Director: Michael Apted
Screenwriters: Tom Stoppard

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


With a nod to the espionage thriller of the 1940s, director Michael Apted has shaped a tense, intelligent, and sexy drama that is as thoroughly entertaining as it is elusive. Stories that are enjoyable are often presumed to be mindless, but Apted and screenwriter Tom Stoppard, who adapted the best-selling novel by Robert Harris, achieve a perfect balance in this masterfully deft
depiction of one of the truly crucial turning points of World War II.

It is March 1943, and the elite team of code breakers who have been assembled outside of London face a monumental responsibility. Their worst nightmare has come true: The Nazis have unexpectedly changed the Enigma code that makes their communications ultrasecure and the location of roving packs of U-boats undiscoverable. A huge convoy of merchant shipping is on its way across the Atlantic, and 10,000 men are in dire peril if the code can't be broken. And it can't be, for its indecipherability lies in the fact that the code changes each time it's used.

Tom Jericho is the standout genius in a coterie of mathematicians who must overcome impossible odds, but his heart has been broken by the seductive and mysterious Claire, who then disappears. Her housemate, Hester, can be enlisted to help solve the puzzle, but is there a spy in their midst? Produced by Mick Jagger and Lorne Michaels, and featuring the alluring Saffron Burrows, an impressive performance by Dougray Scott, and an appealing and convincing turn by Kate Winslet, Enigma reaffirms the viability and endless versatility of the classic genre film.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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