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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely Hated It

Author: DeeJay Gee from United States
30 March 2012

Too bad to review........Oh jeez, I must have a minimum of 10 lines of text to review. Why? If it's bad, it's bad. Hated the filming - too dark and too much of the movie played on before you could determine the character. Too confusing. Never had a clue what was going on. Never knew what country the characters were in. This is definitely one of those movies where you must read the book first. The acting was so poor. I expected so much more from the fine cast. The only character half-way interesting was Benedict Cumberbatch. Do I have 10 lines yet? Must not. Let's see........ gosh I just can't think of anything to say. We fell asleep twice during the film. I'm not trying to be negative, just really, really did not like the movie. Maybe I will save someone else the rental fee.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Behind Glasses

Author: kosmasp
23 March 2012

I haven't seen the original mini-TV-series from the UK, so I can't judge the movie on behalf of that nor compare it to it. What I can say, is that this movie has superior acting in it, a story that does condone repeated viewing and just enough "action" to make it work. Why do I say the latter? Because there are a lot of people who'll dismiss this as talking heads movie. And this perception is not really wrong, because if you really want to see action and stunts and all that, than you shouldn't watch this movie.

On the other hand, the talking heads do an amazing job and every nuance in their performance is just great. While you might find yourself struggling to follow the story, it all will be revealed by the end. One of my favorites of 2011, this movie has a lot going for it, tension being one of those things. Great directing job, something you could expect

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A refreshing change

Author: barry-854-332192 from Australia
21 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My wife and I enjoyed this movie very much. Neither of us had prior knowledge of the book or TV series, however that didn't get in the way of a riveting story.

I was mesmerized as we were taken on a journey into the world of espionage, a real cloak and dagger affair. The combination of slower pace and a wonderful 'look' set the emotion.

The cast was very strong and especially Gary Oldman was brilliant. Would have liked to have seen more of Hurt.

This movie is not for the action / shootem'up / fire a nail into my head accidentally crowed.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Awesome but you need to concentrate

Author: roguegrafix from Thailand
19 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have seen this movie twice now. The first time I was a tad disappointed but the second time it is an awesome movie.

The first time I thought that if you hadn't read the book you would not know what was going on. But the second time, I picked up all the clues I "skipped over" in the first viewing.

This film requires serious concentration. If you're snacking on pretzels you'll miss key elements. If you have read the book, you'll be ahead but if you pay careful attention then the film-makers have done an incredible job of condensing a 450 page book into 2 hours. The asides, the background chatter give you the clues to what is going on. If you are a lazy listener, you'll miss all of them.

Yes, the minor characters are pretty 1-dimensional and almost bit actors but all the actors even those playing minor parts are at the top of their game. If you know Le Carre', you know it's all about character and they concentrate mainly on Smiley. And his actions are SO perfect—when he winds down the window to let out the fly, or when he chews on mints while waiting for the mole, it's really telling. The suspense is all so palpable.

Peter Guillam, played by Benedict Cumberbatch is superb—just as I imagined him 28 years ago when I read the book! They nailed his character for sure.

The film is the most non-action action movie. It's all to do with Smiley and the bas%$#@#s he works for. As one reviewer in Australia put it (paraphrased):"the best recommendation about this film is that Americans just don't get it." Need I say more.

A thinking man's spy movie. Watch it when you're in a serious mood.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

glimpse of the old times, spies are ordinary people who do unordinary work

Author: bertieliu52 from somewhere on earth
18 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's a sort of endeavor to write a film review for Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy after its premiere month ago. The espionage masterpiece of John le Carré has already got enough comments and analysis, so when it was brought to the wide screen in 2011, I guess most people might be thinking, this film is good.

Of course, you cannot imagine a film "not good" with Gary Oldman (see Prada show this year?), John Hurt, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy... And this film is absolutely loyal to the novel, which perhaps is partly because le Carré himself is one of the adapters. We could see a real Circus in the 1960s - 1970s (The Honourable Schoolboy took place in 1976), with a gloomy London sky high above. All the buildings, streets, cars, pedestrians and rains seems clear and gray, and among them, is a group of tired spies.

"Tired" is the word I'd like use to describe the characters. Those who had been struggled through WWII and lived to the Cold War were easy find themselves confused and tired in the post-war circumstance- it seemed that an old enemy had been beaten nevertheless a new one was created from an old ally. Toby Esterharse and Percy Alleinne were nothing like what the "old", "decent" espionage. They were more like political clowns performing before the politicians. Meanwhile those who'd joined the Circus before or during the war, seemed to arrive at the crossroad of their life- either to drop out or to work for the superior they were not very approved of.

I am not to discuss the matter of belief and loyalty in that period of history as absurd as singing Soviet Union national anthem in the Christmas party of Circus here, just try to recall the life of spies of an ordinary human being. They were just normal people, despite their brain and profession, nothing more than an elder man abandoned by his wife who had affair with his colleague or a middle-aged public servant who had to be separated from his gay lover, or a young man who met his passion of love and began to dream about family on a business trip to Istanbul. When we look deeper, to reveal the truth beneath loyalty and betray, we might be able to see a group of ordinary people feeling confused about their life and what had long been making up the most part of it.

When the talented Connie Sachs sat next by George Smiley on a typical Oxford afternoon showing the latter photos from the past, she said what good old times, with a younger Control in uniform fighting for his country and what he believed in, and Jim Prideaux and Bill Haydon together for their friendship, who would had foreseen the lonely death of an old man and betray between two very good friends?

With the melody of La Mer, we could see Smiley sitting on Control's seat, Ann coming home again, Guillam passing by Smiley in the Circus, and Haydon shot by Prideaux then a tear of blood dropping from his face. Seems another period of good time had began, if we don' t consider what was going to happen.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Tinker Tailor...Superb, Adult Spy Drama...

Author: l-murray-31 from United Kingdom
18 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This excellent second adaptation of Le Carre's classic espionage novel, famously adapted by the BBC in 1979-Alec Guinness playing the eponymous George Smiley(a name that is at best a misnomer), followed by Smiley's People in 1982, Death of a Schoolboy never followed due to the Usual BBC budget constraints.

Now we have a real movie version-that stands on its own merits-Gary Oldman takes Smiley and makes him his own-younger than Guinness and far more sinister, he sees and hears everything, Oldman is supported by a brilliant cast-Kay Burke(finally back on our screens) as Connie, Benedict Cumberbatch(in a beautifully rewritten supporting role)the always excellent Toby Jones, Tom Hardy, and Mark Strong, whom is in danger of becoming a major star. Lastly Colin Firth-proving what a versatile actor he is (post Oscar)and Lastly John Hurt as Control--another superb performance of him.

Events are telescoped, re-jigged and we (the audience )are given key information at different times than the original TV series, due to the 2hr running time of the movie. It all works though, from the production design , editing directing and lighting to look like a rundown London of the seventies and Hungary(Checkozakia in the original). Superb

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Confusing.....but I may try reading the book and watching it again.

Author: becky9789 from United Kingdom
19 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Considering the hype and rave reviews from the critics, I was very much looking forward to watching this film - especially because of the star- studded cast.

Certainly, attention to detail was great, and the atmosphere was portrayed very well with some excellent acting. However, about half an hour into the film I realised I didn't have a clue what was going on. I dismissed this as having not quite got into it yet, thinking I was just being stupid. Eventually, towards the end I sort of pieced everything together, but only after dwelling on it and discussing it with others after the film.

It turned out that the 5 other people I was watching with (a mixture of generations I might add) didn't understand it either, so I feel justified in saying that this film is very confusing. I wonder whether I should have read the book or watched the original TV series before I went to watch it, because I don't think it helped that I wasn't familiar with the story.

While I wasn't expecting a fast-paced Bourne thriller and I don't need to be spoon-fed information, I wish there had been more care with relating the story in a film-friendly way. I think if I had understood it, it would have been excellent. There were far too many moments where you are just looking at Smiley having a think with some slow paced music, and the time frame jumped all over the place without much indication that it had. There were also some scenes that to me seemed completely pointless (they probably weren't, it was just that they weren't explained). Some more setting the scene would have been appreciated. The film also leaves a lot of questions unanswered, for example what was the benefit of being a double agent; why was Haydon one in the first place? What was the relationship between the agents?

Anyway, despite it all being a bit frustrating, my next step will be to read the book and maybe watch it again to see if I revise my opinions. I would definitely recommend to anyone going to see it to read up a bit about it first!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Perhaps the most boring spy flick I've ever watched

Author: SeriousJest from United States
25 June 2013

It's not that the movie was poorly done. It was Oscar bait, so it had a solid cast, with plenty of opportunities for Oldman to deliver strong lines. The script was intelligent, the camera work was good, the scenery was done well, and a great deal of effort was obviously put into making this movie believable and accurate. But it was just...boring. I think this is the most boring spy flick I've ever watched. You really have to pay attention to appreciate the intricacies and twists in this film, and I really had trouble staying engaged. I actually fell asleep twice and had to restart from the last boring scene that I remembered. By the end, I didn't care who the mole was. Maybe this is yet another case in which the novel was much better.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

avoid this movie

Author: buzzthefuzz from United States
25 December 2012

Compared to the BBC version with Sir Alec Guinness, which I strongly advise watching and rate that one a 10, and compared to the book by John LeCarre, another 10, this version is a real stinker. The acting, if you can call it acting, is minimalist at best, deadpan, the development of the characters and plot non-existent. The movie makes no sense as it progresses. It is bland. The BBC version, however, is rich in development, high in tension and sense of loyalty and betrayal all supported by a terrific musical score that enhances but does not get in the way. This 2011 version no nothing of the sort. It is just plain awful in my opinion. Watch the BBC one, you will see what I mean.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Gary of my favorite actors....

Author: a-little-squeek from Uranus
3 April 2012 wasted in this drivel. This movie is as dry as a popcorn fart. If you can follow what's going on, I guess you must be from England. Was this how things really were during the Cold War?'s no wonder the world is all messed up. After it was over I had to ask myself "who gives a rat's arse?" That's how they say "ass" in England. And it's what you'll feel like after watching this.... IF you can make it all the way through it.

Without giving anything away (like it would really matter) here's my impression.... there are English people in this flick, so you will need an "English to English" translator to understand what the heck they're saying...and there are Russians, couple of Americans, some other nationalities I couldn't identify. A guy gets shot in the back. You get to see that a few times in flashback. A hot woman is seen through a window having sex with someone who's not her husband....they don't show any good parts 'tho....then the husband kicks her "arse". She gets shot later. Blah Blah Blah Blah.... was a "bloody" waste of time.....

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