Enigma [VHS]
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Product Description

In this twisty thriller about Britain's secret code breakers during World War II, Tom Jericho (Dougray Scott, best known as the villain of Mission Impossible 2) devised the means to break the Nazi Enigma code, but a relationship gone awry sent the erratic genius into a breakdown. Now the Nazis have switched their codes, just as huge convoys of ships with crucial supplies are crossing the Atlantic--and squads of U-boats are hunting for them. With the help of his former lover's roommate (the ever-adorable Kate Winslet) and under the watchful eye of a suspicious intelligence officer (Jeremy Northam), Jericho struggles to figure out if there's a spy among the code breakers as they fight to crack the new Nazi ciphers. The plot gets extremely tricky but the excellent cast keeps you engaged. Written by the extremely tricky playwright-screenwriter Tom Stoppard (who cowrote Shakespeare in Love and Brazil). --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews:

  • Enigma
    This film is a valuable addition to anyone building a library of excellent acting, writing, and directing. Its historical setting, interesting characters, and believable conclusion results in a film worth seeing over and over again. It was good to know how many people found "Enigma" to be a great contribution to film archives. ...more info
  • Smart thriller that weaves historical fact into suspenseful fiction
    Anyone who has watched World War II documentaries on the HISTORY cable channel will recognize the name Bletchley Park. And the title Enigma will induce images of that strange looking typewriter that caused so many problems for Allied code-breakers. The operation lay classified for 30 years and also led to the world's first modern computer (which took up an entire room at the complex and had the appropriate title Colossus). This movie manages to make what would appear to be an incredibly dull subject (a fact the director freely admits in an accompanying documentary) of code-breaking, interesting by giving us a colorful array of characters. On parade here is the obsessed mathematician Thomas Jericho (played by Dougray Scott) to the mousy Hester Wallace (Kate Winslet), the seductive Claire (Saffron Burrows) and the mysterious secret agent Wigram (Jeremy Northam). The movie's pace is also helped by an interesting mystery that ties in an actual fact from World War II (that lay shrouded in mystery until 1990) and a race against time to break a code before a critical shipping convoy can be ambushed in the mid-Atlantic.
    Really the plot here is first-rate. I would go into detail here except I do not want to spoil it for the viewer. There is a clear cause and effect and everything you think might just be a subplot or an unexplained thread in the plot is all tied up and explained by the end of the movie. Even something as unrelated as why the German's have chosen to change the settings on Enigma at that time is explained.
    The movie opens to find Jericho arriving back at Bletchley Park. He had previously been there as a code-breaker who had gained notoriety as the man who had broken the Enigma code, but had been relieved of duty after suffering a mental breakdown over Saffron Burrows's character. He is back at the Park following a change in the Enigma settings by the Germans.
    He arrives to find Claire missing and some open hostility towards him by the director of the center. Teaming up with Winslet's character he embarks on a quest to discover the truth behind Claire's disappearance, a mission that will take up across the UK countryside and into direct conflict with Northam's secret agent, who is on the trail of a traitor at the Park.
    And all the while the convoy steams across the Atlantic towards the waiting German U-boats.
    The movie might be a little slow for some. There is no big gun battle or hordes of armies clashing with each other, even the car chase seems a rather mundane affair (as Jericho and Hester attempt to outrace the authorities) as opposed to the more flashy Hollywood chases. But its in tune with the general mood and does not detract from the complex plot of the movie.
    Expertly crafted by Mchael Apted (who directed the James Bond movie THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH) and written by acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard (based on a novel by Robert Harris) this movie is a treat for thriller fans that does not insult ones intellgence. But instead ratchets up the suspense in an enjoyable cocktail of espionage, love, action, suspense and dramatic tension....more info
  • Good, but beware of little tweaking of truth
    It is a provocative, intelligent, and well-done movie, however not strictly based on facts. In short, it's not a masterpiece, but I would still recommend this film to people interested in the history of the Second World War. However, it must be taken with a pinch of salt. The main plot of the movie is not correct. The movie unfolds around an inaccurate premise that the Germans used the Enigma machine to cipher messages related to massacre of Polish officers. It is obvious why the authors did it - it was a device to link Polish motif with the cracking of the Enigma code. It is the fact, the Poles were very helpful to the British intelligence in cracking the German Enigma code. They actually delivered the top secret German Enigma machine to the hands of the head of British intelligence, who personally met Polish courier at the London's Victoria station. It is true; the cracking the Enigma code was crucial for protecting the US-British Atlantic convoys against German U-boats. However, the movie does not do the Poles any service by portraying the Polish code-breaker as a traitor who was willing to sell the Germans top British secrets just to harm the Soviets (as a pay back for the massacre of the Polish officers). It is not clear why would he favor Germans over Russians. After all, it was the Germans who were currently clearing off the Polish lands for the German settlers following the Nazi policy of expanding 'Lebensraum' at the expense of (using their terminology) 'Slavic vermin'. On the other hand, why the Germans would be so stupid as to cipher the massages, which potentially would be so damaging for the alliance of their enemies? The reality is, the Germans openly radio broadcasted in April 1943 the facts about what they found in Katyn forest, hoping to damage Soviet-Polish and Soviet-British alliance. The fact is, they did just that, although more in the long run. In the sort run, only few people even in AK (Polish Army) leadership circle in London were willing to believe the information transmitted by the Germans. Even those few who did, the British were extremely annoyed with. But in the long run, this crime of Stalin and Beria's NKVD committed in Byelorussian (not Ukrainian, as in the movie) forest would cloud the Russian-Polish relations for many years to come. The movie is incorrect, but raises questions worth asking......more info
  • Hackneyed; mostly limps at a snail's pace.
    "The thinking man's thriller"? I failed to see this -- either I'm not a "thinking man", or the phrase is hogwash, for all I see in Enigma is a slow-moving, pretentious, loquacious film with very few thrilling moments and an interesting backdrop that's rendered limp by bad direction and pacing.

    First let me get the good points over with. Dougray Scott, who was simply impotent as the lovesick schoolboy villain of M:I-2, fares much better here as master codebreaker Tom Jericho. This role requires much less charm and power , and Scott's strange face and nasal voice generally work well to convey the character's zipped-up manners. The Tom Stoppard script, however, is an exercise in triviality. The backdrop of the Enigma machine and "Shark" code is infinitely fascinating, but Stoppard put it into the context of a cliched and vaguely developed romantic liaison which rings false and generates little emotional response. The infallible Saffron Burrows, as Claire, does well and oozes intelligence and sensuality as usual, but the script really gives her little room to move. Director Michael Apted's attention-deficit editing renders the vital central relationship between Jericho and Claire unsympathetic by neglect; the legions of poorly paced flashbacks simply distract from the emotional thrust of the characters, and the one scene between Jericho and Claire that's supposed to move us -- the bedroom scene where she tries to take his notes -- rings completely false. So despite the best efforts of Scott and Burrows, Kate Winslet sashays in with a solid turn, downplaying her looks to play the mopey Hester with dogged charm and enough spunk to win us over.

    Apted, who had shown his incompetent hand with Nell (one of Jodie Foster's most villified films) and The World Is Not Enough (the worst James Bond film since the mid-'80s), once again deserves most of the blame. The aforementioned flashback madness is one thing; Apted also has a tendency to fall in love with establishing shots, and to let scenes slow to a crawl. The excruciating first scene between Scott and Jeremy Northam (with the worst performance I've ever seen him give) is simply unbearable. Enigma has one of the worst car chases I've ever seen in a film, and most of the plot strands are so badly mashed together than the series of "memory" setups near the end is too little, too late. The film didn't keep me on board with the chain of detective work and plot developments, so the ending is a bust, especially its conclusions as to Claire's character. In order for the ending to make sense, Claire should have been set up as the true enigma to begin with -- and Saffron Burrows would have been more than up to the task of dominating the story. Instead, she's given so little time that we're never invited to ask who she really is, what she's like. So when she suddenly gains importance in the 11th hour, I simply shrugged it off.

    Enigma, to me, is too jealous of giving away vital information necessary for the audience to understand, rejoice in, and further explore its story developments. And given the quality of the cast and the freshness of the topic, its failure is all the more deplorable....more info
  • Enigma
    Enigma is a very interesting look at code breaking and espionage in Britain during World War II. The two main stars, Dougray Scott and Kate
    Winslet do a wonderful job of portraying two intelligence people who
    uncover clues that lead to the breaking of the German Enigma machine which
    had been used to encrypt German messages between submarines. There is
    action interspersed with suspense and a great supporting cast. I highly
    recommend it....more info
  • Terrific historical thriller!!
    I live in Germany and so was able to see this at a theatre in Frankfurt which shows movies in their original English versions (which is perfect since I don't speak a lick of German and would also like to hear the original voices of these high-paid stars). The show was great! I didn't have many expectations but the acting was superb; Northam, Scott, and Winslet just made the movie. The settings were so very well done that I felt transported to that time and place. Its romantic and tragic with history and high drama. It never drags. One of the best movies I've seen in the past year....more info
  • Great Movie
    I saw this movie for the first time this month (Nov.2008) and can't believe I some how missed it in the theaters.
    I highly recommend this if you like Kate Winslet as I she played a great part in the film.
    I also never knew much about the German Enigma machine, so this movie really perked my interest in it's use and origin.
    Keeps you interested the whole time you're watching.
    Ed...more info
  • Captivating, Thrilling little Movie
    What an amazing little movie this one is. It opens up a little known aspect of the Second World War and succesfully creates a thrilling story that twists and turns in some rather unexpected ways.

    How do you combine U-Boats with the Katyn Massacre, blend in code breaking and a fascinating love story?? Really quite an achievement. All these elements work together nearly flawlessly and keep you engaged throughout. The performances are engaging and keep you focused on an event that still disturbs us today.

    Very little attention has ever been given to the Katyn Massacre and yet this movie succeeds in informing the viewer both of what occured and more importantly, about the political cover-up that followed until Gorbachev came to power in the former Soviet Union.

    This gem of a movie covers some new and expansive territory and takes full advantage of the talented actors involved.

    Wait for a rainy day, grab some Earl Grey and a flannel and engage in some code-breaking.
    ...more info
  • Sheer excellence
    I have lost count of the number of times we have watched this film. It never loses its appeal, either. Romance, intrigue, intelligent adventure, a beautiful soundtrack, and great historical fiction combined in one package. The only drawback is that one does need some background knowledge to catch everything in the first sitting. I suppose you could say it's more demanding in that respect than most movies today, but it's so worth it....more info
  • great mixing of characters plot and history
    Saw his one on television. No description can do it justice. Scenes breathtaking. Extremely well researched. Characters and costume completely in period along with diolog. Plot filled with a nice mix if cross relating twists that don't leave the audience confused.

    A gem....more info
  • Lost Potential in Spy Drama...
    A young mathematical genius, Tom Jericho, is returning to the British code-breaking center during World War II after he has been sent away due to personal problems. They are now trying to crack the new code that the Nazis use when they communicate with their U-boats, since it seems like the Nazi's are now trying to attack convoys coming from the US with food, ammunition, and other equipment. The British Intelligence Service is very suspicious of how the Nazi;s knew that they had cracked the former code and they begin to scrutinize Tom's past. Enigma can be described as a cat and mouse game that has a soul, but lacks flesh....more info
  • Good flick, slightly inaccurate historically
    I hate to be picky..but the Enigma system was a stream cypher, NOT a code. A code encyphers the same item "battleship" say, in a finite number of ways. Eventually they repeat. The Enigma system would NOT repeat (in less than many years). That was it's strength. The movie publicises a little known, and scarcely appreciated part of WW2. Perhaps a major reason why we are not speaking German now. In my opinion: well written, convincingly acted, somewhat unkind to the Poles (who provided invaluable help to the Allies with their cryptographic skills - and were shabbily treated as a reward), but well worth a look. More historically accurate material is available from the Bletchley Park site for those interested in persuing cryptanalysis more deeply. Cheers.....more info
  • Historically Inaccurate Farce
    Watch "Enigma" to kill some time, but don't hold on to the presentation as history. The real story of the Nazi code-breaking team and Alan Turing must be too controversial for a film. "Enigma" goes beyond taking creative license -- it rewrites history right down to the persona of the lead character. Consider it "loosely inspired" by the facts. A well done and well filmed piece of fiction nonetheless....more info
  • Enigmatic Urban Legend
    I am not sure why people like this movie so much. It is a bit confusing as there are actually two separate plot lines going on at the same time. The actors and actresses try hard and do very well, but the characterizations are unreal. It is hard to imagine the mathematicians at Benchely Park could be so down-to-earth and humane as portrayed in the movie. I suppose there are shades of Alan Turing in Tom Jericho's character, but it is rather difficult to envision a mathematician being an action hero. The handling of codebreaking is a lot better than "A Beautiful Mind", though....more info
  • Surprised
    I am suprised this movie is not being released until 2002, Saffron Burrows plays an amazing supporting role & Kate Winslet is unrecognisable (looks like Ab Fab's Saffron)

    Watch this movie, it's a good old fashioned movie & shows a key point in WW2....more info

  • An exceptional WWII thriller
    I had not heard of this movie prior to seeing it on DVD, so it must not have gotten much (if any) of a U.S. release. The movie is a thriller set in England during World War II and centers around the ultra secret group that broke the U-Boat code named Enigma. The group has run into trouble, the Germans have changed the code and the leading member of the team Tom (Dougray Scott) has had a mental crack up because of a romantic relationship gone bad. That love interest Claire, played by Saffron Burrows, has also gone missing and to top it off it is it has become known that a German spy has infiltrated the group. Tom and Claire's roommate Hestor, played by Kate Winslet set out to solve the mystery.

    What surprised me the most about this movie was how intelligent it was. The movie takes some unexpected twists and turns, and when the spy is finally revealed it is truly surprising who it is as are the spy's reasons for turning against the Allies. It is very realistic and it very much takes into account the politics of the time and some of the facts about the start of World War II and some of our allies. The acting is also very good, especially by Kate Winslet who shines no matter what. If you are in the mood for a well thought out and intelligent thriller I highly recommend this wonderful movie.

    ...more info
  • An uncommonly fine film
    In retrospect, seeing in films such as this most recent superb ENIGMA all the sophistication of intelligence devices, communication scramblers, and networking of spies and counterspies used by the Germans in WWII, it is rather amazing that they lost the war. But then as this fine story reveals, the English were equally adept at decoding and undermining the German efforts. War is ugly and futile, but the mechinations that oil the brutal machine are morbidly fascinating. ENIGMA, in a fine script by Tom Stoppard and sensitively made visual by director Michael Apted, explains these complex phenomena adroitly. The movie is visually stunning, moving from the intricacies of the Intelligence machinery behind closed doors to the misty, wistful English countryside. It would be difficult to imagine a finer cast for these roles than Dougray Scott, Jeremy Northam, Kate Winslet, and Saffron Burrows. For an 'old-fashioned thriller' based on an intelligent, literate script rather than on the usual fire and explosions, treat yourself to this little gem....more info
  • Beware older DVD players
    I heard great things about this movie, but our DVD player won't read the disc (we have a Toshiba 2109 which is 3 years old). I have heard that upgrades of DVD players are sometimes needed, but it's hardly worth the expense. We watch a lot of movies, and this is the first disc we've used that seems to be incompatible with our player. (we tried 2 copies of this movie to be certain it wasn't just 1 bad disc)...more info
  • There is more than one mystery to solve in this WWII film
    If you remember the film "U-571," the Hollywood version of how the Allies got a hold of the Enigma decryption device (with Americans replacing the British), then "Enigma" continues the story in terms of how code breaking was a key part of the Allied War effort. The setting is Bletchley Park, which was the center for England's decoding operation. Tom Jericho (Dougray Scott), a mathematician who has something of a dangerous mind, has been brought back for a big project. Apparently he was the star of the show until he suffered a nervous breakdown until something happened between him and his girlfriend, Claire Romilly (Saffrom Burrows). No one is quite sure about him, but the Germans have changed their encryption methods just as the first of several large convoys are heading across the Atlantic. The British need to know where the German U-boats are or the war could be lost.

    "Enigma" is basically two movies. One is about the effort to crack the new German code, trying to catch a break that can make all the difference, and having to face the prospect of sacrificing ships, cargo, and men to get that break. The other is more of a traditional thriller as Tom tries to find out what has happened to Claire, who has disappeared. He is aided and abetted by Hester Wallace (Kate Winslet), who is underemployed in the war effort as a clerk. But as he investigates Claire's disappearance he keeps encountering Wigram (Jeremy Northam), who appears to be some sort of security agent. The problem is you can never be sure if anybody is whom they appear to be in this film. You know there is a traitor running around here and even Tom, because of his mental problems, is a suspect.

    Ultimately it is the second plotline that overwhelms the first, and if you are looking for insights into how these geniuses did their work you will get little along those lines. You are also going to be rather surprised at what the big clue ends up being and the abrupt turn in the plot that results from that twist. On the one hand you certainly never see it coming, but on the other how it fits into the complex story is less than satisfying. Fortunately there are the two decidedly different mysteries going to keep our attention as well as the performances by Scott and Winslet, who keep their respectively unstable and frumpy characters from becoming caricatures.

    "Enigma" also seems to be two films in terms of the pacing. The first three-quarters of director Michael Apted's two-hour film is a bit slow and then we end up racing through the big develops at the end. It is not often where you feel that a film is dragging and then suddenly find it rushing by like this one does in the end. When you have a script by Tom Stoppard ("Shakespeare in Love"), based on the novel by Robert Harris ("Fatherland"), cinematography by Seamus McGarvey ("The Hours"), and a score by John Barry ("The Lion in Winter," "Out of Africa," "Dances With Wolves) and there are problems with the movie you have to look at who was making the decisions on things like editing. Consequently, this 2001 film will probably be of more interest to students of intelligence work in World War II more than to fans of the thriller genre.
    ...more info
  • Enigma
    It was gripping right from the start it was so true to the spirit that made England what it is. Needless to say I do not think that I would be so brave as those who gave their lives for their country like thay did. The pictures of blechley and how thay managed to crack the code were supurb miss this film at your peril, it will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

    Shaun Warburton (from England)...more info

  • A Graham Greene-ian Entertainment
    "Enigma" is an absorbing World War II drama of suspense as long as one takes it as what Graham Greene called "an entertainment" and does not press it too hard for historical accuracy. Because it has several subplots, which become clear only after repeated viewings, the movie leaves the viewer grasping at a few loose ends that are never tied up completely. With an intelligent script by playwright Tom Stoppard, "Enigma" works best when it focuses upon the Bletchley Park team of classicists, mathematicians, and other academics working on cracking the intercepts of German submarine traffic in the North Atlantic. It works less well when it veers off into car, train, and motorboat chases. Nevertheless, clever plot twists, atmospheric English locations, and a talented cast, which includes Kate Winslet, Jeremy Northam, Tom Hollander, Matthew MacFadyen, and Corin Redgrave, ensure that the viewer will be thoroughly entertained. ...more info
  • Surprising witty thriller
    I had never heard of this movie before and it was recommended to me by Amazon. I knew the story of Bletchley Park and of Alan Turing. I was truly surprise how good of a movie this was. It has very clever dialog, surprising action and many mysteries to be solved.
    I had never seen the lead actor who plays Tom Jerico but his adaptation is superb. He looks and acts like a computer geek from the 80's except that he seems to get girls.
    Kate Winslet is surprising as the beautiful geeky Hester Wallace. You really want to team up with her and follow her through the mystery. Saffron Burrows plays a great Harry Lime in the film from The Third man. Everybody is talking about her though the picture but you never really see her in first person. The color in the flashback sequences is brilliant giving more of a dream like look. The director explains this in the commentary.
    Jeremy Northam is very sardonic in this movie as the super spy sleuth. He seems to have insight into every mystery but never seems to tell you how much he really knows.
    My favorite part was the double code breaking scene and the action that went on there.
    The extra on this DVD are better than average and give you some more insight into the movie.
    This is one of the best spy movies that I have seen in a long while much better than most of the liberal self severing ones that I have seen recently like Syriana.
    I would recommend this to people who like clever, action thrillers with some romance. I think it would be a great one to show to a date.
    ...more info
  • A Mystery wrapped in an Enigma
    It's WWII and while the Brits have an Enigma machine and can break the codes they needed a base in order to translate the submarine codes. Now the German's have changed their manual and the submarine codes are unreadable again. They call back Tom Jericho who'd had a breakdown when his girlfriend Claire broke up with him.

    Tom suspects more is going on and Claire is missing. He talks Hester (Claire's roommate) into helping him. (There's a nice subplot here on women as Hester scored higher than all the men code breakers but is only allowed to be a clerk). Hester and Tom uncover the fact that there is a mole in their midst and that all is not well with the Russian who are now our allies.

    There is more than enough mystery to go around. To break the code again Tom needs records of the codes sent from the submarines as they prepare to attack to get enough to break them -- they may have to let a convey be destroyed. "The good of the many must out weight the good of the few." Some very tough choices were made during the war and this movie gives you some insight into that....more info
  • 2 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    A rather tepid thriller that wastes a quietly interesting performance by Kate Winslet, Enigma follows a bored Dougray Scott through a pedestrian series of events--look elsewhere....more info
  • Beautiful, yet something missing...
    A young mathematical genius, Tom Jericho, is returning to the British code-breaking center during World War II after he has been sent away due to personal problems. They are now trying to crack the new code that the Nazis use when they communicate with their U-boats, since it seems like the Nazi's are now trying to attack convoys coming from the US with food, ammunition, and other equipment. The British Intelligence Service is very suspicious of how the Nazi;s knew that they had cracked the former code and they begin to scrutinize Tom's past. Enigma can be described as a cat and mouse game that has a soul, but lacks flesh....more info
  • Just Doesn't Gel
    Any movie in which the star spends his penultimate scene explaining what's been happening, is in trouble. Humphrey Bogart managed it in "The Maltese Falcon," but Dougray Scott is no Bogart. As a leading man he lacks just about everything. I caught this film on TV after the opening credits had rolled and didn't recognize Kate Winslet until her name showed up at the end. The plot comes at you from every point on the compass: Britain, Russia, Germany, Poland, America; but basically it's about a German spy working inside the code-breaking team in the UK during WW2. You're left at the end with more or less a big "Huh?" ...more info
  • It's gonna be incredible!
    Like all Kate Winslet movies, this movie will be incredible. I've heard lots of great things about this movie, so I'm sure everyone who sees it will LOVE it!...more info
  • Great Film
    Enigma was very exciting. It was a thinking persons film, yet filled with action, mystery and romance.
    Saffron Burrows is beautiful and Dougray Scott and Jeremy Northum do a fantastic job. Plus the cinematograhy was spectacular!
    I highly recommend this film....more info
  • Better than the book
    The movie was released here in the US on limited release (couldn't find it in the SE at all), and so I read the book last summer. Rarely have I found a movie that even matches the book, but this screenplay was so artfully edited from the book that I feel it actually is *better* than the book. And how many of us have seen the old enigma machines??? Taut, well written, excellent acting, very British - buy it! I don't think you'll be disappointed at all....more info
  • Best movie in a long time
    After all the schlock movies coming from Hollywood lately, it was truly refreshing to watch something with a real story and some great acting. I'm glad I happened on to this film. Actor Dougray Scott did an outstanding job portraying a brilliant but very human codebreaker. ...more info
  • Wait for the video
    I saw this movie back in October 2001 while in England. The movie is good but it takes too long! I found myself getting bored and regretting the 3+ pounds I paid to see it. There are some good parts and an anger-filled fall out between two friends in the end. But I felt that it lacked resolution. The cast was great but the script and screen play did not measure up the the actors capabilities. Sean Bean plays an excellent bad guy(handsom and charming with a hidden element of evil), but I think that Dugray Scott is just a bit too sullen for too much of the movie. Get over her, she's not comming back...!

    Watch the movie and see what you think-...more info

  • An Excellent, Literate Movie for Adults
    I think this is one of the most literate and well-crafted movies to come out in the last 15 or 20 years. It tells the story of Tom Jericho, a math genius working at Bletchley Park during WWII. He and others are trying to break the variation of the Enigma code used by the German navy as their subs attack Allied convoys. Mixed into this is betrayal, conflicted feelings, the Katyn Massacre, romance, puzzles, and an instructive look at code breaking.

    The screenplay is by Tom Stoppard, one of Britain's best playwrights, who has put together a literate, serious story, a believeable romance for grownups, and clever plot lines. Dougray Scott, as Jericho, and Kate Winslet, as Hester Wallace, are excellent. Scott for most of the time he's on screen looks exhausted and sad. The changes in his characterization as he slowly developes feelings for Winslet are subtle. Winslet sheds any glamor for the role. She wears round, black-rimmed glasses, is a little dumpy, but glows with intelligence. All the secondary parts are very well acted.

    There's a lot going on in the movie, but the clues are all there. If you don't stay alert you'll lose enough of the thread to wonder what's going on, and you probably won't be able to catch up.

    I think this is one of the rare instances where a movie is just as good as the book it's based on.

    The DVD transfer is excellent....more info
  • The Joy of Enigma
    I have seen the most fantastic movie. Not since the 'Matrix' have I seen something worth raving. Michael Apt directed the movie with the screenplay written by the brilliant Tom Stoppard, 'Enigma'. It is based upon the novel by a Robert Harris. After seeing this movie, I am inspired to obtain a copy and read it.

    So what made the movie so great. Well, from the start is the film scored which is done by one of two truly great movie composers still living -- John Barry. I am rather proud of myself for recognising who it was before the credits were displayed at the film's end. The music was absolutely delicious with a perfect blend of the nostalgic and of the romantic to accompany the hero's mood and memories. Although Barry quotes from himself quite a bit, the end result worked. (Have a listen to the incidental music to the James Bond movies 'Octopussy' and 'Moonraker' and the main love theme from 'Somewhere In Time.')
    So from the start of the movie, I was attracted to the moving film score. He should win another Academy Oscar for that. (A bit better than 'Born Free'.)
    Another major joy was is the wonderful lush cinematography which effectively immerses one into the film. Sometimes, I feel I could just reach out and touch the Claire's hair or feel the warm air while being assuaged by the sensual sounds of Vaughn Williams' 'Dives and Lazarus'.

    Ok, the movie itself is about the codebreakers of Bletchley Park, (Station X) or rather focuses upon one top codebreaker in particular. He supposed to be some variant upon Alan Turing sans the androphiliac disposition. It is a mystery surrounding what may be a new Enigma (pun intended). Attempting to be brief and without disclosing too much, the story focuses upon the return of a top codebreaker who suffered a mental (or nervous) breakdown -- NOT from doing too much maths (thank God, not another 'Beautiful Mind' or 'Proof'!) -- but from the source that destroys all men's minds -- affection for a woman who may have discovered another mystery associated with apparently a new Enigma that the Nazis had developed. Weaved into the linearity of the story are flashback memories of the woman who effected the lives of everyone who knew her (or thought they knew her).

    My two marks against the film are on principle grounds.
    (1) If you wanted to talk about a brilliant mathematician who was very instrumental in decoding the Nazis' Enigma a la Alan Turing, please use another person who is not suppose to be him. I understand that, perhaps, to make this movie have a mass appeal it may help to adopt a heterosexual character as the centre of the story. I understand that most are not interested in romantic stories of a homoerotic content. But the fictional character that was supposed to be him was a mere ersatz for the real person whose life and character is worth a cinematic portrait. (Plug for Derek Jacobi's in 'Breaking the Code'.)
    (2) For a story that used Bletchley Park and the people there as the milieu for the story, I, personally, would have preferred more scenes illustrating the personalities of the codebreakers and the deciphering process itself. (Speaking as a mathematician and a great admirer of Turing himself, I prefer more scenes that would focus upon the technical aspect of the decoding and the minds that perform that prodigious task.

    Getting over the fact that this movie lacked a true Alan Turing, not a serious defect (do not mind me), I allowed myself to be absorbed into the world presented to me on screen. Go see this film! One would be remiss in not seeing such a great work....more info

  • A modern classic.
    Man, Dougray Scott looks sexy and intense in this movie! I loved him and the beautiful, swan necked, glamorous blonde Saffron Burrows. She's like a walking dream in all that war and gloom. The movie is fair to her character, and that's something you don't see every day. Those in the picture who look down on her are viewed with comtempt, as they should be.

    I like the spy game and I think all the twists and turns are all very unexpected and keep you on your toes.

    I do think, though, that they didn't have to turn Kate Winslet into the opposite of beauty just to prove that she can or to make the blonde venus more striking. Dressing her up like that distracts the viewer from the movie, by begging us to focus on how well she's pretending to be ugly - which may have been the very vain motive indeed behind that decision. You know, Kate not wanting to be seen as just a sexy actress and all that. No one denies her talent. One can be unglamorous without being horrid and in this case it just attracts the wrong kind of attention.
    Absolutely worth watching....more info

  • an accurately made movie for the setting
    ENIGMA is a very good movie in my opinion, whereas I don't know much about WWII, especially specifics, I found this movie to be a good source of information in the codebreaking area of that time. Some people have said that it looks like it was made in the 1940's, and that it's not good because of that, but I think that it is appropriate for them to have done that. If it would have looked like a state of the art movie, it wouldn't have brought the purpose, idea, and strength of the movie as it did. I enjoyed the movie very much and I would watch it again, the acting was good, as was the plot, and the settings of the whole movie were done very nicely....more info