Critic Review - Detroit News

Ultimately, though, it is very much Oldman's film, thanks to a restrained tour de force performance. Smiley is weathered, worn and beaten down by life, but he's also a quiet, sure force of something that resembles good.

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comments (12)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic



Brian Kelly

One question -- before seeing the movie, did you read the book or a cheat sheet? I suspect so, because without doing so the movie seems impenetrable, dull, and a complete waste of time. I have no problem whatsoever with the acting, but this was a confusing and visually ugly movie.

Jan 7 - 01:44 AM

John Matrix

John Matrix

I didn't read the book, read a cheat sheet, or see the TV adaptation. I was able to follow the movie. It requires you to pay attention, but it's not impenetrable. And calling it "visually ugly" is simply ridiculous.

Jan 9 - 07:40 PM

Jon J.

Jon Johannesson

I didn't do any of those things and I found it highly understandable. It's called "paying attention". I recommend it when seeing a film that doesn't hand you all the plot points on a silver platter.

Jan 14 - 04:55 AM

Wmjx Boston

Wmjx Boston

If you need a good nap..this is the movie of choice!

Jan 14 - 09:32 AM

Bob Keefer

Bob Keefer

My companion HAD read the book, and she was confused by the direction. I had not read the book and thought it was not only confusing but a terrible move. The people producing and selling tickets should be taken to court as evil thieves just interested in taking our money. Horrible is not a strong enough word.

Jan 14 - 01:23 PM

Kassem Jaber

Kassem Jaber

I think your a retard

Feb 14 - 04:48 PM

Al Fearon

Al Fearon

Supremely boring. I mean walked out after wasting an hour.

Jan 15 - 02:02 PM

Kassem Jaber

Kassem Jaber

grow up

Feb 19 - 09:15 AM

Garret Thomson

Garret Thomson

It's always funny to read Americans' reactions to movies of this nature. "So boring, where were the gun fights, the reaffirmation how how awesome the US is?"

Jan 17 - 11:14 PM

Worker M.

Worker Man

Go do yourself you pretentious british f@g hole. Go worship that incestual family you love so much. I loved this movie, and I am American.

It's always funny to watch pretentious brits like you sniff your own farts.

Jan 22 - 02:48 AM


Someone Someone

I always find people acting stupidly to be funny.

Apr 15 - 11:22 AM

Michael Bartsch

Michael Bartsch

couldn't agree less with your review, Tom. I had never read this book, but I would say it is a prerequisite to understanding what is clearly happening. It was intentionally and laboriously ambiguous from start to finish which truly challenged my patience level by the end. I enjoy cryptic when the screenplay is written well, but not when the movie turns into Rubik's Cube.

Mar 27 - 08:39 AM

Jeffrey Garrett

Jeffrey Garrett is all about pertraying smiley...the plot is not so complex as some doesn't even really matter who the mole is...its about getting smiley down, and this review manages sum him up as well. Oldman does a great job...and being anything less than a total insult to Alec Guiness portrayal of smiley is about as high a compliment as they come.

May 4 - 11:31 AM

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