Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Perseverance pays off. Gender doesn't dictate intelligence or competency (the 1940s, specifically the Bletchley Project in England, helped usher in gender equality in the sciences). Empathy is a major theme.
Positive Role Models
Turing sticks to his guns and his beliefs despite being told by his superiors that he's wrong. Joan Clarke was ahead of her time in her response to Turing's sexuality and courageous in her approach to work.
Violence & Scariness
Bullies torment a classmate at a boys' school; they trap him under floorboards, tease him in the yard, and shove him around. Scenes of battle during World War II show bombs being dropped, buildings exploding, and soldiers firing at enemies. Professional arguments at work are laced with personal vendettas and implied threats.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Couples flirt in social situations. Sexual identity is a theme of the movie.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some swearing; mostly British slang from the period. One character is labeled a "toff" and a "poof."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking and period-accurate smoking. A character makes a reference to taking drugs that cause chemical castration.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Imitation Game is a historical drama that explores the role that cryptologists and mathematicians played in World War II. Expect candid discussions about lives lost during war, accompanied by footage showing bombs falling and soldiers firing guns. A boy is also tormented by school bullies. Leading the team of scientists trying to break the Germans' Enigma code is Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), a closeted homosexual who ends up being vilified for his sexuality. The subject of is handled fairly delicately and is discussed in mostly oblique ways, though characters do call him slurs, like "toff." Ultimately there are strong themes about the power of persistence and the fact that gender doesn't dictate intelligence or competency. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Without question, Cumberbatch is up to the task of bringing to life a complicated, brilliant man. Turing is multi-dimensional, his emotional depths layered. He is, by far, the best part of this enjoyable, if flawed, film. As entertainment, The Imitation Game has loads to recommend it: It's paced well, features strong performances from the ensemble, and does a fine enough job of explaining the ideas behind cryptology. But history buffs will know that it's a condensation and that the filmmakers have been liberal with their shortcuts. Bletchley Park, where the Enigma code was broken, had dozens of code-breakers toiling on the project, not the handful shown here. (They're framed and shot like a gang of superheroes before the climax of a big face-off -- a simplistic take on greatness.)
Turing's achievements can't be boiled down to one cinematic moment, as they are here. It would have been better if the movie had attempted to show the project's elaborateness, rather than simplifying it for the screen. And his hidden homosexuality is given a rather superficial study, its impact on his life hurried in the final act. Still, Cumberbatch deserves all the praise that he'll no doubt reap. He's fantastic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.