Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Dec 15, 2011
    100
    This superb remake has the inevitable look of a period piece, a smoke-filled rendering of things past. However, thanks to Tomas Alfredson's direction, a taut screenplay, and a uniformly brilliant cast, the film also retains its contemporary relevance.
  2. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Dec 15, 2011
    100
    Screenwriters Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan have clarified a few things that needed clarifying, camouflaged a few things that needed camouflaging - and gently tugged some passive flashbacks into the active present. It's a cagey adaptation.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 15, 2011
    100
    This is one of the finest achievements of the year, and while it's easy to lose your way in the labyrinth, I don't think Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is most interesting for its narrative pretzels. Rather, it's about what this sort of life does to the average human soul.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Dec 6, 2011
    100
    The Cold War is over, but director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) and his collaborators have brought those suspicion-fueled days to vivid life in this masterful adaptation of John le Carré's beloved 1974 spy novel.
  5. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Nov 29, 2011
    100
    Utterly absorbing, extremely smart and - considering this is a sad, shabby, drably grey-green world of obsessives, misfits, misdirection, disillusionment, self-delusion and treachery - quite beautifully executed.
  6. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Dec 9, 2011
    95
    The screenplay, by Peter Straughan and his late wife, Bridget O'Connor, is debonair. Alfredson's mastery of tone and ambiance is flawless. The bloodletting is brief and necessarily appalling, the comedy mordant: I guarantee you will never sing along to "Mr. Woo" in quite the same way again.
  7. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 8, 2011
    95
    The movie's intricacy, and the way it finds its way into the emotional lives of its characters via (and not in spite of) that intricacy, is what makes it extraordinary. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy challenges audiences to believe in craftsmanship again.
  8. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Dec 7, 2011
    91
    After establishing an atmosphere of nearly unbearable dread, Alfredson keeps thickening and chilling it.
  9. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Dec 7, 2011
    91
    I had to see the new version twice to realize that there's so much to appreciate about this multilayered production.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 8, 2011
    90
    What contemporary relevance you may find in Alfredson's chilly, marvelously acted and gorgeously composed new film of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - is a highly individual question.
  11. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Dec 8, 2011
    90
    A pleasurably sly and involving puzzler - a mystery about mysteries within mysteries.
  12. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 8, 2011
    90
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an enormously impressive piece of work.
  13. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 8, 2011
    90
    This version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy turns on the presence of Mr. Oldman, and he is an actor of great experience and accomplishment who has finally found a film that fully deserves him.
  14. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Nov 29, 2011
    90
    An inventive, meaty distillation of Le Carre's 1974 novel, picture turns hero George Smiley's hunt for a mole within Blighty's MI6 into an incisive examination of Cold War ethics, rich in both contempo resonance and elegiac melancholy.
  15. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Dec 22, 2011
    89
    One wishes for a chewier whodunit – there just aren't enough clues for the viewer to work with – and the reveal of the mole is perversely anticlimactic. But maybe that's just stickling. We always knew Smiley'd get his man.
  16. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jan 5, 2012
    88
    The film requires close attention, especially while it jumps back and forth in time for the first half-hour, but all the pieces lock into place tightly by the end.
  17. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Dec 23, 2011
    88
    Yes, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is often hard to follow, perhaps overestimating the audience's ability to keep track of what's going on and why. But it's a well-crafted film that wears its old-fashionedness with pride.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 15, 2011
    88
    In its attention to detail and awareness of betrayals both political and human, "Tinker Tailor'' is a movie for grown-ups.
  19. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Dec 9, 2011
    88
    Thanks to his (Oldman) mastery, and Alfredson's, no film this year left me hungrier for a sequel.
  20. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 8, 2011
    88
    Oldman gives a performance that is flawless in every detail.
  21. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Dec 3, 2011
    88
    Order may be restored to the Circus, the "bad" elements weeded out, but in the jaundiced world the film has spent the last two hours so effectively delineating, the barriers between good and evil have been shown to be essentially meaningless.
  22. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Dec 22, 2011
    83
    A smart and engaging entertainment.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 12, 2011
    83
    It's a beautifully modulated performance of a man whose presence, at times, seems on the verge of vanishing – not a bad attribute for a spy.
  24. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Dec 7, 2011
    83
    A puzzle of a highly rarefied order. At times it's enthrallingly clever and subtle; at others it's borderline incomprehensible.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 341 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 116
  2. Negative: 39 out of 116
  1. Dec 13, 2011
    0
    The movie is totally incomprehensible, dull and uninvolving. It jumps forward and backward in time at random, and Gary Oldman does an Alec Guiness impression. I don't know what movie the critics saw, but this is a total snooze. Full Review »
  2. Dec 12, 2011
    1
    Just saw a screening of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Stunned to read that reviews are good. Wait until real people see this, and not reviewers who are afraid to call this like it is, one of the most confusing and convoluted movies I have ever seen. I was in a theater of industry members and the reaction could not have been more tepid. There was a Q&A afterwards and when asked if this was better than the Alec Guiness version the answer over and over was, NO! The direction and the editing is a jumbled mess. Timelines, story lines, characters, all muddled. Gary Oldman plays his part well, I lay this mess at the feet of the director and his editor. A final note, I absolutely adore spy movies, I devoured every book every written about the Cold War, this should have been right up my alley. VERDICT: Gutter Ball Full Review »
  3. Feb 13, 2012
    8
    Although hard to follow at times, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is a intense spy thriller; one that knows what a real spy does. I recommend this good film to the smart audiences. Full Review »