Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)



Critic Consensus: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a dense puzzle of anxiety, paranoia, and espionage that director Tomas Alfredson pieces together with utmost skill.

Movie Info

Based on the classic novel of the same name, the international thriller is set at the height of the Cold War years of the mid-20th Century. George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a disgraced British spy, is rehired in secret by his government - which fears that the British Secret Intelligence Service, a.k.a. MI-6, has been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets. -- (C) Focus Featuresmore
Rating: R (for violence, some sexuality/nudity and language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Peter Straughan, Bridget O'Connor, John Le Carré
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 20, 2012
Box Office: $20.2M
Focus Features - Official Site


Colin Firth
as Bill Haydon
Gary Oldman
as George Smiley
Tom Hardy
as Ricki Tarr
Mark Strong (II)
as Jim Prideaux
John Hurt
as Control
Ciarán Hinds
as Roy Bland
Simon McBurney
as Oliver Lacon
Benedict Cumberbatch
as Peter Guillam
Toby Jones
as Percy Alleline
David Dencik
as Toby Esterhase
Kathy Burke
as Connie Sachs
Stephen Graham
as Jerry Westerby
Michael Sarne
as Voice of Karla
Matyelok Gibbs
as Mrs. Pope Graham
Stuart Graham
as Minister
Sarah-Jane Robinson
as Mary Alleline
Linda Marlowe
as Mrs. McCraig
Erskine Wylie
as Spikeley
Philip Martin Brown
as Tufty Thesinger
Alexandra Salafranca
as Turkish Mistress
Gillian Steventon
as Listening Woman
Nick Hopper
as Janitor Alwyn
Rupert Procter
as Guillam's Boyfriend
John Le Carré
as Christmas Party Gues...
Christian McKay
as Mackelvore
Jean-Claude Jay
as French Man at Reside...
Péter Kálloy Molnár
as Hungarian Waiter
Ilona Kassai
as Woman in Window
Imre Csuja
as KGB Agent
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Critic Reviews for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

All Critics (207) | Top Critics (42)

The movie is riveting in the exact sense of the word: We feel nailed to the screen in the impossible task of working out what is going on-let alone why it matters.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

I think I eventually put it all together in the end, but the picture makes this task neither easy nor particularly rewarding.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

Even an ensemble cast of a very high pedigree can't overcome a plot that's been compacted into near-incomprehensibility.

Full Review… | August 15, 2014
Under the Radar

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," with its meticulous Cold War details and labyrinthine plot, is like a smoky 25-year-old single malt scotch whiskey. It hits you hard, but goes down smooth.

Full Review… | September 25, 2013

A masterful adaptation of John Le Carre's 1970s spy thriller about the secret British hunt for a high-ranking KGB mole.

Full Review… | March 4, 2013
Concrete Playground

For all those that look at the films of the golden age and chide that "they don't make them that way anymore", here's a fine example that a film can be fresh, intelligent, drawing from the past while carving out its own unique and very contemporary vision

Full Review… | February 2, 2013

Audience Reviews for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

A complex espionage thriller that makes excellent use of a careful pacing to stretch the tension to its maximum and an appropriately dark cinematography to recreate the paranoia of the '70s and the Cold War maneuvers, while Gary Oldman underacts in a perfect performance.

Carlos Magalhăes

Super Reviewer


It's slow, complex, stimulating and uncompromising; basically an average movie-goer's nightmare. I love that.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer


An ex spy for MI6 is called out of retirement to uncover a Russian double agent in the top echelons of their organisation. The one thing that can be said in favour of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is that it reeks of quality. The exceptional ensemble cast present what can only be described as an acting master class and the direction, photography and production design are all top notch. The problem with the film lies with its script, but that's not to say that it's badly written; quite the contrary in fact. The dialogue is smart, the themes sophisticated and characters well drawn. The trouble lies with the fact that this Cold War world of secrecy, back stabbing and betrayal seems so alien in the internet age that it's quite difficult to involve yourself in the dense, convoluted story. I couldn't connect emotionally with any of these cold-hearted and detached individuals and the fact of the matter was that I didn't really care who the mole was. Technically marvellous but those looking for a cinematic quick fix will find Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy too much like hard work.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Quotes

George Smiley: Hello Ricki. You missed the wedge.
– Submitted by Stuart I (20 months ago)
George Smiley: It was the war Connie.
– Submitted by Stuart I (20 months ago)
George Smiley: Karla will be looking for you.
Ricki Tarr: Yeah. Everybody's looking for me.
George Smiley: You can't stay here. It isn't safe.
– Submitted by George P (2 years ago)
Ricki Tarr: Then the message comes through. "We read you." That was all they said. Nothing. It didn't make sense. It was like they were stalling.
George Smiley: Then what happened?
Ricki Tarr: Then all of a sudden the Russians begin to move. [He finds a dead body]. It was nice work. i couldn't have done better myself. The message was clear. I had to warn her [Irina]. [Ricki telephones her, but she's afraid to pick up the phone, and then some Russians come and take her away.] I looked for her everywhere. I couldn't find her at the airport. I checked the ports. They had taken her away on a ship.
– Submitted by George P (2 years ago)

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