SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews “The Imitation Game,” based on the true story of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), who helped crack the Germans’ Enigma code during World War II. Also reviewed is “Top Five,” Chris Rock’s first directorial effort in seven years about a comedian struggling with becoming a serious actor and his upcoming nuptials.

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THE IMITATION GAME (PG-13) 114 min

From “The Theory of Everything” to “Birdman” to “St. Vincent,” some movies this year just got it right. “The Imitation Game” is at the top of the list. It’s the story of Alan Turing, the British mathematician who was an expert in logic. He saved millions of lives by helping to break Enigma, the Nazi encryption device used to code all German communiques. Benedict Cumberbatch is Oscar worthy as Turing, playing him complicated, obsessive and brilliant. Keira Knightley turns in a believable performance as a scientist born at the wrong time. Incredibly bright women in her time did not have a chance at success in the sciences. But she became Turing’s friend—and so does the audience for as much as he lets us into his thoughts. Flashbacks to his childhood school days add to the richness of this story. When it’s over, go look up the real Turing and pay respect to him on Castro Street’s Rainbow Walk of Fame.

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TOP FIVE (R) 102 min

Writer-Director-Actor Chris Rock stars as a New York City comedian with a few goofy movies behind him. In an attempt to become known as a serious actor, he allows his ambitious fiancée to broadcast their wedding. His encounter with an intelligent journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the stand-up past he left behind. The film sounds better than it is—even for this Chris Rock fan. There’s too much gross out humor that’s unnecessary in a story with substance and heart. The sexuality is graphic and a turn off but in between there are some bright moments with Rock and his ensemble. I hope people can check out “Sullivan’s Travels” (1941)—a great Preston Sturges film about a huge comedy director hitting the road, looking for serious reality. And hope Rock plays it without the gross out next time. He doesn’t need it.

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