Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
Watch On
  1. Energetic and inventive, it's a satirical, smart, grown-up thriller.
  2. 88
    A real movie, rich and atmospheric, savoring its disreputable characters and their human weaknesses.
  3. 88
    Brosnan turns his typical talent on its head. So does director Boorman, who forsakes his usual tingling virtuosity.
  4. Like a Bach toccata or a frosty drink on a sunlit veranda, a first-class movie spy thriller can offer one of life's cooler, more elegant treats. The Tailor of Panama fits that category.
  5. In a world full of off the rack thrillers, it's fine boutique quality.
  6. The first really good spy movie about the impossibility, under present historical circumstances, of making a really good spy movie.
  7. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    Classy, articulate and richly humorous.
  8. Benefits from delicious acting from co-stars Geoffrey Rush and Pierce Brosnan, a mordant script co-written by le Carre (along with Boorman and Andrew Davies), and the distinctive touch of its director.
  9. The film starts out as a freewheeling farce and turns into a pitch-black burlesque with surprising depths of feeling.
  10. 80
    A cut above last season's best studio offerings. The performances are well turned out. The morality is stylishly gray. The attitude is almost fashionable.
  11. 80
    A sophisticated, subtle adult entertainment that is also a compliment to the audience.
  12. 79
    A fast, funny film that goes down like a cyanide-spiked piña colada.
  13. 78
    It's a humorous film, to be sure, but there's also a stringent vein of giddy realism to it.
  14. Forget the end and there is much to enjoy here.
  15. 75
    Overall, it's a hand-tailored job in a marketplace filled with off-the-rack movies.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Brosnan and Rush are a smooth fit, playing off each other like a snappy shirt and tie.
  17. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Many spy capers lose their intended irony and wry black humor, but The Tailor of Panama stays stylishly on target in ways that would put a heat-seeking missile to shame.
  18. 70
    A cut above the preposterous action spectacles that now pass for espionage films.
  19. 70
    The show belongs to Geoffrey Rush in a note-perfect performance as Harry Pendel, the tailor.
  20. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    I fear that the cozy domestic ending will leave audiences disappointed, convinced that they've seen something smaller and less momentous than they have.
  21. Despite a dissatisfying conclusion, a sense that things don't completely jell, The Tailor of Panama is lively and provocative.
  22. 63
    If The Tailor of Panama doesn't quite gel, the attempt is still worth savoring.
  23. An Austin Powers movie for grown-ups.
  24. Reviewed by: David D'Arcy
    If anything saves this movie, it's the acting.
  25. The script gets so silly, the Monty Python troupe would reject it.
  26. The rhythms excite expectations that go unanswered.
  27. Strains too hard to seem smart and savvy.
  28. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    The film finally collapses under the burden of implausibility.
  29. 40
    The movie is crudely jokey and, finally, a wimpy betrayal of its source.
  30. Anyone expecting a flashy Bond-style fantasy is going to be disappointed.
  31. Only Le Carre fans with tin ears and clouded eyes will fail to note the film's sour tone, crude performances and drab look.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 6 out of 14
  1. JJG
    May 11, 2006
    Lots of fun in an evil, devilish, and absolutely delicious way. Brosnan and Rush are both wonderful.
  2. EricS.
    Apr 2, 2001
    I didn't find one redeeming quality about this movie.