I must like this or I wouldn't own a DVD copy. (by c_parky)
I first viewed this film the way its makers would want me to - on the big screen, and with friends. It commanded my attention and concentration, which, I believe, is the way good movies should. The post-viewing dinner and analysis made me want to go back and see it again, in spite of the fact I thought my absorption was total. In the event I waited until I was able to rent, then purchase, the DVD. So my opinion is based on multiple viewings, which says much about the complexity and detail ENIGMA provides.I am not surprised to read comments from others who believe it was too complex after just <more>
one viewing. But I am surprised by the diversity of opinion of its direction, acting, scripting, design and cinematography - all of which I found to be of the highest standard.This is one of those rare films that does not require an audience to suspend dis-belief. It is primarily fact-based, and while, like most fact-based movies, some events are concatenated, characters combined or dramatized, the presentation oozes credibility. Is it entertaining? Absolutely. Do the romantic plots and themes detract? Not at all. Is the code-breaking boring? No, but, like most who viewed it with some knowledge of the German encryption machine from which the movie takes its title, it may have left stuff out that would be nice to know about. Other reviewers have referenced web sites and publications that contain the detail and I have sourced material that has satisfied my curiosity.It is not a documentary, in spite of the fact that director, Apted, is an eminent documentary maker. It is a human drama set amongst the surreal environment of the code-breaking complex of Bletchley Park. I can't comment on how faithful Stoppard's screenplay is to Harris' book, not having read it. And it is specious for anyone to make comparisons in any case.Does the film downplay the Polish contribution to the Ultra activities? I don't think so. They captured an early 3-rotor Enigma machine and copied it and successfully cracked the codes then in use. What the English operatives captured was the later 3-rotor machine with the front patch panel, which was a quantum leap ahead of the pre-war machines. Turing and his associates then created the 'bombes' - reproduced in exquisite detail for the movie with assistance of the curator of the Bletchley Park Museum. Incidentally, Britain built a number of these bombes for US intelligence, which the US still have. But that's the sort of detail that is not essential to the execution of the plot or the enjoyment of its portrayal.I have now enjoyed viewing ENIGMA so often I have lost count. And it has done nothing but whet my appetite for further, while less frequent viewings. I can add nothing to the erudite comments of the more discerning reviewers regarding the performances of Scott, Winslett, Northam, Burrows and their superb supporting cast members. They have crafted one of the finest wartime movies I have had the pleasure to experience. An absorbing and fascinating movie. I rate it 10 out of 10.Postscript - added 30/07/2011.Incidentally, at my first viewing of the movie, I was impressed by the performance of a rather portly, bespectacled young actress. It was not until the post-viewing dinner my curiosity was sated, somewhat ashamedly but in Ms Winslett's favour , for failing to recognise this talented lady. I later discovered - and it is obvious in the final scene of the film - Kate was, in fact, pregnant at the time. Carefully disguised during shooting, her condition simply made her character all the more believable.
This movies was certainly not what I was expecting, however I was more than intrigued with what I saw.If you can forget history for a minute and focus on the screenplay, you will see that this is an entertaining movie full of quality acting and a story that always keeps you guessing. The actors set the scene perfectly for what Bletchley Park must have been like back in wartime.I was also fascinated by the love story, especially the myriad of emotions displayed by Tom as he battled a heavy heart.Definitely one to watch when you're in the mood for watching a movie that makes you think.
A beautifully crafted film reminiscent of classic spy yarns. (by templar8)
Michael Apted's Enigma is not a film for today's movie market. The story and atmosphere, the characters and their development, all unfortunately don't easily find a place in the world of 21st century mainstream cinema. There isn't an abundance of CG, there aren't a bevy of fresh young faces bound for the covers of People and Entertainment Weekly, and the film's pacing is rather methodical and delicate.It is for these reasons that Enigma is nothing short of exquisite.Sitting in a darkened theater, Enigma's prospects for viewers shunned by box-office blockbusters, <more>
those who often prefer novels to popcorn fare, are daunting. From the start, the haunting beauty of John Barry's score transports the viewer directly into Apted's vision, a stunningly directed piece which inspires the eye as much as the ear.The cast is brilliant in their portrayals, particularly Dougray Scott and Jeremy Northam. Scott's persona gives the character of Tom Jericho precisely the foundation it needs: dark, brooding, and utterly tragic. Northam, on the other hand, provides a great foil to Scott in his very intelligent and pointed rendering of Wigram.In the end, Enigma is reminiscent of classic spy thrillers, comparable to the likes of Alister MacLean and John Higgins. For many, it will be a return to classic filmmaking long overdue.We've all sat in our homes over the years, watching classics from the golden era of Hollywood, wondering endlessly "Why don't they make films like this anymore?" Finally, we have a reply.
Enigma is not for the war buffs who want historical accuracy. Although the historical setting at the headquarters for code breaking during world war 2 is solid enough the characters we meet are fictional.The main character Thomas Jericho clearly has some connections to Alan Turing, but the differences are equally apparent to those who know the historical accounts, so anyone searching for a story about Turing should look elsewhere.If you can let go of this there is a good spy story to be had. Kate Winslet, Saffron Burrows and Dougray Scott are all excellent in the leading roles, but the <more>
supporting cast is equally good. Jeremy Northam's spy master is one of many highly entertaining portrayals.The intertwined stories along the way are perhaps more captivating than the main plot, but the ride we are taken on is well worth it.
Love it, gets better with every viewing (by Jellybeansucker)
Period WW2 geekfest movie shot with admirable British restraint. Well cast and fairly well scripted, if a little complex, but very well acted fictional thriller based on the Nazi code messaging system for its frighteningly deadly unter seaboot corps in its North Atlantic theatre destroying Allied supply ship convoys, principally en route to bulk up the soviet Union's resistance against the might of the of the German Panzer Corps, Wermacht front line infantry, Waffen SS and winter trained mountain corps. If you want to see them all in action then don't watch this film but other action <more>
based war movies with them in.This isn't an action war movie, the closest it gets to it is a wound up maths geek biffing his boss on the chin. This is like a pure strategy console game, a long puzzle giving us piece upon piece to solve. It's not fabulously handled by the writer-director partnership in this regard, but the drama certainly is. This is a complex strategic mystery thriller made by straight drama experts rather than complex spy thriller experts but nonetheless I love it, because they get the feel of it spot on and get exceptional performances out of Winslet in particular as a believable female nerd, and Northam as the flamboyant posh police inspector in charge of the high level case.Has a great old fashioned atmosphere helped along with a superbly chosen score of contemporary swing music and Mendlesson, very classy! Highly recommended for a rare geek's look at the non combat roles played in the real war against the dense grain of the overwhelmingly action movie infested WW2 canon.
We just turned this on because it was on cable, and were pleasantly surprised! Dougray Scott is excellent in this movie. Not only is it a great historical lesson, but it's suspenseful and a nice love story as well.
Nutritious whole brain entertainment for the mind (by G )
"Enigma" blends fact with fiction as it tells a carefully crafted story about the unseen and unsung heros of British WWII code-cracking who decrypted the infamous "Enigma" code which Germany used to command it's U-boat armada in the North Atlantic putting allied convoys in peril. With plenty of history and super-secret code cracking to feed the left brain and a dramatic tale of a top code-cracker and his surreptitious affairs of heart and mind for the right brain, "Enigma" has something to offer everyone. The film manages it's intricate plot well, offers <more>
solid performances, blends intrigues with lots of WWII crypto-speak, and moves along swiftly while staying real and avoiding the usual excesses of filmdom. A smart flick for smart minds. B+
Not a war movie for the masses (by philip_vanderveken)
'Enigma' is the kind of war movie that may not be loved by many people, mostly because there isn't much of action to be seen in it. At least, not the kind of action they would like to see: no heroically fighting soldiers, no breathtaking dogfights between the RAF and the Luftwaffe... But people like me, who are deeply interested in every aspect of the Second World War and who can appreciate a good story, certainly will love it.It's March 1943 and the crypto-analysts at Britain's code-breaking center have discovered that the German U-boats have changed their Enigma Code. At <more>
first the English were able to read all their messages, but now they are back where they first started ... nowhere. Their only hope is the brilliant young man named Tom Jericho, who was able to crack the first code and who'll now have to do the same with the new one. In the meantime Tom's girlfriend Claire has disappeared and at the same time it is believed that there is a spy in the ranks of the code-breakers. When looking for his lost girlfriend and investigating her personal life, he uncovers some personal and international betrayals...However it is clear that the main story of this movie is fictional, the entire movie is certainly interesting to watch. I mean, I have never had the chance to see how this enigma machines really worked, so I really appreciated the fact that it was shown so well in this movie. What I also liked in this movie was the love story that certainly wasn't too corny or overwhelming. It was an interesting part of the story that never bothered me, it just made the movie even better. As I already said, this may not be the kind of war movie for the masses, but I liked it and that's why I give it at least a 7.5/10, perhaps even an 8/10.
And this Movie is definitely worth seeing. It's so nice to go to these cinema factories and be treated with a good film, rather than the tripe which always comes out of Hollywood. Enigma is a quirky, happy go lucky film about codebreakers during the war, with a bit of espionage and a bit of romance, in just the right proportions. Go and see it, it is not too taxing on the brain really as someone else here said, it is certainly not mind numbingly boring Hollywood fodder.