7.1/10
147,105
514 user 464 critic

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Trailer
2:06 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,257 ( 83)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 34 wins & 88 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

RocknRolla (2008)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, attracting some of the city's scrappiest tough guys and its more established underworld types, all of whom are looking to get rich quick. While the city's seasoned criminals vie for the cash, an unexpected player -- a drugged out rock 'n' roller presumed to be dead but very much alive -- has a multi-million dollar prize fall into... See full summary »

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Idris Elba
Bronson (2008)
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Tom Hardy, Kelly Adams, Luing Andrews
Layer Cake (2004)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A successful cocaine dealer gets two tough assignments from his boss on the eve of his planned early retirement.

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Stars: Daniel Craig, Sienna Miller, Michael Gambon
Locke (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his carefully cultivated existence.

Director: Steven Knight
Stars: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson
Lawless (2012)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce
The Drop (2014)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living - no matter the cost.

Director: Michaël R. Roskam
Stars: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Sex and love. Some seek it, some need it, some spurn it and some pay for it, but we're all involved in it. Set on one afternoon on Hampstead Heath, London, the film investigates the minutiae of seven couples. What makes us tick?

Director: Ed Blum
Stars: Holly Aird, Eileen Atkins, Hugh Bonneville
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (TV Mini-Series 1979)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman.

Director: McG
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Fragancia is arrested for the attempted murder of Richard Persson, the son of a powerful factory owner. During the interrogation her amazing and remarkable life story is revealed. We follow... See full summary »

Director: Ella Lemhagen
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Bill Skarsgård, Loa Falkman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Zoltán Mucsi ...
Péter Kálloy Molnár ...
Hungarian Waiter
Ilona Kassai ...
Woman in Window
Imre Csuja ...
KGB Agent
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Arthur Nightingale ...
Edit

Storyline

In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control, resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. It transpires that Control believed one of four senior figures in the service was in fact a Russian agent - a mole - and the Hungary operation was an attempt to identify which of them it was. Smiley had been forced into retirement by the departure of Control, but is asked by a senior government figure to investigate a story told to him by a rogue agent, Ricky Tarr, that there was a mole. Smiley considers that the failure of the Hungary operation and the continuing success of Operation Witchcraft (an apparent source of significant Soviet intelligence) confirms this, and takes up the task of finding him. Written by David Brain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The enemy is within. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, some sexuality/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

6 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El topo  »

Box Office

Budget:

£20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$310,562 (USA) (9 December 2011)

Gross:

$24,104,113 (USA) (16 March 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming took place at a disused army barracks in North London, a location much cheaper and affording wider space for the set designers than renting buildings in London for filming. The barrack's corridors and alcoves were used for interior shots, and the side of a building was 'dressed up' as a Wimpy bar. See more »

Goofs

Technical equipment can be seen in Smiley's glasses when he asks the whereabouts of an agent. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Control: [opening door] You weren't followed?
Jim Prideaux: No.
Control: Better come in.
Control: Trust no one, Jim. Especially not in the mainstream.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The ending credit list starts on the right side of the screen, moving slowly to the left, and ended on the right side of the screen. See more »

Connections

Version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

The Proudest, Loneliest Fool
Written by Gordon Galbraith and Ricci Mareno
Performed by Charlie Rich
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
James Bond, this is not...
17 September 2011 | by (Sheffield, UK) – See all my reviews

Forty-six year old Swedish director Tomas Alfredson came to prominence three years ago when he directed the film adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel 'Let The Right One In'. After the initial success of the vampiric romantic drama, Alfredson became attached to an international adaptation of John le Carre's espionage-novel 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'. Based on aspects of le Carre's (also known as David Cornwell) experiences during his time as a member of the British Intelligence service sectors MI5 and MI6 during the 1950s and 1960s, Alfredson creates a fine, absorbing picture which engrosses from beginning to end.

Control (John Hurt), the leader of an unknown sector of the British Intelligence service, is ousted along with his long-standing companion George Smiley (Gary Oldman) due to a botched operation in Budapest, Hungary which saw the officer Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong) murdered in public. Control was under the impression that there was a mole among the top ranking members of the service, referred to as the Circus by the other top ranking members due to its location in Cambridge Circus, London, and Smiley is drawn out of retirement to pinpoint the culprit after Control passes away. Alongside the young Intelligence officer Peter Guillam (Benedict Cumberbatch), Smiley has four primary candidates to focus his investigation upon; they are the last remaining members of the Circus, Bill Haydon (Colin Firth), Percy Alleline (Toby Jones), Roy Bland (Ciaran Hinds) and Toby Esterhase (David Dencik).

Utilizing an all-star, established cast, Alfredson allows the film to unfold at an almost flawless pace. Every sequence contains a small snippet of information which allows the viewer to conduct their own investigation alongside that of Smiley's. While the narrative is also driven along by strong performances from the primarily male cast, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Ciaran Hinds, David Dencik, Stephen Graham and Kathy Burke all give strong, commanding performances. While the true artists of the piece are Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the young, and somewhat naive intelligent officer assigned to assist Smiley. John Hurt as the aging, instinct-driven leader of the British service, and Tom Hardy, who is Ricki Tarr the dirty cleaner for British intelligence's most fowl operations. Their performances go above and beyond in their supporting roles, and at times eclipse Gary Oldman's subdued portrayal of a man drawn back into the murky world of corruption, betrayal and treasure.

Alongside the narrative and its cast, one of the more surprising aspects of the film, is Alfredson, Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema and Editor Dino Jonsater's use of stylistic nuances that further enhance the viewing experience. Lingering close-up shots of seemingly insignificant objects and shallow focus shots constantly evoke the nature of mystery and intrigue which surrounds such clandestine organisations. Alfredson never rushes any moment, instead he allows for the audience to become accustomed to their surroundings and appreciate their beauty. Wide angle shots and long lenses are used for interior and exterior locations, showcasing the breakdowns of their interiors, while close-up shots are used to examine objects and characters in their most frail states. During the opening sequence involving Prideaux's botched secret mission, a simple concoction of jump cuts and lingering static shots concentrating upon various characters within the vicinity creates a sense of the tension, suspense and vulnerability of the situation and this is how Alfredson constantly keeps the audience engrossed. By providing those observing the action on screen with just enough information that they themselves become entwined within Smiley's investigation as he moves forward.

Once the credits and a dedication to the films screenwriter Bridget O'Connor who passed away last year finish, the viewer is left with an overriding sense of satisfaction. Smiley's world is a far cry away from the glitz and glamour that the espionage genre has become accustomed to. There are no martinis in sight, but only reel upon reel of bureaucratic wrangling, childish bickering and greed-induced deal-making, where it seems everybody is working for themselves and their reputation rather than the nation's government that is employing them. Since its premiere at the 68th Venice International Film Festival 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' has been touted as an Oscar contender and it is easy to understand why, Tomas Alfredson has taken a solid source novel, utilized an established cast and infused the final concoction with elements from his own visual repertoire to create a wonderfully crafted film that does the original BBC televised series justice.


238 of 316 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I just didn't understand ANYTHING laffitte-manon
2 quick questions..... reggie-1969
What happened to Toby Esterhase ? Sublime23
Not a Good Movie at All for the Uninitiated. danielmorlan
So which was it? PeppermintPatti
Most boring movie I ever saw Jonsson791
Discuss Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?