Coming to the Pro

Preview at the Procrastinator

The Imitation Game

April 2 – 4, 9 p.m.

April 9 – 11, 6:30 p.m.

April 12, 12:30 p.m.

4/5 Stars

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly team up to decode the infamous Nazi code enigma and win WWII — movies don’t get much better than that. “The Imitation Game” follows the tale of Alan Turing. Brilliantly performed by Cumberbatch, Turing was a Cambridge math whiz who played a large role in the development of computer technology and is regarded as one of the most important pioneers in the field.

Cumberbatch executes, with near perfection, a socially awkward and arrogant Turing who prefers to work alone and does not fit in with most company. Some critics have noted that while this greatly contributed to this film, the real Turing by most accounts was a fun-loving and eccentric personality who worked well with his peers.

Even though many of the details and plot themes are fictionalized or even completely fabricated, The Imitation Game is a great movie that puts the spotlight on one of the most important pioneers in the computer age. This goes perfectly in the ever growing list of unique and well done WWII movies and belongs on the shelf with “Fury” and “Unbroken.”

 

Inherent Vice

April 6, 7, 9 -11, 9 p.m.

April 12, 3 p.m.

April 16  – 18, 6:30 p.m.

April 19, 12:30 p.m.

5/5 stars

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, whose past work includes “There Will Be Blood” and “The Master,” and based on a novel by Thomas Pynchon, “Inherent Vice” is a film for film-buffs. With its complicated, twisting plot, cult-film aspirations and a private detective for a protagonist, who happens to also be a bit of a hippie and a doper, the film draws obvious comparisons to the beloved “The Big Lebowski.”

The time is 1970 and the place is the Los Angeles beach. Doc Sportello, played by Juaquin Phoenix, stumbles his way into three separate-but-connected cases, involving missing persons, an unwilling commitment to an insane asylum, smuggled heroin and crooked real estate deals. The result can be hard to follow, but that just means you get to enjoy it again.

 

A Most Violent Year

April 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 9 p.m.

April 19, 3 p.m.

April 23 – 25, 6:30 p.m.

April 26, 12:30 p.m.

4/5

With chase scenes that aren’t needlessly elongated and fight scenes that don’t drift into gratuitous violence, “A Most Violent Year” calls to mind another recent quiet, violent drama — 2011’s brilliant “Drive.” It is an excellent work which respects the audience enough not to spoon feed, instead working with understatement to great effect.

The film tells the tale of Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), who is desperate to close a deal on a piece of property so his gas shipping business can grow. He has one month to raise $1.5 million or lose his down payment, which includes his life savings and mortgages on his house and business.

As ever, there are obstacles. Someone is robbing his trucks at gunpoint and leaving his employees wounded in the streets. His wife, portrayed by the underrated Jessica Chastain, is the daughter of a gangster and wants to retaliate with violence, as do his employees. He fears this will escalate the violence just when he wants to avoid attention the most — the police are investigating him.

by Brook Gardner-Durbin