Enigma (2001) - Drama, Mystery, Romance

Hohum Score



A young genius frantically races against time to crack an enemy code and solve the mystery surrounding the woman he loves.

IMDB: 6.3
Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet
Length: 119 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 25 out of 176 found boring (14.2%)

One-line Reviews (149)

But these spy things are always a bit like that, tough to make because they are kind of cheap magician tricks, what do you show and what do you hide and if you hide too much its boring or confusing and you show too much and there is not a mystery.

Northam has a lot of fun with this role and he looks great in his suits, providing a sharp sartorial contrast to the drab Jericho-Wallace line of wartime apparel.

Slow Paced but thoroughly enjoyable .

This movie distorts the facts much in the spirit of totalitarian (Soviet, Nazi) propaganda.

Oddly, it is the earlier scenes at Bletchley which are the most absorbing; the spy-chase action stuff later on seems a bit unnecessary, though it's nice to see all those old police Rovers and Wolseleys being put though their paces.

The impeccable recreation of the time and the slow-burning story are a real pleasure, and make a change from the over-edited, breathless pace of many films nowadays.

This is an enjoyable movie with great twists and turns.

To sum it up, no suspense, no surprise, a main character with no character, silly errors and daft direction all conspire effectively to keep an intriguing premise thoroughly well encrypted.

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.

They are fascinating to watch.

The historical backdrop is fascinating and the main characters are engaging and I cared about what happened to them to some extent.

Final feature film with a full music score composed by John Barry , his music is fascinating likeness to "Dancing with wolves" and a lot of hits during his long career thirty years ago .

With a gently plodding pace, quiet score and long lingering shots of the English countryside 'Enigma' looks and feels like an ITV drama on a Sunday evening.

Enigma seems to be constantly on the edge of new revelations and there was a point when I was thoroughly engrossed in every scene, nervously twirling my hair (and I don't do that much).

The whole espionage scenario adds up rather to a treasure-hunt than to a gripping thriller, even it is historically accurate concerning the outstanding role of the British defense system at that time.

Most of all, trying to combine the love story/mystery with the code-breaking story ended up making a jumbled, boring mess.

I might add that the cinematography was awful - compared to a film like Charlotte Grey, (which had stunning cinematography), and the resolution and quality embarrassingly bad.

Set in the dreary England of 1943, where stiff upper lips were bearing the weight of four years of war, `Enigma' centers on mathematician Tom Jericho (Dougray Scott).

It's an intellectually challenging film, not only because of the need to keep up with the logic of how they tackle the breaking of the code (which is the central plot) but also in the subplot which is an engaging love story that questions face-values and reality and illusions in different types of loving.

One of the most difficult things to do is produce an entertaining film about a subject which is - for the most part - mind numbing...

Excellent, evocative, exceptional .

i mean,the movie was OK,but it doesn't compare to the book,which i found riveting.

I found the plot, brilliant as it may be, a bit too difficult to follow the first time one sees the movie, and for that reason not really satisfying.

genuinely engaging, and satisfying to come to understand.

Thoroughly enjoyable and perennially poignant .

This is a well-made film, worth watching more for its workmanlike homage to its own premises rather than any supposed relationship to the real Enigma story.

But Turing's story, though psychologically fascinating, has its limitations for conventional film makers, the most obvious being the difficulty in creating dramatic tension and the absence of any female love interest.

But what we get is a lame love-story, an uninteresting spy intrigue, silly action bits.

Some unexpected revelations (which I'm not going to give away) take place as they dig deeper into the mystery.

Enjoyable, smart WWII thriller about code breaking, based on a true story, and notable for being a war film more about human intelligence then daring action.

The big exception has always been his beautiful stageplay ARCADIA, which does a good job of being both brainy as hell and deeply evocative at the same time.

)) And the explanations at the end just made it all the more confusing.

The film is well worth seeing for its entertainment value and just a wee peek at the work of Bletchley Park but for anyone interested in learning the truth about this fascinating story I suggest that they read the official history entitled "British Intelligence in WWII" by Professor Sir F.

An absorbing and fascinating movie.

Sadly, it also has to share screen-time with a second, less satisfactory film: Namely a lame spy-thriller trying to be a 39 Steps (without investing either the necessary story time, character development or taut, intelligent dialogue) in which Jeremy Northam (surely the real successor to Donat and Moore) slides his way through each scene as the bad guy confusing underplaying for doing bugger all!!

A beautiful and compelling thriller .

Pointless movie that adds nothing to the breaking of Engima.

If you enjoy your films fast paced or full of action then this is not for you.

It is not brilliant in any way, but rather entertaining if you do not know what else to do.

I wanted the motley assembly of eccentrics and chess playing, crossword crunching "weirdos" to have a bigger role as they were more than entertaining in their brief appearances.

Very absorbing film.

All the flashbacks are pretty boring.

Dreary revisionist drivel .

I stumbled on this film by accident and I did enjoyed it.

Enigma ambles along , only very occasionaly sparking any interest for the watcher sometimes confusing them with the plot and sometimes rousing them from their slumber.

Enigma is an enjoyable film populated with interesting characters and set in the intriguing world of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park in WW2.

Enigma was a relatively slow paced but enjoyable film.

The real story of the codebreakers is entertaining enough; we don't need action-movie clichés to make us stay with it.

Jeremy Northam's spy master is one of many highly entertaining portrayals.

It was such a thrilling movie that had a great success in box office.

Slow paced, but well developed, an enjoyable 7 out of 10.

The plot was slow and uninteresting.

I would have walked out but fell asleep.

It is very suspenseful and has incredible and totally unexpected twists and turns in the plot.

Neat, often engaging little thriller .

Tedious war "drama" .

Slow paced and sometimes dense, `Enigma' is enlivened by Northam's portrayal of Wigram, who has a habit of turning up at inopportune moments and making matters difficult for Jericho.

While it starts out as a slow burn, the last half increases in tension and suspense until it almost causes physical pain.

Either the depiction of thousands of conscientious and totally loyal workers at Bletchley Park was considered too dull to make a good movie, or the writers are genuinely unable to comprehend the society of sixty years ago.

Excellent cast , worth watching just for them .

While the subject matter is fascinating, the movie left me feeling flat.

Other than that, it's a very good film, interesting, entertaining and worthwhile.

The true story is one of the most fascinating to come out of WWII.

If you can get through the lack of action in this film I highly recommend it...

Afterwords, I look up wikipedia and read all about ' Enigma' and 'Bletchley Park', and realized the real history about cryptanalysis and cryptologists in WW II were much more fascinating than what the movie had shown.

Both were boring and predictable.

If you want an entertaining story about someting that happened 60 years ago, see this movie.

Still worth watching for their performances alone.

Don't take me wrong, this is pretty good film, and was enjoyable to watch.

It has a wonderful soundtrack, a magnificent English background setting, an intriguing story of WW-II espionage with decent plot twists and some terrific actors I truly enjoy watching.

)Bottom line: There sure was a lot of confusing running around and flashbacks (plus some all too skimpy gratuitous sex {in a boardinghouse where visitors were prohibited (so the landlady must have been pretty stupid (or drunk)}) for what turned out to be a fairly simple maguffin.

All critics who have declared it slow are impatient and weren't paying attention.

Anyone expecting an action packed war thriller will be very disappointed, but as an absorbing and evocative mystery it works very well.

This is a movie worthy of Soviet, or worse, German propaganda, showing heroes as villains.

The settings are completely believable, every prop seems right, and the historical tidbits they show are fascinating (e.

Both parts of Enigma are fairly good on their own merits, though the struggle to solve the Nazi code and win the war is understandably more compelling than the mystery of a missing woman, no matter how involved it may be.

i found the book riveting,the movie--not so much .

Distortion of history and waste of time.

The movie is worth watching for the outstanding performance of the beautiful Saffron Burrows.


it is a faithful and gripping account of the activities of Alan Turing and the Bletchley Park codebreakers.

I found ENIGMA to be a thoroughly entertaining film.


That said, just how do you successfully dramatise as mundane and unglamorous a profession as code-breaking, so that overall, I'm bound to say this was a noble attempt and more than likely a film that will repay repeat viewings, to more satisfyingly uncover the myriad layers at its centre.

The truth is far stranger and more compelling.

quite enjoyable .

I enjoyed it .

Add the roommate as a new love for the troubled `Beautiful-Mind' like hero, and the `enigma' becomes possible betrayal of love and country rather than the fascinating process of breaking the code by using the Germans' captured enigma machine.

The scenes were rushed, blah, and as the previous reviewer said, the acting was ho-hum, yawn, and once in a while you'd be thrown a bone to pique your interest for a few seconds.

Even the chases feel slow!

The movie is a bit slow in the middle, it would be even better if they cut some 15 minutes.

It takes one of the most remarkable WWII stories, and produces a dull, tepid affair.

Clever, handsome, gripping, and a lot more satisfying than most of the histrionic **** that passes for movies these days.

Cleverly made and backed by a novel, we see a tale of mystery, romance, espionage, action (fascinating car chase sequence) and of course several explosions (that didn't quite reach the sub woofer travelling all the way from the North Atlantic Tub).

I would have been far happier if the film had finished with Scott and Northam surveying the lake, both knowing it is empty.

3 was that when WWII started the Royal Navy was essentially still using code book methods from the Great War and were very slow to adopt mechanical encipherment, similar to Enigma.

Nonetheless, one can appreciate the action and remain fully immersed even while not following all of the plot's intricacies.

And it's a rivetingly fascinating one.

An enjoyable movie - caution: minor spoiler .

I like movies about WWII, but this one was just plain dull.

The Harris Enigma book was a fascinating novel as well as a historical document.

The drama about code-breaking at Bletchley Park replete with it's cast of absurd British eccentrics (within which Scott provides a surprisingly underplayed and likeable genius) is both exciting and of huge historical interest.

We soon find out that he is psychologically on the edge, because of an unrequited love affair with the mysterious Claire.

But there is something totally intriguing about watching these men and woman break codes and try to break the German code Enigma.

Director Michael Apted struggles to give flair and spark to the film as it remains dour, dull and lifeless.

The story is also fascinating as it exposes a part of the war effort that for the most part has gone unnoticed and uncelebrated.

The movie is a bore when this should be a thrilling spy story.

And the whole mess with Claire seemed really confusing.

On the downside, the story is not only complicated, but slow paced.

' It was a fascinating documentary about the work done at Bletchley Park, as well as some material about its American counterpart, Arlington Hall.

The other performance of note was Jeremy Northam as the MI5 operative - slightly sleazy, slightly decadent - always entertaining, and his scenes were a pleasure.

Having said that, it was an extremely enjoyable movie, even if the identity of the spy is easily deduced early on.

The real story of Alan Touring, and his colleagues at Bletchley, the building of "the bombes" and the critical role they played is a very compelling story in itself, and had the writers of this movie confined themselves to that, this movie would have been superb.

Ted's evaluation: 3 of 4 -- Worth watching.

Saffron Burrows was riveting as the elusive Claire who ensnares the hearts of all men who meet her before moving on to the next one and makes it so believable in the the film.

This is a gripping and intelligent film which tells a complex and potentially very dull story with economy, subtlety and style.

It would have been a great addition to spend a few minutes reviewing some of the actual history of the German enigma machines and the allied success in breaking codes, along with some entertaining "making of" material.

Dougray Scott gives a tiresome performance especially at the beginning when his character is world weary.

Riveting and Realistic .

rather boring .

The ludicrous action sequences were about as thrilling and suspenseful as a school play.

The film captures the most intense freedom that we in the west enjoy--the freedom to think; it celebrates the maverick thinker--the entrepreneur and innovator that underpins our western achievements, and for that it should be seen.

Dougray Scott does a terrible job of disguising his Scottish accent - he flits between Yorkshire and Edinburgh with confusing regularity.

I am slightly worried by the current need for fast paced films, and have heard many complaints about both this and The Score on that count.

Northam is less brilliant, but has been snappy with some Wilde material that plays with text.

A few surprises show up along the road, but most of them seem predictable to me.

Exact format and feel as a 1940's espionage film: boring.

what a waste of money.

Well crafted, evocative drama.

Nevertheless, I found it quite enjoyable.

Boring and uninvolving .

Not only is it a great historical lesson, but it's suspenseful and a nice love story as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed it!

This is a quite compelling spy mystery.

With a nice slow complex story building up to an action filled ending.

As an example of a well-made, intriguing, and, dare I say it, entertaining film, this is one for the DVD collection.

On paper this film has a good cast, a very good writer, a more than capable director and by most accounts a riveting novel as it's source material, so what happened?

They could have done a better job, but overall, anyone with an interest in learning a bit about the Enigma would find this movie worth watching.

I've heard moans that it's slow and old-fashioned.

It isn't convoluted, just intriguing, and grabs your attention before building the suspense gradually, inevitably drawing you into its power before bringing the story together in a satisfying and telling climax.

Whilst slow paced at times Enigma remains intellectually stimulating and the plot never seems to drag or become bloated.

But anytime she is on screen, it's worth watching.

A dull, foppish, daft central character who achieves nothing worthwhile during the film except drag us through a mundane plot and get it together with chubbily pregnant Kate Winslet.

Also, the film wimps out on the true story, and misses some fascinating complexity, since in real life the lead character was gay, at a time where that alone was enough to win everyone's distrust.

The modern viewer can very much identify with the characters as opposed to all those boring war movies made in the 1950s and 1960s that portrayed the Allies under an ideal light with no swearing or other human weaknesses.

Some of the British critics have been a bit sniffy about Enigma, but in truth, while it has something of the mood of a Sunday teatime drama and is hardly likely to wow hordes of US audiences, it's nevertheless a perfectly competent and enjoyable adaptation of Robert Harris's decent World War Two thriller.

Wizards (mostly men but with a sprinkling of women) who had broken codes and many young women who had engaged in endless and often boring small tasks whose importance was barely sensed went on with their postwar lives with nary a word about their wartime experiences.

The plot, as is usual with spy thrillers, is a highly complex one, and at times difficult to follow.

The story seems tremendously contrived, and is just completely unbelievable.