Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  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. 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.
  4. 88
    Brosnan turns his typical talent on its head. So does director Boorman, who forsakes his usual tingling virtuosity.
  5. In a world full of off the rack thrillers, it's fine boutique quality.
  6. 80
    A sophisticated, subtle adult entertainment that is also a compliment to the audience.
  7. The film starts out as a freewheeling farce and turns into a pitch-black burlesque with surprising depths of feeling.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The first really good spy movie about the impossibility, under present historical circumstances, of making a really good spy movie.
  11. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    80
    Classy, articulate and richly humorous.
  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. 75
    Overall, it's a hand-tailored job in a marketplace filled with off-the-rack movies.
  15. Forget the end and there is much to enjoy here.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Brosnan and Rush are a smooth fit, playing off each other like a snappy shirt and tie.
  17. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    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
    70
    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. Reviewed by: David D'Arcy
    60
    If anything saves this movie, it's the acting.
  24. An Austin Powers movie for grown-ups.
  25. Strains too hard to seem smart and savvy.
  26. The script gets so silly, the Monty Python troupe would reject it.
  27. The rhythms excite expectations that go unanswered.
  28. 40
    The movie is crudely jokey and, finally, a wimpy betrayal of its source.
  29. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    40
    The film finally collapses under the burden of implausibility.
  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
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 6 out of 14
  1. JJG
    May 11, 2006
    9
    Lots of fun in an evil, devilish, and absolutely delicious way. Brosnan and Rush are both wonderful.
  2. EricS.
    Apr 2, 2001
    0
    I didn't find one redeeming quality about this movie.