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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  6 January 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 138,616 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 504 user | 457 critic | 42 from Metacritic.com

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 34 wins & 84 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Trust no one. Suspect everyone. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

6 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El topo  »

Box Office


£20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$24,104,113 (USA) (16 March 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gary Oldman was offered a gray-haired wig to wear for his role, but declined it in favour of bleaching his hair for a more natural hairdo for a middle-aged persona like Smiley. See more »


A speed hump can be seen on the road. These certainly did not exist in 1973. See more »


[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 »


Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 1 September 2011 (2011) See more »


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

Chronological editing too confusing
19 September 2011 | by See all my reviews

Great cast of actors. Great visuals. But... the chronological editing of events is just too confusing. It goes back and forth through time and you've no idea of when a transition occurs, that is, if the next scene is a continuation of the last one or gone back in time or back to the present. I couldn't tell if there were 10 or 50 time changes. I could tell from the silence in the auditorium last night that no one else understood it either, perhaps this is why the critics have given it such high ratings. I think this gratuitous confusion added to the film really takes away from it. I won't bother trying to watch and understand it again.

107 of 201 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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