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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Reviews

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Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine

Self-consciously dour where the James Bond movies were insouciantly callous.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

November 25, 2008
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Grim, monotonous, and rather facile, though Richard Burton's aging agent has some honest poignancy.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

January 1, 2000
Mark R. Leeper

| Original Score: 4/5

September 30, 2004
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An excellent contemporary espionage drama of the Cold War which achieves solid impact via emphasis on human values, total absence of mechanical spy gimmickry, and perfectly controlled underplaying.

Full Review Source: Variety

December 26, 2007
Christopher Null

Sad and chilly.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/5

July 6, 2004
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What finally impresses, however, is the sheer seediness of so much of the film, with characters, buildings, and landscapes lent convincingly grubby life by Oswald Morris' excellent monochrome camera-work.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Ritt helms one of the better spy dramas.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A

January 27, 2007

Brilliant depiction of humanity's foibles

| Original Score: 5/5

February 6, 2007
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

This pitch-perfect adaptation of John le Carré's best-seller captures the Cold War in all its chilly complexity ... Burton delivers a towering performance that's second only to his turn in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as the finest of his career.

Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 21, 2013
Bosley Crowther
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film makes you believe it could have happened. And that's the remarkable thing.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

May 9, 2005
Emanuel Levy

Grim and beautifuly shot in black and white by Oswald Morris, Martin's Ritt's spy drama features a great, Oscar-nominated performance from Richard Burton, reflecting the surrounding Cold War culture.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: B+

June 12, 2005


Burton's burnt out turn is one of the best of his career.

Full Review Source: Film4

May 24, 2003

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 5/5

January 1, 1800
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