Director: Morten Tyldum
Year Released: 2014
During World War II, the Nazis used the Enigma Code to encrypt their messages, but as with all supposedly 'unbreakable' objects, the British government (along with MI6) allowed mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) and a small team to craft a machine that will decrypt it (and end the war faster). Cumberbatch is a marvel in the lead - with 'pal' Joan (Keira Knightley) adding moral support - and tries adding nuance to a character the movie sets up as a frail punching bag for the other characters pummel on: the military brass belittle him, the police come after him, his co-workers hit him or mock him, in school almost all the other boys tortured him, the British government poisons him after destroying his reputation by exposing his homosexuality ... it's relentless and calculated (as someone else described it, "it's really a game of Bully the Sissy"), and contributes to the depressing atmosphere of the film itself (where accomplishments and moments of triumph are stomped on). In other words, it's average as biopics go, but Cumberbatch is always worth watching.