Imitation Game, The

Featured In Issue 196, April/May 2015

WSR Score5
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Anchor Bay Entertainment
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Morten Tyldum
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During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst, and war hero Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of “gross indecency”––an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality. Little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions, and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany's World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, The Imitation Game is the story of a genius who under nail-biting press helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives. Based on the book “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Morten Tyldum and Screenwriter Graham Moore, a making-of featurette (HD 22:44), two deleted scenes (HD 03:50), Q&A highlights (HD 29:11), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed on film, and the imagery is very cinematic, with a warm, rich and perfectly natural appearance. Oscar Faura’s cinematography is brilliant, with excellent contrast, black levels, and shadow delineation. Hues are accurately rendered, such as fleshtones, clothing, and exterior and interior shots. Primaries are bold and earthy, but never exaggerated. Still, there is a mildly grayish tone to the imagery. The picture is interspersed with historical black-and-white imagery of war and Adolf Hitler, with powerful effect. Resolution is superbly exacting, with fine detail exhibited throughout in facial features, hair, clothes, and object texture, as well as “Christopher” and its elaborate mechanisms. This is such a beautiful picture of filmic magnitude that it is sure to impress with its reference-quality imagery. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is as beautifully executed as the picture, with a dynamic, yet airy and subtle presence. Atmospherics, Foley, and sound effects effectively set the stage for the engaging storytelling. The sounds from “Christopher” are intricate and fascinating. The war scenes, though brief, are sonically powerful. Less-aggressive sound effects otherwise dominant the soundtrack. The orchestral music score, including the 1940's swing dance music, is spread wide and deep, extending to the surrounds with immersive subtlety. Low-end support sounds perfectly natural. Dialogue is consistently intelligible and well integrated spatially. This is a vividly holosonic® soundtrack that is exciting and dramatic that effectively re-enforces the uplifting but sad storytelling. (Gary Reber)