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Reviews & Ratings for
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Neuters the Novel

Author: JoshuaDysart from United States
14 December 2011

From the director of the amazing LET THE RIGHT ONE IN comes a movie with the same economy of image, but certainly not of narrative. Cinematographer, and general genius, Hoyte Van Hoytema turns in a vision of an era that seems almost entirely reliant on muted colors and a constant interior asbestos haze, which feels a little lazy, though the use of a lot of long lenses does successfully give the viewer the sense that they're spying on the whole endeavor from afar. The art and set decoration is amazing, with London at the end of its post-war weariness coming off looking particularly nice. All the actors are excellent except for Gary Oldman who manages somehow to overact even when playing the contained and muted George Smiley. The reveal at the end has all the bite of an old toothless dog and is arrived at in such a by-the-numbers fashion that it seems like a chore that needs to be gotten out of the way. The thing is that Le Carré's work may be this dense and even "plodding", but it's never this cold or unengaging. In suppressing and condensing everything the film makers have done him a disservice. All and all I'm a huge fan of real world spy thrillers and a student of the Cold War, and this is, of course a fictional retelling of the Cambridge Five traitors incident, so there's a lot here for people like me to enjoy and I do recommend it for that reason. The quiet reality of the Cold War is so rarely depicted in film and I'm always excited when someone tries. But when it's all said and done, I prefer the BBC mini-series staring Alec Guinness by a long shot, it simply seems to have more life in its bones.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A film that could have actually been longer

Author: thedavidrowley from United States
19 September 2011

In most cases a movie can condense the subject matter of a novel or story it is based off of. Such was the case in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. However, in this instance it should be said that this movie could have gone on for another 30 minutes or an hour and that would have been perfectly acceptable.

The film could be described as a analysis of the psyche yet a better way to describe it would be to say that it is an action film with no discernible action. The drama is there but your on the edge of your seat because it's your brain versus George Smiley's - wonderfully portrayed by Gary Oldman - and that's a battle you can't help but lose. Although it should be said that if one doesn't figure out who the mole is before he is relieved you're not paying enough attention to the film. The pieces are placed before you and explained but it's up to the audience to put the puzzle together.

The casting done by Jina Jay was wonderfully done. The roles were fitted snugly and were great representation of the characters created by John le Carre. As mentioned Oldman portrays a great George Smiley, and Colin Firth as the likable Bill Haydon. John Hurt, though a small role, showed Control as a character you couldn't help respect even if you didn't like him. But perhaps the character that deserves the most credit was Peter Guillam played by Benedict Cumberbatch. A relative unknown when compared to the rest of the cast, Cumberbatch was able to balance the youth of the character with the responsibilities thrust upon him by the likes of Smiley.

It's no wonder this movie is getting rave reviews but note that if you truly want to get an understanding of these characters it's certainly not too late - even after seeing the film - to pick up a copy of le Carre's novel and find out just who is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Poorman, and Beggarman.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

So disappointing

Author: decap008 from United Kingdom
11 February 2012

Tbf it's prolly around 5 ish, just annoyed as I bought this DVD as a present for my dad, we both love the books and the 70's show, but this film managed to drag, he gave up on it before it had finished.

Too much loud music and overly dramatic pauses. Too little charisma, hard to care or identify with any of the characters, and the gratuitous sex scene was embarrassing.

It was a bit like star wars 1, one intense disappointment yawn with a dodgy Alec guineas impression. Kept expecting a ja ja binks to pop up and yawn, me so bored now.

All the way through is film I kept thinking the TV series really was better than I had thought. Buy that instead this like, it's better.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

NOT for a mainstream audience - too long, awful flowing problems and too many things going on!

Author: lentle from United Kingdom
4 February 2012

This film was SUCH A DISAPPOINTMENT. Probably the worst film I've seen this year so far...

Firstly, the acting in this was excellent in places however it couldn't grab me because the film was directed so poorly. I've never, ever seen a film skip from place to place so quickly when its audience just needs to stop for a moment and grasp what's actually happening! The amount of random scenes that are so misplaced too is extremely irritating and the constant long-pauses of speech made me think why I was watching it.

The film didn't flow either, when it finished I didn't feel like the film had a beginning, middle or end, nor a climax or anything or substance that I'll remember.

There was not one scene I remember from the film very well, no good quotes, no memorable twists, nothing. Don't get me wrong, the sceneries are filmed well, but that's not what this film needs - it needs the development of characters (who there are too many of who don't get enough screen time to adapt).

Terrible, terrible film.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Snore

Author: DJRMewzique from Canada
31 January 2012

More like "Tinker Tailor Soldier Snore." Tomas Alfredson's big screen interpretation of John le Carre's spy novel may have won over many critics, and now the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, but it certainly didn't impress me.

I would try to tell you what the film is about, but seriously, I had little idea what I saw until I got home and re-read the plot on Wikipedia...and even then, it wasn't terribly clear. But it is about an ex-Secret Service guy, played by Gary Oldman, who is looking for a mole in the higher ranks of the British Secret Service.

Loads of things happen in this film, and I guess it was just done in a way that went so completely over my head, I spent the entire film just barely understanding what I was watching. It was like they condensed an entire season of a television series into a two hour movie, making it virtually impossible to follow. To understand it properly, I would have to watch it again.

And believe me, that is not going to happen.

The way Anderson directed it is well done in some ways, but with frame after frame of a backdrop so dreary, it makes London look suicide-inducing, the film plugs along without having any redeemable features that will truly grab your interest and keep you entertained. When someone gets shot in the head, you think finally! Some action! And then it sinks back into the greys and far too many words and names to keep track of.

I think the only reason why the script got an Oscar nomination was that it may have been the thickest of them all, because it certainly was not written well enough for the average human to keep up with the story and keep one terribly interested. A nomination for the score? Sorry, nothing impressive there either. It was as long and drawn out as the film was.

And then there is the Best Actor nomination for Gary Oldman. I would understand it if he were old enough to maybe not get another one, but out of all the performances I have seen this year, this one certainly did not stand out as deserving such a recognition. Yep, there could have easily been a spot there for a more deserving Gosling.

Yep, after sitting through this overly complicated bore of a film, not only did my head hurt, but so did my wallet.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Incoherent and dull

Author: zanderd69 from scotland
8 January 2012

I watched this the other night and still have no idea what happened.

The character development is pitiful, you feel nothing for any of them and i struggled to work out who was who all the way through the movie! I think they thought we would gasp once the spy was revealed, but by that point i had lost interest and was mighty confused by it all.

As spy stories go it was basically a game of Chinese whispers, with minimal action, no tense scenes, an incoherent plot. On the plus side the acting was good, but not enough to make me recommend this to anyone.

I presume you need to read the book, or at least have a brochure explaining what the heck is going on.

If you haven't read the book or watched the TV series from the seventies then don't bother with this.

A total waste of a fine cast.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Looking for depth and found dull

Author: freeride_1973 from United Kingdom
16 April 2012

This is quite possibly the dullest film I have ever seen. I was hoping for something a little more engaging on a Sunday afternoon but struggled to stay awake through it. It is a fairly simple story line and you know where it is going but instead of a tale with twists and turns it takes a basic linear path. In order to feign complexity all the Director did was cut up the time line. It didn't help that they focused on a particular character in a certain way which was out of context with how other characters were dealt with. Why did they do that? Oh because he is the bad guy. I was hoping that was a red herring. Unfortunately not, the guy I thought it would be 30 minutes into the film was indeed the bad guy. Clumsy, pseudo intelligent, uncreative, dullness.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

They conned us!

Author: kale-brody from United Kingdom
29 September 2011

After a barrage of fawning critics and pre-Oscar buzz on this.. I couldn't resist spending a hard earned tenner. Why haven't I learnt? A lathering-at-the-mouth five star review in the posh papers only means that the critic got a lovely meal at Cannes from the films no-expense-spared PR machine. Beautiful attention to period detail?.. there is; Evocative score?.. there is; Great acting technique?.. there is; Anything that gets the emotional juices going?.. there ain't.

Speak to real people. Preferably the ones that walked out halfway and then get the original TV DVD box-set, which is the story's natural format.

Despite the worthy craft and effort. It's turgid.

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Too demanding movie (for an average viewer)

Author: Maleplatypus from Croatia
1 February 2012

Through the period of the cold war I was a kid but I do remember it and everybody knew there's something going on "behind the curtains". But what? This movie does not explain anything. On the contrary - it shows how entirely absurd the whole thing was. Idelogy? What ideology? They were all the same. People were spying each other, betraying, killing and so on for no real reason (maybe money, but even that is doubtful). All "affairs" were just construction, one over the other, and all of them somewhere in the clouds. That's how I perceive this movie and the period described. Requires too much attention and background knowledge. Too much happening in too little time. One barely (if at all) distinguishes who is who in one scene, and here is already another with something totally different. Confusing and boring, yet beautifully photographed. The cast is full of "stars" but why? None of them really has a chance to show anything impressive. There are more characters than in local phone book. Everything is sacrificed for the plot, which probably 100 people in the world understand. I'm not amongst them. The only reason I could recommend this film is testing your patience. Sorry, but nothing more than that.

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Very Good adaptation

Author: jacko07 from United Kingdom
21 September 2011

Somebody on here put this film down as the worst movie ever. I can't imagine what the reviewers IQ is, double figures would be gambling. Did they get bored being away from the X-Box for a couple of hours, or did they think it was based on the nursery rhyme.

There were no over the top car chases, machine guns or fist fights that would make Muhammed Ali look like a slouch. In fact there were no childish gimmicks, it stuck to the story which is much more the dark real life of cold war espionage.

A very strong cast with some outstanding performances. Gary Oldman is one of the best film actors around today and his performance here was on par with the great Alec Guinness's portrayal of George Smiley. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes John Le Carre and especially those who enjoyed the TV series. I would advise those with a short attention span or can't handle thinking to steer clear. This film is not Bourne or Bond type Hollywood style entertainment The film deserves awards, let us hope it gets some good ones.

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