed to complete historical accuracy, and some elements of the story do seem designed for a movie, but it is a strong film with depth to the personalities of the characters, a suspenseful plot, a musical score that fits the nature of the movie well, and even some humor.

Those who have studied computer science or computational theory will find dialog they can relate to. Turing often describes his machine in terms of everyday life and common-sense problem solving, which makes its technical merit doubtful to many people he encounters. I’m a teaching assistant for a programming class, and we often introduce programming concepts by talking about everyday tasks like cooking or driving. Computer science is primarily about logic and problem-solving techniques, with coding and math being the means to an end, and “The Imitation Game” brings out this principle very well.

Positive messages in this movie include the importance of perseverance when projects face difficulties and willingness to work as a team. The movie portrays Turing as a socially-awkward geek whose technological ideas seem a bit fanatical to his co-workers and supervisor. Early on, there is much tension and lack of cooperation between him and his team, but he gets on better terms with them later, which, at one point, saves his project.

For Christian audiences, a remark that could stimulate discussion is when Turing says “God didn’t win the war, we did.” In a relative sense, that could be true. However, I believe the Bible indicates that the work of God is not confined to supernatural phenomena that directly change the course of events. Ephesians 1:11 (NRSV) states that God “accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will,” and Romans 9:21 speaks of people being created for special purposes. Through some mysterious planning of God, that is hard to comprehend, I believe we arrive in this world with unique traits given to us for the time and place in which we live.

Alan Turing had a unique vision for codebreaking that at first seemed impossible to many, but the implementation of his ideas was a critical part of the Allies’ victory. Biblically, I can see such accomplishments as being part of God’s design. Furthermore, I know there are many Christians who feel that their faith is putting them at odds with their peers, but Turing’s success could be an inspiration to continue pursuing what they believe is right, even if others are doubtful.

An element of the movie that may be of concern to Christians is the subject of Turing’s homosexuality. After the war, he is prosecuted by the British government for homosexuality and forced to undergo hormonal therapy or else face arrest. The treatment causea him physiological problems, and, although his real world cause of death is not known with certainty, the movie assumes the theory of suicide. Although I cannot know the filmmakers’ intentions, the movie does not strike me as making a statement in the modern debate over homosexuality and government policy. Clearly, the British government’s prosecution of Turing was intended to be viewed negatively, but a return to such policy is not something I see advocated by either conservatives or liberals today.

From a moviemaking standpoint, “The Imitation Game” is one of only a few movies in which I do not know of anything to criticize. However, I recommend viewer discretion due to some content described below.

Violence: Thera are several WWII bombing scenes. Turing’s suicide is revealed textually, rather than being enacted, and there are a few scenes of physical aggression between angry characters.

Language counts (approx.): Mild obscenities: 23 (sometimes spoken directly to people as insults), God’s name as an interjection: 9, Christ’s name as an interjection: 4

Sexual Content: A few sexual innuendos and a crude anatomical remark. Frequent mention of homosexuality, mostly pertaining to how Turing would lose his job, or have an unsuccessful marriage, if his orientation was revealed.

Substance use: Several bar scenes and smoking cigarettes.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—(May be some spoilers here) “The Imitation Game” is an exceptionally well made and acted film about the British mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is often credited for the development of modern computing. This film discusses Turing’s role leading a team of British code experts to crack the “enigma” code that Nazis were using to communicate with their planes, submarines and ships to order attacks. At heart, this is a wartime “team” film (think “The Dirty Dozen” using math instead of guns and bombs), particularly centered on Turing to whom the Lord has given extra mathematical genius qualities and in turn taken away the social qualities of relating to his fellow human beings.

Not only does the team eventually crack the code, shortening the war and saving perhaps millions of lives, but Turing eventually breaks through as a human being well enough to win over his fellow team members, in the face of some significant bureaucratic opposition from his bosses, as well as issues involving the female math genius (Kiera Knightley), for whom it would be “indecorous” to work with men. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Stanley Hirtle, age 69 (USA)
Neutral—This is a well-acted and superbly directed film about a man who was the driving genius behind the British Intelligence Service’s ability to crack Nazi command codes. Part biography, part documentary, and sadly part propaganda, the film depicts most of the life of Allen Turing—including both his contribution to the invention of the computer, and his homosexuality. In fact, the latter receives a great deal of attention, although the movie is not at all graphic nor lewd in any way (with one or two verbal exceptions) regarding the act of homosexuality.

The lead actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, will likely be nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of an incredibly gifted and brilliant mathematician with severely underdeveloped social skills.

Keira Knightly also deserves attention for her role as a fellow codebreaker and woman mathematician amidst a male dominated profession. The war footage and realistic portrayal of wartime Britain are excellent.

It is hard to fault this film, but it must be pointed out that it presents the homosexuality of Alan Turing in very sympathetic terms and leaves the audience with the impression that, had his sexual preferences been accepted, the world would have greatly benefited from his intellect. Also, the tribute that ends the movie grossly exaggerates both his and the BIS’s role in winning the war—and omits the obvious (an American-led triumph).

All in all, a well done movie with some disturbing themes—not for immature audiences.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Larry, age 48 (USA)
Positive—I am very disturbed at the narrow world view in some of these reviews, surely Jesus does not want what happened to Alan Turing simply because of his Gay orientation. Also, as an Englishman, I am stunned that my American friends underestimate the role that Britain had in defeating Nazi Germany, we fought that evil longer and were constantly bombed. Also, Britain and Canada were 60% of the D-Day invasion force.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Alan, age 50 (United Kingdom)
Positive—This is definitely a 5 star movie. This complex story was presented very clearly, with an excellent screenplay, superb acting and flawless direction. The topic of homosexuality was handled without any exploitation, so it should not bother a Christian viewer. This is a very, very sad story, but so intriguing, that I sat on the edge of my seat throughout the movie. Really well done.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Halyna Barannik, age 68 (USA)
Positive—If there was ever a life worth portraying in a movie then Alan Turing is worth the task. He was a major figure in the area of computer science (C.S.) and is still referred to in most university C.S. programs. He was also a broken man (just like all of us) who bore the marks of a fallen humanity, most notably evident by his homosexuality.

The movie does not glorify homosexuality, in any way, but simply acknowledges it, through words, as a component of Turing’s life. I don’t recall any hint of homosexual or homo erotic events in the film. I found the movie extremely encouraging, as it portrayed a man with a major affliction who was still able to accomplish great things. While Turing does not give any credit for his work to God, he does stand as an example of one that left a positive mark on the world through his gifts and talents in spite of his sexual orientation. Basically, he overcame the challenges he faced, and that is a message we can all put to use.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—David, age 55 (USA)
Positive—“The Imitation Game” was, in my opinion, the best film of 2014. I saw it again recently and enjoyed it even more. The film is the compelling story about how the enigma machine was broken, as well as what it was like to be a homosexual back in the 1930’s and 40’s in England. Benedict Cumberbatch gives a brilliant performance as Alan Turing, at first coming off as an arrogant jerk, but, ultimately, the film peels back the layers of his humanity. He is capable in one scene of firing 2 men and being cold towards his colleagues, but in another scene where he has to let the soldier brother of a colleague and friend die in order not to alert the Nazis that they are on to them is heartbreaking. We can see on Cumberbatch’s face and hear in his voice that this is something he greatly hates to do, and that he legitimately feels awful about having to do it.

The Oscar® nomination was well deserved. In fact, “The Imitation Game” is filled with great performances from Keira Knightly as Joan, his colleague and intellectual equal to Allen Leech (from “Downton Abbey”) as a co-worker and friend who harbors a rather suspenseful secret. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Andrew, age 39 (USA)
Negative—Although not specifically advocating it, I didn’t know homosexuality would become one of the frameworks of “The Imitation Game.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Luke, age 24 (USA)
Negative—While the acting ability was probably above average, we came away thoroughly disgusted at the very obvious homosexual agenda promoted in this film. Nothing the actors could do would make this a worthwhile movie, for families. The not so coincidental release of this, at the same time the president is asking for a ban against gay conversion therapy, causes some concern.

While the code breaking is historically interesting, it was very hard to sit through all the scenes which begged the audience to pity the poor homosexual man, without whom the war would not have been won. The entire movie could have been made without mention of his sexual preference, and have been so much better. All of the plot was overpoweringly overshadowed by the constant reminders that the main character was attracted to his same sex. As Christians, we are bombarded enough by this skewed agenda. There is no reason to waste our time watching movies which shamelessly promote it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—L. David, age 58 (USA)
Negative—Besides the homosexuality, the main character keeps highlighting that it is his wisdom that won the war and that God did nothing about it. I understand that smart people tend to be conceited, but why would this film try to reduce God’s power and profane God?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Julio, age 43 (Canada)
Negative—I noticed that this movie did not begin with Hollywood’s much loved meme, “Based on a true story…” and for good reason. The story presented deviates so much from what happened to put this Hollywood account well within the category of fiction (aka wishful thinking). In one of the many inaccuracies in this film was the absence of the many other fine mathematicians involved who were as good as, if not better than Turing, namely Alfred Dillwyn Knox, as well as Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski who were Polish mathematicians who worked in intelligence and who have been recognized (by the British) as the first to have made advances in breaking the Enigma code.

To think that one Bletchley Park man held the lives of millions in his hands, in a war where chance, weather, miscommunications and mechanical malfunctioning played such an important part of every engagements is such preposterous hubris and an insult to everyone else who fought in this war or was involved. Where are their stories? Who said Hollywood doesn’t have an agenda?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Chris, age 55 (USA)
Negative—I was disappointed while viewing this movie, as I was led to believe that it was based on solid history. It became increasingly evident, early on, that this movie was just a ploy for a pro homosexual agenda. It is true that we are having these things constantly shoved down our throats, and now the gay agenda people want to rewrite history, which is what they did in this pile of trash movie.

The need for myself to address this movie is out of a more personal concern, and that is of the movies” questionable allusion to the character having Asbergers syndrome. It is questionable whether the real individual actually had Aspergers, and, although he played the character well, I feel it is quite insensitive to those who are themselves or have loved ones on the autism spectrum to be represented in such a haphazard way.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Steve B, age 33 (Australia)

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