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Average User Score: 8.9Dec 31, 2011This movie isn't perfect in every sense, but I do believe it deserves a perfect score. Everything has a low-budget, early Tarantino-esqueThis movie isn't perfect in every sense, but I do believe it deserves a perfect score. Everything has a low-budget, early Tarantino-esque feel, which is good for two reasons: First, the story and acting have to carry the movie and they do so superbly. Secondly, the aura of simplicity adds to the feel of realism: instead of special effects and sleekness, one gets to feel as if there, with the characters. Without spoiling too much, I can say that this is one of the cleverest movies I've ever seen. So many details add together in subtle ways, allowing the viewer to slowly but surely come to conclusions just seconds before the characters do too. It never feels forced or obvious, yet the director manages to guide us through a mental maze. Apart from Spacey who is sublime, I believe that Byrne and Palminteri both diserve lots of credit, even though Palminteri's character has little depth, the actor plays the role to it's full potential, secretly enabling the story to go the way it goes. Overall, it's not a movie everyone will find fantastic, but if you're into the criminal heroes / messing with your mind kind of thriller, boy, are you in for a ride.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.6Dec 31, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sadly, the movie feels more like looking out the window during a boring bus ride than as a mental roller-coaster. Which is a shame, as the cast plays wonderfully well and the cinematography and atmosphere are fantastic.
I'm a big fan of movies like The Usual Suspects, thus I was expecting a whole lot from Tinker Tailor. I came out disappointed. The cinematography is superb, acting is very, very good and the atmosphere of bleek, tense spy-life is wonderful. But the pacing is incredibly slow and it's near impossible for (even for the mos intelligent of us) to really engage with the story: it feels like watching people you don't know do things you don't care about. I was also disappointed by the 'thriller' aspect: there really is almost no suspense apart from a few moments. Even as the story unravels, really big things 'click', I felt distant. It's possible to connect the dots and subtle (often visual) clues after you've seen the movie, but it never feels cool. In some of the great psychological thrillers, it's awesome to wacht it the second time knowing someone is lying, pretending to be something, that the protagonists are lead onto a wrong track. Nothing of that kind here. It's more of the type - "Ahh, those two shared a look then because they collaborated together".
It's all very surprising to me, especially as more or less the entire cast acts very, very well. Oldman is sublime, again transformed into a totally different person, with suble facial expressions, gestures - you can often see him think. Same goes for Firth, Cumberbatch, the whole lot - the only trouble is that there are so many important characters, it's hard for the movie to create much of a depth for them. Most are just set there, without much explanation. You sense there is a story behind all of them (after all, it's a huge book), you just don't get it.
In the end, there feeling is eerily similar to Harry Potter 8 part 1: Characters just going from place to place, off to find this or that which will then allow them to go off and find this or that. The goal of the movie is to find the mole, Mr.Smiley is quickly identified as the hero of the story and it's more or less inevitable that he will find him. One leaves the cinema wondering whether it was all worth watching at all.… Expand