Focus Features | Release Date: December 9, 2011
6.6
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 418 Ratings
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Positive:
264
Mixed:
85
Negative:
69
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8
grandpajoe6191Feb 13, 2012
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.
11 of 13 users found this helpful112
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10
AikaJun 4, 2012
This is a work of genius. The subtlety screams on screen and it just delivers. And that cast! The best, and I mean the best British actors of each generation. Masterpiece!
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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9
beelzie14Jan 23, 2012
Astounding. Period drama with real teeth and depth. Oldman, Cumberbatch, Strong and Toby Jones are wonderful. Disappointed with Firth for first time in ages. Upstaged in TTSS by stronger actors. If you like slow-burning spy dramas - akin toAstounding. Period drama with real teeth and depth. Oldman, Cumberbatch, Strong and Toby Jones are wonderful. Disappointed with Firth for first time in ages. Upstaged in TTSS by stronger actors. If you like slow-burning spy dramas - akin to The Good Shepherd - then this will be right up your street. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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9
MajorBobJan 15, 2012
This movie is not for everyone and if you don't enjoy the movie, please do yourself a favor and don't try to read the book. I read most of John LeCarre's books when they came out a generation ago and this one was a tough read even back then.This movie is not for everyone and if you don't enjoy the movie, please do yourself a favor and don't try to read the book. I read most of John LeCarre's books when they came out a generation ago and this one was a tough read even back then.

Spy stories without near non-stop action are not a very popular film genre. This one has British accents to boot and a very complicated plot so be prepared to concentrate on every scene and and every conversation. Having said all that, I loved this movie and the cast which contains every great English character actor working today.

At times, it may seem slow in plot development but in the end everything comes together and quite frankly, I can't wait for the DVD to come out so I can go back and forth to scenes with the "closed captions" on.

Gary Oldman is terrific as George Smiley, master spy, who finds himself forced into retirement because of a botched mission in Hungary. He's brought back for the sole purpose of finding a "mole" in MI-6, who may have compromised that mission. The "back stories" of the possible suspects (nicknamed "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy") is partially told in flash back and in scenes that don't seem important at the time. Pay particular attention to Smiley's glasses since they tell you when the scene is a flashback.

The ending may be a shock if you haven't been paying attention to the relationship between the characters so either stay on your toes watching this one or find something a little easier on the the brain to watch.
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2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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10
hoops2448Dec 9, 2011
Tinker Tailor is one of the most planned out films I have seen in all my years. It is filled with subtle hints and images. It's a film that doesn't point things out, it crams the screen full of imagery and lets the viewer decide whatsTinker Tailor is one of the most planned out films I have seen in all my years. It is filled with subtle hints and images. It's a film that doesn't point things out, it crams the screen full of imagery and lets the viewer decide whats relevant just like Gary Oldman's George Smiley is. Its a film that marvels in the enigma that is Smiley and works best when you have no idea what he is thinking. It is one of the greatest thinking mans films. The performances are flawless with Oldman giving one of the best of his career and Colin Firth following up his Kings Speech role with something more in your face and exuberant that makes him stand out in a crowd of people known for secrets and lies. The cast is rounded out by some of the best British Thesps around from Toby Jones to Kathy Burke. The direction is so clever in the way it toys with the viewer. Its outstanding in every possible way, well worth a watch. Expand
7 of 13 users found this helpful76
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9
CriticalFanJan 6, 2012
I am brand new to Metacritic, having joined this site in order to submit my review of the movie, which I saw last night and is still in my head.

Although this movie is slow to pull you in, once it does, you're hooked. For me, I didn't
I am brand new to Metacritic, having joined this site in order to submit my review of the movie, which I saw last night and is still in my head.

Although this movie is slow to pull you in, once it does, you're hooked. For me, I didn't realize how much I really enjoyed the film until the very end, when things finally came together and the "can you get ON with it" feeling I had during the first 15-20 minutes of the movie had passed. Now, I keep thinking about how much I want to see it again. Usually I see a film once and that is it. This film is subtle, and I know that seeing it again will reveal more to me than I realized the first time around.

The performances were excellent all around. Everyone is crowing about Gary Oldman, with good reason, but for me, Mark Strong had the best performance of the film, followed closely by Benedict Cumberbatch. Not a weak link in the chain, though. I don't know if this movie will do well in the U.S. at the box office. Frankly, you have to be intelligent and really pay attention to the movie. As I left the theater last night, I heard some people saying how much they loved it, and then I heard a few ladies saying that it was too long and convoluted. These were the same ladies before the movie started that were asking me what a mole was, and if people in the movie were going to speak with British accents. The sets were superb--drab, draber, and drabest. Flawlessly realistic. I hope that there's an Oscar nomination for the movie here, as well as the one anticipated for Gary Oldman.

I knew absolutely nothing about the book or the Alec Guinness version, but intelligence, patience and attention here are all anyone needs. I wouldn't recommend taking someone to see this movie who thinks that Michael Bay films are their gold standard.
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3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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9
themrchookJan 9, 2012
I really liked this movie. I can understand how some users say that the movie is "jumbled", "convoluted" or "confusing" but instead of taking that as a negative while I watched I was drawn in by the subtlety of what was shown as an observerI really liked this movie. I can understand how some users say that the movie is "jumbled", "convoluted" or "confusing" but instead of taking that as a negative while I watched I was drawn in by the subtlety of what was shown as an observer to the events in the film. Do things really need to be explicitly explained at every turn in the movie for you to enjoy it? Do you not want to have to think at all while watching a movie? Is that what you'd call "entertainment"? Expand
4 of 9 users found this helpful45
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10
colorblindyoshiDec 9, 2011
this came out in the uk around 5 months ago and is about as good a film you can get these days. great cast, great direction and exuding britishness. fantastic. the film is quite confusing however, but all the loose ends are wrapped up nicely.this came out in the uk around 5 months ago and is about as good a film you can get these days. great cast, great direction and exuding britishness. fantastic. the film is quite confusing however, but all the loose ends are wrapped up nicely. the cast are in some of their staring roles, maybe not benedict cumberbatch (sherlock) or gary oldman (the dark knight) buy certaintly other minor characters. very good, and quite shocking at times. may not suit an american audience however, so take heed. Expand
3 of 7 users found this helpful34
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8
wheretomaDec 17, 2011
Terrific acting by the entire cast. The period was captured incredibly well and the story was engaging, if sometimes too fast / subtle. Recommended highly.
3 of 9 users found this helpful36
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10
PsychMeOutMar 25, 2012
This film isn't for idiots. Those who seek a more shallow experience ought to take a look at Soul Plane. or perhaps Big Momma's House. The fact that the film might be incomprehensible might not be because of the film itself, but you. Stick toThis film isn't for idiots. Those who seek a more shallow experience ought to take a look at Soul Plane. or perhaps Big Momma's House. The fact that the film might be incomprehensible might not be because of the film itself, but you. Stick to tired Hollywood blockbusters where everything is literally spelled out to you. Enough is said. Expand
2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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9
cabritaDec 21, 2011
This film is one of the best of the year! It is not for the common viewer who just wants cheep thrills. The film builds suspense not with senseless action but with an engaging story that you are attempting to figure out what is going on. TheThis film is one of the best of the year! It is not for the common viewer who just wants cheep thrills. The film builds suspense not with senseless action but with an engaging story that you are attempting to figure out what is going on. The viewer like the protagonist is left to figure out these random events that are happening. Tomas Alfredson's direction is flawless evoking a feeling of mystery and really setting a tone that keeps you engaged throught the whole movie. For the users that did not enjoy this movie they probably to dumb to figure out what was even going on in the movie. The dialogue in this film is very subtle so many viewers will find this film hard to understand. Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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10
BHBarryDec 14, 2011
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1 of 6 users found this helpful15
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8
LynJan 9, 2012
A little short on thrills to be called a "spy thriller," but a well-done and atmospheric tale -- dark, mysterious and mordant. I would have liked a bit more detail & insight on the men suspected as moles. As it is, there's kind of a ho-humA little short on thrills to be called a "spy thriller," but a well-done and atmospheric tale -- dark, mysterious and mordant. I would have liked a bit more detail & insight on the men suspected as moles. As it is, there's kind of a ho-hum reaction when the villain is revealed. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
GOUGHJan 6, 2012
Everyone is right and wrong about this film. Geez. I don't remember the 'original' being so bloody violent. Well done stuff. I just had a difficult job hearing some words from time to time. My bad hearing. But, that damn broken up PBS seriesEveryone is right and wrong about this film. Geez. I don't remember the 'original' being so bloody violent. Well done stuff. I just had a difficult job hearing some words from time to time. My bad hearing. But, that damn broken up PBS series just killed it. I went and read the book later on and got into how David Cornwell writes and he's a genious in his own way. This film of the story was a smackin' great visit, even though I had to guess and wonder and follow along, all over again. [Great bit that, right?] Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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8
pinattarJan 28, 2012
good spy movie.....but it was way to slow. i dont usually mind slow movies, but i felt that this film failed to establish suspense. There were a few moments but i really didnt care who the spy was and more importantly i didnt suspect any ofgood spy movie.....but it was way to slow. i dont usually mind slow movies, but i felt that this film failed to establish suspense. There were a few moments but i really didnt care who the spy was and more importantly i didnt suspect any of the guys of being a spy (i never felt that the spy was one guy of the other). all in all its was a good movie, good acting and all that, i liked the editing (how they just cut alot of the "in between" shots). i wouldn't recommend this to everyone, mainly because it was just really slow. 86-89%. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
gunnyartJan 10, 2012
This was a truly great spy thriller. It was so engaging and believable it could have been a leaked account of the real travails of intelligence agencies during the cold war. The grainy style of filming and muted colors helped transport us toThis was a truly great spy thriller. It was so engaging and believable it could have been a leaked account of the real travails of intelligence agencies during the cold war. The grainy style of filming and muted colors helped transport us to the early 70's adding to that believability. Expecting to be tested by all the plot twists I suppose I was more tuned in then usual but, if you couldn't follow it you weren't paying attention. If tripe like Angelina Jolie's "Salt" is your idea of a spy thriller you'll hate this film. If on the other hand you enjoy an intelligent and gripping and utterly believable spy thriller this is a must see for you. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
asthobaskoroApr 1, 2012
Do you know what happened on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? I don't know either. But this movie has great score, dazzling cinematography, well-direction, **** script, solid acting - each frame well say it's quality.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
RoscoFeb 12, 2012
This film was just made for Gary Oldman. From the very moment Smiley (Oldman) appears on screen you just knew he was going to take centre stage. Given the fact he doesn't actually utter a word for the opening 15 minutes of the film, hisThis film was just made for Gary Oldman. From the very moment Smiley (Oldman) appears on screen you just knew he was going to take centre stage. Given the fact he doesn't actually utter a word for the opening 15 minutes of the film, his performance is still sensational, he himself does the talking. In 1973, Control (head of British Intelligence, The Circus, sends agent Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong) to Hungary to meet a Hungarian general who wishes to sell information, however the operation is blown, Prideaux shot. Amid the international incident Control and Smiley are forced into retirement. Soon after, Smiley is brought out of retirement to investigate a claim made by an agent that there is a mole deep in the British Intelligence. As Smiley puts his team together it soon becomes apparent that agent Ricki Tarr's claims are true and he can trust nobody. He also discovers the real reason as to why Control had sent Jim Prideaux to Hungary; to learn who the mole was. Control had codenamed each suspect: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Poorman and Beggerman (Smiley!) The beauty of this film is the fact that it depends upon the acting. Its such a subtle and delicate film and you really sense the atmospheric setting of 1970's Cold War British espionage. That being said, this film requires the utmost attention because every detail is important as it jumps back and forth from time-to-time all the while becoming an utterly absorbing watch as Britain's finest excel in what turns out to be a beautifully executed film by Tomas Alfredson who slowly but surely pieces together the jigsaw with sublime skill resulting in one of the films of the year. Whilst Gary Oldman is genius as Smiley, mentions have to be made of what is a stellar supporting cast including Tom Hardy, Benidict Cumberbatch, John Hurt, Mark Strong and Colin Firth. An utterly rich, absorbing execution of espionage delivering a masterstroke in detail and a truly fantastic film. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
HalfwelshmanFeb 22, 2012
Films like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy don't come along very often. Films that are this intelligent, lovingly crafted and unafraid to take their time are a rarity in modern cinema, so, oddly enough, Tinker Tailor feels like a breath of freshFilms like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy don't come along very often. Films that are this intelligent, lovingly crafted and unafraid to take their time are a rarity in modern cinema, so, oddly enough, Tinker Tailor feels like a breath of fresh air, despite its 1970s setting, cold grey sets and tweed. Director Tomas Alfredson proved his talent for building tension and creating a chilly atmosphere in his last feature, Let the Right One In, and this talent he puts to good use in maintaining the suspense of the plot and providing the right insular, secretive, emotionless feel to the world of Cold War espionage. The cast are exceptional, with Gary Oldman delivering the performance of his career as retired spy George Smiley - he doesn't say much, but doesn't really need to when he's got the art of communicating through sitting perfectly still and subtly altering his facial expression down to such a fine art. Others in the film's huge ensemble cast all have their moments to impress over the course of the film, but the of particular note are Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch and John Hurt (the latter of which was once considered to play Smiley, but is much better suited as the cantankerous Control). Though it's undeniably an exceptional spy film, where Tinker Tailor really hits the mark is as a commentary on the futility of war. Every character is on edge as the investigation to find the Soviet mole within the British secret service progresses - the paranoia of the Cold War and threat of an enemy gaining the upper hand is perfectly communicated through the film's in-depth characterisation, with every member of "The Circus" looking as through they're rotting from the inside out. This constant sense of unease is heightened by Alfredson's direction - you're kept at arms length from all of the characters we follow, and we never really get to know anybody. We just look on, helpless, at once-powerful men who sit slowly crumbling in bleak, cold offices and dingy hotel rooms. In a lesser film, denying the viewer to really get inside character's heads would be a drawback, but not so here. We are given just enough information to make our own judgements about what may be going through the heads of this group of decrepit spies, but not quite enough to plot the exact course the film will take. Smiley is always one step ahead of the viewer in his investigations, and marveling at the way his mind works when all the pieces of the puzzle finally slot into place is part of the fun. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is expertly directed, designed and filmed, and has the fiendishly clever plot and script adapted from John le Carre's novel and sturdy, complex performances from the whole cast to make it the complete package. You don't get movies like this anymore, and that's a damn shame. Take note British film industry - this is what film perfection looks like! Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
Tazmania32Jan 6, 2012
Although it does start off slow, it begins to pick up the pace as the plot moves along. A great looking film with great acting, as good as I thought it would be. I recommend paying close attention otherwise you might miss something important.
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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7
lahaineJan 7, 2012
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a very slow burning spy thriller. Its slow pace may bore some, but I think it was an effective way of composing this elaborate plot and allotting the broad cast a fair amount of screen time. With that said, goodTinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a very slow burning spy thriller. Its slow pace may bore some, but I think it was an effective way of composing this elaborate plot and allotting the broad cast a fair amount of screen time. With that said, good job to the writers and editors. Its lack of kinetic thrills was a disappointment, but its labyrinth of a plot is enough to keep most people intrigued. Gary Oldman leads the cast with an understated and complete performance, and the textured cinematography and art direction also deserve a mention. I felt certain plot-lines were ultimately unnecessary, but Le Carre should be pleased with the adaptation. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
XTrapnelDec 12, 2011
It is rare that two contrasting masterpieces are made from the same source. That has, however, happened with Tinker, Tailor. This insidious, ugly-beautiful picture can stand proudly beside the classic BBC TV series. The plotting is layered.It is rare that two contrasting masterpieces are made from the same source. That has, however, happened with Tinker, Tailor. This insidious, ugly-beautiful picture can stand proudly beside the classic BBC TV series. The plotting is layered. The photography is cunning. And it has one of the great last scenes. Superb. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
notwistJan 5, 2012
This movie has beautiful cinematography, and it excels in confusing the viewer to the degree where you are caught up in the same confusion as the characters in the movie experience when chasing the proposed mole. I don't think it's confusingThis movie has beautiful cinematography, and it excels in confusing the viewer to the degree where you are caught up in the same confusion as the characters in the movie experience when chasing the proposed mole. I don't think it's confusing enough to make you want to let go of the movie entirely, I would say that it rather creates an immersion for the viewer that is required in order for this movie _not_ to feel boring.

This is a movie that doesn't say it all straight out, and like any good literature or screenplay it leaves the interpretation up to the viewer. If that's your cup of tea, this movie is for you.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
Zeolot88Feb 21, 2012
A good watch, and worth it even if you haven't seen the original or read the book as I had not. It's a subtle thriller, and unlike the other spy films like the Bourne trilogy or Bonds (not that they're not great either). The cast is anA good watch, and worth it even if you haven't seen the original or read the book as I had not. It's a subtle thriller, and unlike the other spy films like the Bourne trilogy or Bonds (not that they're not great either). The cast is an endless list of the who's who of British film, all of whom give a amazing performance. All the reviews that say the film is incomprehensible, is rubbish and their writers must be morons, as for me the story pulled me in straight away and I wasn't lost at any point. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
FIlmsareawesomeDec 25, 2011
Excellent movie, espionage kind of film at his best. Great written, the whole time I was trying to figure it out who was the mole, and it keep me so excited throw out the film, so the whole theme of the movie was amazing and interesting. GaryExcellent movie, espionage kind of film at his best. Great written, the whole time I was trying to figure it out who was the mole, and it keep me so excited throw out the film, so the whole theme of the movie was amazing and interesting. Gary Oldman deserves an Oscar nomination, and the technical achievements good lord, they were fantastic. It may have been a little bit slow at beginning, but they were just explaining the way that turns would turn out to be.So for me this is on the top 10 movies of 2011. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
gnomeninja123Jan 9, 2012
Fantastic. This film is not for everyone- I understand that. It took me two watches to fully understand everything (damn english names) but the cinematography was beautiful and the cast was brillant. I wou ld not recomend for the casualFantastic. This film is not for everyone- I understand that. It took me two watches to fully understand everything (damn english names) but the cinematography was beautiful and the cast was brillant. I wou ld not recomend for the casual viewer but for someone who wants to be mind F@cked Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
bricefpJan 10, 2012
It was a great film. I thought everything in it was well done. It has some of the best camera work I have seen in a film. The acting in the film is very subtle. It's a very good foil to the classic, over the top spy films such as James Bond.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
JudgeHoldenDec 28, 2011
The best spy movie I've seen in the last 15 years and probably one of the best in its genre. If you like thinking about what you see and not just see some images pass by, that's the movie for you. Period.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
RevealaJan 3, 2012
Yes, it's an intricate and challenging movie to follow. However, "Tinker" rewards your patience and intelligence, and ultimately, you'll "get it."
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
aroncido6Feb 9, 2012
Quite good movie. It's a bit slow-moving and not very action-orientated, but exciting if you catch the "rythm" of it. Gary Oldman is brilliant, truly deserves the Oscar nom.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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