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

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

If they would have fixed the watchable value of the movie, it would've been one of the year's top films.

Author: RyanCShowers from United States
15 August 2013

I'm going to be perfectly truthful, I didn't understand and absorb all the information that was thrown at me during Tinker Tailor Solider Spy. It's sometimes a mess to keep the characters straight and a struggle to keep yourself engaged, but your forbearance may be worth the pros Tinker Tailor Solider Spy has to offer. It does have an interesting spy story, a mysterious mood orchestrated by the director, and it boasts the performance from Gary Oldman. It's the best male performance of 2011, so naturally filled with a character that has a lot to say. His monologue Oldman delivers is easily the highlight of the film. The technicals are well executed, too, they create a marvelous mood. Tinker Tailor Solider Spy is well directed, contains more- than-quality acting, an interesting story, but for some reason it almost puts you in a comatose state in frequently during its duration. If they would have fixed the watchable value of the movie, it would've been one of the year's top films.

Rating: 7/10

Grade: B+

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Intelligently Done and Believable Spy Film

8/10
Author: doug_park2001 from United States
1 July 2013

During the height of the Cold War in the early '70s, a British In-tel operation is trying to uncover a mole in its ranks who's giving the Soviets some info that's, at least apparently, about as crucial as crucial can be.

Although I haven't read the book or seen the original '79 film, I found the whole story and presentation here very engaging. TTSS is one of the few films of its type dealing with some very BIG conflicts yet lacking elements that seem contrived or too much of a stretch. Given close attention, the storyline is lucid enough, has some well-done and believable surprises, and does not just mess with one's head for the sake of it. It's also a very revealing look at the whole cynical business of international spying/intelligence. Fine acting, particularly from Mark Strong, Gary Oldman, David Dencik, and Colin Firth.

TTSS is obviously a bit too slow-moving for the fast action crowd. The large cast of characters is also a bit hard to keep track of on first view. Non-British audiences may need the subtitles due to the heavy accents and use of slang in this film. All the same, TTSS should appeal not only to international intrigue aficionados, but to anyone who's ever been in a group situation of any sort that's full of bad politics, everyone suspicious of everyone else, etc.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Perhaps the most boring spy flick I've ever watched

4/10
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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Vintage Le Carre brilliantly told!

10/10
Author: Spaceygirl (melanie.diesel@bbraun.co.za) from Johannesburg, South Africa
29 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No-one does a Spy thriller better than the British and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" ranks as one of the best. This is vintage Le Carre (A fantastic novel that I waded through in the late 80's) and its themes of class, corruption, moral uncertainty remain intelligently intact. On the other hand, you may struggle to fathom what the bloody hell's going on. This is a film that assumes it's audience has a brain, in fact it almost insists on it. Concentrate and you will be richly rewarded. The script is flawless, the direction faultless, the cinematography is stunning, evoking a murky 1970's London. The cast is absolutely magnificent. Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Colin Firth, Ciarian Hinds, Mark Strong (playing against type), Toby Jones, the delicious Benedict Cumberbatch, Kathy Burke and the gorgeous Tom Hardy. One of the best movies of the decade. 10/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Spy Thriller and Mystery

8/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
21 April 2013

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

Other reviewers have complained that the film is too "obtuse", and in fact the movie was recommended to me because the person who watched it did not know what they had seen and wanted to know if I could figure it out any better. And yes, it takes a while to get the timeline and characters straight.

But I think this is a strong movie for just that reason. While not the fun, feel-good movie of the year, it is an intelligent spy mystery. You might have to watch it two or three times to really figure out who is working for who. And you may as well -- the actors are incredible, the cinematography gorgeous. Heck, it might even take a second viewing to figure out what "circus" and "witchcraft" are.

Ebert wrote that the film "looks, sounds and feels exactly right." That about sums it up.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Compelling but confusing

7/10
Author: Tom Henehan from United States
21 December 2012

I didn't see this in the theater, and just watched it on TV. (Well, "It's not TV, it's HBO," heh heh.)

I've read many John le Carre novels, including TTSS and most of the George Smiley saga ~ but not recently. Nevertheless, I had a very difficult time following the plot of this film.

The 2-3 pages worth of User Reviews I just read seem to be split between high praise and full-out criticism. My reaction is somewhere in-between. I was NOT put off, for example, by the generally seedy look of all the settings; I accepted that as realistic. My main problem was with the lack of exposition, and the seemingly random back-and-forth transitions between present time and flashback.

I find it hard to believe that ANYONE could follow this film who had not RECENTLY read the book or watched the BBC video.

Nevertheless, for whatever reason, I couldn't stop watching, I had to watch a second time, and now I have the book on hold at the library and the Alec Guinness series lined up in my Netflix queue.

While I found the film difficult to understand, something about the film made me really WANT to understand. The look, the mood, the acting ~ all so excellent that I couldn't take my eyes off the screen, despite having no idea what the hell was going on. I suppose that's a recommendation, of sorts...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Stunning movie-making

10/10
Author: sergepesic from Minneapolis, USA
15 October 2012

Cold war, the Iron Curtain, spies and traitors, cats and mice, and it is sometimes hard to tell who is who. These are the different kind of crazy 70's, not so much sex, drugs and rock and roll, more dark rooms, swilling whiskey, drab man in drab offices, painting world in the color of blood. It is all shrouded in patriotic colors and high ideals of God and country ( strangely how nothing changed since), but in harsh reality it is all about power, control and backstabbing in the lofty corridors of rulers of the realm. John Le Carre reinvented the modern spy novel. No more buxom blonds and car chases. Just gloomy corners, musty hotel rooms and the rancid smell of betrayal. This is stunning movie-making, and a lesson in classy acting.Precious gift these days.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not your everyday movie

7/10
Author: jkd15-1 from United States
26 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, this movie appears to somewhat be divided between the book readers and non book readers. I haven't read the book so went along for the ride missing information and enjoyed it.

Some loose ends were not tied up for me in the movie. Did the one spy get the girl. Did they send the other spy back. What happened to some of the spies.

Who the hell was who. The main problem watching this movie is the assumption that the viewer already knows who many of the characters are and unless one watches "very" intently one struggles to follow and really, can't completely anyway.

Very well filmed and very well acted. Gary Oldman is a force to be reckoned with and unfortunately, isn't given more cerebral type roles to show his prowess intellectually and whether through necessity or preference, is cast in mystical and sci fi roles.

Barely know any of the other actors but all were excellent actors.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Curate's Egg

5/10
Author: nszponar from Spain
31 August 2012

I can only recommend 1- read the book 2 - view the BBC series with Alec Guinness. Gary Oldman and John Hurt stand out but I was surprised to see that the budget was 20M. Obviously not spent on the script since very few people got to say anything and it looked like a made for TV movie in its set pieces. This is one of the seminal espionage stories so why mess with the details. Ricky Tarr's story was altered and none of the major suspects in the book were given any voice in the film. Characters were not developed properly - what a wasted opportunity. No sense of the betrayal of friendship which is what the book is about and no sense of the humanity, frailty and intelligence which pervades the book. Disappointing all in all.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Could have been so good if only!!!!

3/10
Author: jhalford-1 from New Zealand
19 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Basically this is a "Who Dunnit". George Smiley is persuaded to come out of retirement, from the British Secret Service, to flush out a mole, who has infiltrated the service, to a very senior level. It has been over 20 years since I read the series of books with George Smiley in it. I do however remember that there were a whole series of clues as to who was the baddie. No such luck here. How on earth could anyone possibly have worked out who the mole was, except by guessing. There was virtually no background at all on any of the characters. There was no suspense, no excitement no anything. No I nearly forgot, there was a moment when Benedict Cumberpatch is required to illicitly steal some information for Gary Oldman (George Smiley), but that was pretty much it.

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