Critic Reviews

85

Metascore

Based on 42 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Screenwriters Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan have clarified a few things that needed clarifying, camouflaged a few things that needed camouflaging - and gently tugged some passive flashbacks into the active present. It's a cagey adaptation.
100
This is one of the finest achievements of the year, and while it's easy to lose your way in the labyrinth, I don't think Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is most interesting for its narrative pretzels. Rather, it's about what this sort of life does to the average human soul.
95
The screenplay, by Peter Straughan and his late wife, Bridget O'Connor, is debonair. Alfredson's mastery of tone and ambiance is flawless. The bloodletting is brief and necessarily appalling, the comedy mordant: I guarantee you will never sing along to "Mr. Woo" in quite the same way again.
95
The movie's intricacy, and the way it finds its way into the emotional lives of its characters via (and not in spite of) that intricacy, is what makes it extraordinary. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy challenges audiences to believe in craftsmanship again.
90
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an enormously impressive piece of work.
90
This version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy turns on the presence of Mr. Oldman, and he is an actor of great experience and accomplishment who has finally found a film that fully deserves him.
88
Rolling Stone
Oldman gives a performance that is flawless in every detail.
83
A puzzle of a highly rarefied order. At times it's enthrallingly clever and subtle; at others it's borderline incomprehensible.
80
Even those who adored Alec Guinness as the small-screen George Smiley will appreciate Gary Oldman's perfectly attuned turn as a Cold War spy drawn back from forced retirement.
80
It is one of the few films so visually absorbing, felicitous shot after shot, that its emotional coldness is noticed only at the end, when all the plot twists are unraveled in a solid piece of thinking-man's entertainment for upmarket thriller audiences.
75
The film employs a largely British cast that is perhaps the most impressive ensemble of any movie this year.
75
Even if you get lost - in the spyspeak, in the codes, in the comings and goings of grim-faced men with satchels full of documents they should not have - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is worth getting lost in.

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