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Parent reviews for The Imitation Game

Common Sense says

Strong performances buoy teen-friendly historical drama.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 20 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 35 reviews
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byawsamuel January 12, 2015

(SPOILER) Great movie for bright kids -- but with a big note of caution

We saw this movie without our kids, loved it, and would like to be able to share it with them...but at ages 8 and 11 we're not sure they can handle it. The pros: Turing is a great inspiration for bright, quirky kids (particularly any kids on the spectrum -- some people believe he had Asperger's), and the movie's very explicit (but not heavy-handed) message is that people who don't quite fit in often turn out to have the biggest impact. Keira Knightley's character is a great example for girls, particularly any who are trying to navigate the line between academic achievement and social acceptance. The caveat (and spoiler, if you don't know the details of Turing's life): at the very end of the movie, after Turing is outed as gay, he is chemically castrated and then (though this is mentioned only in a text note on screen at the end) commits suicide. While it was very clear to us as adults that his sad fate had everything to do with the homophobia of that time, and almost nothing to do with his personality or brilliance (I say "almost nothing" because I don't know whether and how his social skills played into his outing/sentencing) I'm not so sure that would be clear to our kids. I'm worried they might think this shows how dangerous it is to be different, and also, that it might glamorize suicide (the movie certainly doesn't, but it's something to be aware of). If you were watching at home you could avoid those last bits simply by turning off the movie once Turing finishes telling his story to the detective -- basically, skip the last 10 minutes. But I'd be concerned that the kids would still follow up via Google, and I think it's Turing's ultimate fate that makes this movie's themes pretty tough for kids. The movie itself is fabulous. And in my view, no issue at all in terms of sexual content. The only thing I'd skip for our kids, other than the last 10 minutes, is the scene where Turing gets bullied, and a scene where Turing and Joan Clark are meeting with their MI-6 handler, and she looks out a cafe window and sees war casualties. Hope this is helpful!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent Written bydietmom January 6, 2015

strong homosexual theme

We took our family to this movie based on the reviews from this site even talking their grandparents due to their interest in cryptography. If I had been more aware off the sexual themes I would definitely have skipped it even for my 13 and 15 year olds. Main character is coming to grips with his sexuality, but there are a few details I wish would have been left out. Verbal discussions about his use of male prostitutes mainly none graphically displayed but the words will stick with a younger viewer. There is another bar scene with innuendo of oral sex that is fairly shocking for the younger end of this age group. I think the rating was appropriate, but the sexual theme was about as strong as the historical story line.
Parent of a 16 year old Written byBklynSF December 27, 2014

Great film to see with a teen

This film has got a great (true) espionage/historical/wartime epic story line, stellar acting, important, relevant themes and to top it off - the very lovely Keira Knightley. Our almost 14 year old son loved it and so did we.
Adult Written byB-KMastah February 13, 2015

Finally, Oscar bait that works.

It actually seems pretty rare that we get biopics that actually done well, but thank God that The Imitation Game is actually one of them. Unlike the absolutely-only-okay Theory of Everything, this isn't a movie that exists just to showcase great performances. Its story is actually engrossing and very largely avoids feeling melodramatic or emotionally manipulative. The script is nicely written, unlike most Oscar bait biopics, the filmmaking--pacing, direction, and all--actually makes for a great movie. Now, the reason that most of this works so well is because it isn't idealized. Mannerisms and real, and even how people carry themselves complements the sets perfectly. Performances are nuanced and the script allows actors to showcase their chemistry, while also giving insight to each character's personality. Benedict Cumberbatch is, of course, great, and Keira Knightley continues her recent ascent as she simultaneously showcases her charm and acting abilities, and she can show both since the movie appropriately incorporates humor at the right times instead of feeling like obligatory comic relief. It's the acting and script that made me actually interested the story's progression, and I wish that other movies would learn this. Dialogue and interactions are realistic; there's probably just one scene that feels corny, and it's in the trailer. The script isn't perfect, though, as it's what actually leads to main complaint. Alan Turing's homosexuality is dealt with in a manner almost as awkward as he is. These are not spoilers, but there are two scenes where he rather casually comes out to one character each. They both respond with something along the lines of, "Yeah, I figured," to which I thought, "How?" It's not like Turing is shown displaying affection for a man while in front of anyone else or doing anything remotely "gay", so why would they know? If they think that it's because he's kind of awkward, that's due to his implied (and nicely understated) Asperger's. The movie also ends a bit too quickly, and ends with those standard text blurbs describing what happened afterwards. Otherwise, The Imitation Game is a great movie, refreshing it its realism. Strongly directed and solidly written, it's bolstered by its performances and thoroughly engaging pace. Even if this isn't quite "best of 2014" material, this is what The Theory of Everything should have been. 8.4/10, great, one thumb up, above average, etc.

This title contains:

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Positive role models
Adult Written byjennyw December 2, 2014

Correction on the term 'toff'

Wanted to point out that 'toff' is a slur against the upper and upper-middle classes, of which he was a member, as in 'toffee-nosed git.'
Parent of a 10 year old Written byNcarb January 2, 2015

inspiring true story

Keira Knightley's character offers a great role model for young women - she's smart and not afraid to show it in a man's world, she's willing to compromise in order to get things done, she stands by her friend and tries to help him. the film has been written like a suspenseful chase, rather than a costume drama - Turing's beautifully drawn - flawed but genius, destroyed by social prejudice despite the fact that he saved millions of lives. a very useful starting point for a discussion about how to be a strong effective woman in a man's world; how to live with dignity in the face of prejudice; how to value the best in people and forgive them their failings; how the world has changed for the better but there is more to be done.

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Positive role models
Adult Written bymaggie123 January 24, 2015

good but kind of slow

Took my sons to see this movie. Thought it would be great movie since it was oscar nominated, and about the beginning conceptualization of computers. It was good, but if you have kids who are really used to action packed movies it was a bit slow moving even for me. Trailer always make it seem more exciting action packed than the actual movie. It was good. However, very strong homosexual theme to it and taking boys it was a little awkward having not known. Loved how they showed women can be as smart as men. Lots of good things to think and talk about afterwards. Def. an interesting historical movie.

This title contains:

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Adult Written byPendragon January 11, 2015

Great movie for older kids

This movie movingly addresses themes of friendship, honor, bullying and intolerance while expertly telling the story of how the Enigma code was cracked by the British in WWII. The main character is homosexual and his life story is significantly shaped by the intolerance of the times and the complexities it brought to his friendships and professional interactions. Full appreciation of this story requires a certain maturity and sophistication on the part of the viewer that I find absent in many thirteen year olds (especially if the kind of bullying I have seen in school is any indication of the general teen population). Accordingly, I would deem this movie appropriate for older kids (15 and up). I am sure there are some 13-year olds who are mature enough to comprehend many of the complexities the movie explores but I do not think this would hold true for the majority of the 13-year old population.

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Adult Written byBestPicture1996 December 31, 2014

Outstanding cast leads unbelievable true story

What a way to cap off the 2014 movie year in theaters than with "The Imitation Game," a serious contender for a Best Picture nomination. Benedict Cumberbatch, in the first leading role I've seen him in, destroys as Alan Turing, the closeted genius mathematician who maybe didn't have the best people skills, but invented the prototype to what would later be known as computers. It's rare to see Cumberbatch smile in the role: Turing was such a tortured man and that comes through in his performance. His internal struggles with his sexuality, childhood trauma and the lack of respect he faces when he comes to work for MI6 to crack the German's Enigma machine. There's a lot of deceit and lies in "TIG," and it's usually not too complicated to understand. Keira Knightley is also enjoyable as his co-worker and confidant. It's astounding to find out that this man prevented the war from going on longer and suffering more casualties, even if that did mean having to let some intercepted messages go. The movie has a complex morality, but ultimately will show teens and adults alike the importance to feel comfortable in your own skin.

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Positive role models
Adult Written byFactomatician November 27, 2014

Oh my goodness.

If this website could do its research that'd be great. Alan Turing was a mathematician not a scientist. My goodness!

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Adult Written byBella S. December 13, 2016

Not innapropriate at all but might be a little advanced for little children

This movie is absolutely worthwhile and teaches a great lesson to children. There is only one sexual REFERENCE (keyword: reference) that most children under 13 or 14 will absolutely not be able to detect and it is not even that bad. There are a few scenes with people drinking alcohol, but extremely responsibly and not in a reckless fashion. Also, there are many scenes where people are smoking. For younger children, I recommend telling them that in the time period that this movie was set, smoking was completely normal and nobody knew it was bad for you. The reason this movie was rated PG 13 was because it is advanced and takes at least a 10 year old to fully comprehend. This movie teaches an important lesson: if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. It is really sad at the end. Bonus points that this movie is historical. Overall, this movie is not one to miss but might be a bit advanced for younger elementary school children.

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Adult Written byveronicachavaf April 16, 2015

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byMsMoreno June 16, 2018

Beware of several graphic sexual discussions for younger children

There are two graphic conversations about sex (Turing with male prostitutes and another male character receiving oral sex) in the movie. Beware if you are showing this film to more than just your own children. The Common Sense Media review leaves this out. If it were not for those two scenes, I would give this film 5 stars and say that it was a great movie for even younger children.

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Positive role models
Sexy stuff
Adult Written bySamantha I. June 18, 2017

The Imitation Game

Overall, a great movie. There is very minimal to no swearing or drugs. So that is not a problem. But, there is one sexual reference in one of the interview scenes. That is the only part that I believe that has provocation to skip. Also, I don't think that kids under the age of 13 will really appreciate it or get it at all. They might not understand the theme overall or just appreciate. I think that one reason that you should wait to show it to 13 year olds is because that is the age that they will really understand the whole message. Again, great movie overall. It also has a great historical plot that will teach kids a bit more about World War 2. It has great cast, script, etc.
Adult Written byTheia April 10, 2015

A false and insulting portrayal of a great thinker

Alan Turing was a great mathematician and inventor, also a homosexual. This the film got right and nothing else. The script focused on slickness and hype, turning a brilliant socially useful team player into an obnoxious neurotic. For slandering this great thinker and creating a pop image of him that is totally false, the script writer won the academy award!

This title contains:

Consumerism
Parent of a 17, 17, 17, 17, and 17 year old Written bySmaug l. April 12, 2017

One of my FAVOURITE movies

This movie is my favourite historical piece. If your not into history, you will still love it. It is great no matter how old you are. An inspirational movie telling the story of the best historical figure of all time. It is a wonderfeuol film for the family and family pet because it involves awesomeness!!!

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Positive role models
Parent of a 10 and 14 year old Written byChris V. October 7, 2016

Good Movie / Be Cautious

Inspiring movie with very good acting. The struggle with sexual identity is done very well. Be Cautious of a scene where oral sex is explicitly discussed during a celebration at a bar. (The scene proceeds // SPOILER ALERT // an engagement of the main characters).

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Positive role models
Parent of a 4 and 8 year old Written byAmelie L. February 3, 2018

Moving Drama For Teens

Me and my wife saw this film in cinema and I was brought to tears! Alan and his team defy the odds and persevered through the naysayers and doubters to try and save lives during WW2. In the process Alan is found to be gay and is arrested and later chemically castrated and kills himself. In one scene the group decides to let a naval ship be sunk and the troops aboard to die to avoid the Germans finding out they solved the Enigma Machine. The movie is a great drama about perseverance and love and families can talk about discrimination against marginalised groups and sexism and how the discrimination of the time has changed.

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Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written bykyleReeselives August 19, 2018

Such a powerful movie.

There are no words that can sufficiently describe how great this movie was. It was based on a story that few people knew even after it was declassified and it does a fantastic job with it's source material. But what really made this movie wasn't just the fantastic music or the perfect performances, it was the screenplay. That screenplay was full of some very powerful moments, a cast of flawed but sympathetic characters, and some possibly timeless messages. The message is that a person is a person, it doesn't matter what their sex, race, or (in this movie's case) sexual orientation, is, and of course the underlying message that "sometimes it's the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine". Alan is just a great character, he starts off seeming like one of those common "jackass genius" stereotypes, but he grows significantly as a character, he learns to work with the people he has to work with and even become friends with them. That in turn benefits him when he needs it most. All in all, Alan is a very human character who is flawed like everyone else, goes through intense trials, like everyone else, but unlike a lot of people, (especially in today's world) he perseveres through all those tough times and eventually gets rewarded for his actions. Sure, the reward doesn't stay as a reward, but if it weren't for him, the world would be a much different place (in a bad way). The reason I put my age rating up so high is because although it has some great messages and role models people are in desperate need of, it does have some themes that would go over younger people's heads. The overlying theme is homosexuality, that was a word I didn't understand at the time, but if you're uncomfortable with showing your kids a movie that deals with such issues. Also, it's got homophobia as a theme as well, while the film itself treats it's homosexual characters as human beings, some of the people in the film don't do so. Obviously, they're not role models or even main characters, most of them, but even so, it might not be a good idea to show kids a movie that has hateful and discriminatory people in it. It's pretty subtle with the homosexuality theme, but the theme of homophobia might be a bit much for younger audiences. That being said, it's still a great movie that should be shown to older audiences for that very reason, to show them that hate is unnecessary baggage that no one should carry with them. Other good messages I can name are that friendship and love are what make the world go around, that people should be judged for who they are, not what they are, and that perseverance pays off. I definitely recommend this movie.

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Parent of a 10 year old Written byBinge W. June 23, 2018

TV-PG

The movie was awesome. The violence includes bullies putting a person under floorboards. A guy is gay. A use of the a word. Plus some sexual references it is likely it could go over kids heads.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Sexy stuff