Though the bookmakers are unwilling to ease the odds on Boyhood to win Best Picture at the Oscars, those movies fighting below the surface are starting to become very quarrelsome indeed. Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, Inarrritu's Birdman, Nolan's Interstellar and the story of mathematics genius Alan Turing - The Imitation Game - are all available at less than 10/1.

Keira Knightley Benedict CumberbatchKeira Knightley [L] and Benedict Cumberbatch [R] in 'The Imitation Game'

The latter, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, gets its full U.S. release this Thanksgiving weekend and it appears to be chiming with stateside critics - crucial for its expected run at cinema's biggest prize.

"The Imitation Game" is a highly conventional movie about a profoundly unusual man. This is not entirely a bad thing," said A.O Scott of the New York Times.

More: read our full review of The Imitation Game

"It's a marvelous story about science and humanity, plus a great performance by Benedict Cumberbatch, plus first-rate filmmaking and cinematography, minus a script that muddles its source material to the point of betraying it," wrote Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal.

"Good as he's been in the past ... the richness and complexity of Turing's character make this portrayal of an arrogant, difficult, sure-of-himself individual the role of Cumberbatch's career," said Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times.

More: Is Benedict Cumberbatch related to Alan Turing?

"The film's prime force is Cumberbatch, a great actor whose talent shines here on its highest beams. It's an explosive, emotionally complex performance," wrote Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine.

Though The Imitation Game may miss out on Best Picture, it will almost certainly have a major shout at numerous other awards, most notably Best Actor for its British leading man. 

Cumberbatch's co-star Keira Knightley touted him for the prize this week, and although he'll have to beat Michael Keaton and his close friend Eddie Redmayne, it could be that Turin's story proves irresistible to the Academy.

Watch the trailer for The Imitation Game: