ENIGMA (Michael Apted)

I love war films and spy thrillers. Put them together and my attention is all yours.

ENIGMA is a encoder/decoder machine used by Nazi U-Boats during WW2. It is also the title of a film directed by a man you recently hated for messing up Narnia. It is also the characteristic of the female in question: Saffron Burrows, whose character you'll be guessing whose side she really is on, until the very end.

Dougray Scott is marvelous as a British codebreaker who gets jilted by his lover (Burrows). Scott really embodied all the sorrow of his character, projected onto his somber face. He teams up with a "glorified file clerk" played by Kate Winslet in a very notable performance, in order to unlock the secrets, and along the way, they stumble onto a huge government conspiracy that could affect the outcome of the war.

My criteria in films such as this is simple: do not take me for a fool. I liked this the same way I liked Bryan Singer's VALKYRIE, but VALKYRIE is a bit self-conscious and glossy. ENIGMA is subtle adrenaline that surges at full-throttle towards the third act, and it has a believable story. I'm not saying VALKYRIE is unbelievable, it's just that Tom Cruise and Co. are too good to be true.



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