Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 360 Ratings

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  • Summary: The time is 1973. The Cold War of the mid-20th Century continues to damage international relations. Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), a.k.a. MI6 and code-named the Circus, is striving to keep pace with other countries’ espionage efforts and to keep the U.K. secure. When things goThe time is 1973. The Cold War of the mid-20th Century continues to damage international relations. Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), a.k.a. MI6 and code-named the Circus, is striving to keep pace with other countries’ espionage efforts and to keep the U.K. secure. When things go awry, it's up to top lieutenant, George Smiley, a career spy with razor-sharp senses, to get things back on track. (Focus Features) Expand
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: 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Dec 8, 2011
    90
    A pleasurably sly and involving puzzler - a mystery about mysteries within mysteries.
  4. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Dec 22, 2011
    83
    A smart and engaging entertainment.
  5. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Dec 8, 2011
    80
    The film's best moments are the quiet ones in which Oldman's ironically named Smiley provides the story with its wise, unsmiling soul.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Nov 29, 2011
    80
    At two hours, the film version is a third the miniseries' length, requiring severe compression by screenwriters Peter Straughan (The Debt) and Bridget O'Connor, which they've accomplished smartly.
  7. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Dec 27, 2011
    50
    The new film will recruit new friends to the cause; but if we seek George Smiley and his people, with their full complement of terrors, illusions, and shames, we should follow the example of the ever-retiring Smiley, and go back to our books. That's the truth.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 119
  2. Negative: 39 out of 119
  1. Dec 9, 2011
    10
    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 thatTinker 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
  2. Jan 10, 2012
    10
    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 theIt 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. Expand
  3. Nov 9, 2014
    9
    This film is edge of seat gripping throughout, the tension does not let up for a second, and considering it isn't an "action" film. It isThis film is edge of seat gripping throughout, the tension does not let up for a second, and considering it isn't an "action" film. It is quite confusing, but if you properly watch it you should keep up. Every performance is fantastic, especially Gary Oldman, who is always brilliant, and this could be his best yet. Expand
  4. Feb 12, 2012
    6
    If you are not good at finding subtle clues and putting them together fairly quickly, then you will find this movie a harrowing ordeal. I wasIf you are not good at finding subtle clues and putting them together fairly quickly, then you will find this movie a harrowing ordeal. I was personally confused for the first 30 minutes or so into the movie, but once I got settled, I started to put things together, although, not as fast as the movie requires if you truly want to figure out "who is it?" The last 30 minutes of the movie are the most remarkable; it truly is a wonderful denouement. That being said, you may still find yourself will many unanswered questions after the movie ends. The acting was great, but Gary Oldman stole the spotlight and made the movie bearable. His character radiates a calm inquisitiveness throughout the whole film. I was surprised at how good the score was in the film. It really gave a 70s feel to the film. The real gem of the movie, however, was the screenplay. Even though at times it was far too complex, the screenplay was filled with nuances that made the film what it is. This is not a Bond-esque spy thriller. Don't expect much action, and don't expect it the movie to go by quickly. Expand
  5. Mar 24, 2012
    5
    Apart from the acting, this film is a perfect example of how to put an audience asleep. The movie is so terribly unenthusiastic aboutApart from the acting, this film is a perfect example of how to put an audience asleep. The movie is so terribly unenthusiastic about everything. The story while seeming interesting after all is said and done, but the execution and way the story is portrayed in the film couldn't have been more slow and boring. There was only maybe two parts in the entire film I actually enjoyed, one being ruined by the events in the story, and the other being short lived. That being said, the movie has a great lineup for the cast, and the acting on their part was quite good. Some may argue it isn't good, and my rebuttal would be that the acting was great, but rather the direction was poorly done. The cinematography was well done, and the set designs, props, and costumes were exactly right for the early 1970s. None the less, the film left a dry staleness to my mouth much like one would get after being served a platter of cold grits with no sides, or condiments. Unfortunately this is not a dish that can be spiced up, it is a film that must be taken for what it is. No matter how much I wished this were a good movie I still think it is complete rubbish and should be avoided unless you want to be put to sleep. For my full movie review, visit http://visuallyimpairedreviews.blogspot.com/2012/03/tinker-tailor-soldier-spy.html Expand
  6. Jan 7, 2012
    2
    While I wanted to like Tinker Tailor, this is a movie I just couldn't get into. For starters, the pace is astonishingly slow. There areWhile I wanted to like Tinker Tailor, this is a movie I just couldn't get into. For starters, the pace is astonishingly slow. There are scenes that are shown that seem to have no connection to the plot of the movie. The plot is more complex than it needed to be. My biggest problem with the movie though is the lack of anything memorable. The acting is good, the direction is great, and the music suits the movie, but nothing stands out that you will remember in 6 months. Not one scene will stick with you. The characters are not interesting or unique from each other. There may not have been one joke in the movie and there was not one scene that had emotion in it. The mystery through the movie doesn't deliver the payoff and I personally thought Dragon Tattoo had a much more interesting "whodunit" mystery in it's story. After 20 minutes, I started counting how many Harry Potter actors I could spot. I started thinking "There's Tom Hardy, he will do an awesome job in Dark Knight Rises", and "Oh ok so thats the new villain in Star Trek 2, he seems like he will do a good job". I guess the point I am making is that I simply didn't get it and I am saying that because there's a good chance you may not get it either. There may be a target audience for this film, and clearly the critics ate this movie up, but it disappointed for me and the four people I went with. Also, judging by the awkward and silent reaction of other people in the theater we weren't the only ones, despite the great actors and potential. Expand
  7. Jun 3, 2012
    0
    Yeah I actually gave up on this movie. If you like it than you are a liar. I don't think the director and producer understand the story. ItYeah I actually gave up on this movie. If you like it than you are a liar. I don't think the director and producer understand the story. It was so bad I registered here just to give it a 0. Truly one of the worst movies of all time. I saw random people walking behind windows in the movie like Blair-witch and I am not sure if they knew if they were part of the movie or not. Expand

See all 119 User Reviews

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