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.

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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 Features
R (for violence, some sexuality/nudity and language)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


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
Zoltán Mosci
as Magyar
Zoltán Musci
as Magyar
Michael Sarne
as Voice of Karla
Matyelok Gibbs
as Mrs. Pope Graham
Stuart Graham
as Minister
Sarah-Jane Robinson
as Mary Alleline
Katrina Vasilieva
as Ann Smiley
Linda Marlowe
as Mrs. McCraig
William F. Haddock
as Bill Roach
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 Guest
Christian McKay
as Mackelvore
Jean-Claude Jay
as French Man at Residency
Péter Kálloy Molnár
as Hungarian Waiter
Ilona Kassai
as Woman in Window
Imre Csuja
as KGB Agent
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Critic Reviews for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

All Critics (208) | Top Critics (43)

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

A deliberate, cerebral, grim and utterly absorbing film that makes covert operations appear as unsexy as the Bourne films made them seem fast-paced and thrilling.

Full Review… | January 6, 2012
Miami Herald
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 6, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

"Tinker" radically -- superlatively -- condenses John Le Carré's classic novel, which could scarcely be bounded by seven hourlong episodes in the 1979 BBC adaptation.

Full Review… | December 25, 2011
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

It's a well-crafted film that wears its old-fashionedness with pride.

Full Review… | December 23, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" has a murkiness to it that perfectly fits a spy film; you need to pay attention, or the story will slip away into the shadows.

December 22, 2011
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

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
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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