March, 1943. The Shark code is the way Nazi submarines communicate with each other. British cryptoanalysts have broken it. Unfortunately... it was just changed. Mere days are left before a massive, and sorely needed, shipment of resources for allied forces, go into dangerous waters. It's up to a team of eccentric geniuses to crack the new configuration. Among them is Tom(Scott, determined, brilliant), whose ex Claire(Burrows, seductive while dignified) has recently disappeared. He and her friend Hester(Winslet, smart and tired of being overlooked) must try to find her, and uncover the truth behind both events.
I haven't read the novel, but based on this, I might. My exposure to the director and screenwriter has been hit-and-miss. This is a quite compelling spy mystery. While it starts out as a slow burn, the last half increases in tension and suspense until it almost causes physical pain. Granted, the end has a *lot* of big revelations, and there certainly are some exposition dumps along the way. This does play fair; nothing is truly hidden from the viewer, everything falls into place once you know everything, and there are hints dropped - disguised well as things that don't seem like they'll be important.
The structure is notable; I understand some dislike it, and it does take getting used to. Right from the start, this starts a habit of, every so often, cutting from our protagonists to a different situation, or showing flashbacks(that's where we see the earlier-mentioned missing girl). if you're put off by it early, be warned that it does keep going. Speaking only for myself, it is a choice that makes sense, and everything does eventually pay off. Acting is great for all concerned. Characterization(no "bad guys" here), dialog(with the inimitable dry wit), filming, all solid.
This is tremendously detailed and authentic. Cars, clothes, social norms, etc. Of course the personal story told here is fiction, still, it's weaved almost exclusively from the fabric of history. This is the rare blockbuster that treats our knowledge of the past not as something to manipulate into something mainstream, or, *ugh*, a source for conspiracy theories. No, instead, it treats it as what it is... genuinely engaging, and satisfying to come to understand. It's also entirely credible; with today's thrillers, you find yourself missing the plausible, complex-not-convoluted(and not requiring the planner to be omniscient) plot.
There is some strong language(one of the only gratuitous and, as far as the terms used goes, anachronistic, aspects), disturbing and/or violent content, and a little nudity and sexuality in this. I recommend this to any fan of drama, puzzle-solving, and fact-based films. 7/10