The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
This superb remake has the inevitable look of a period piece, a smoke-filled rendering of things past. However, thanks to Tomas Alfredson's direction, a taut screenplay, and a uniformly brilliant cast, the film also retains its contemporary relevance.
The screenplay is a marvel of exposition, offering a parade of characters (and their code names), international incidents, and alliances and double-crosses without ever leaving viewers baffled as to who's doing what to whom, and why.
The filmmakers don't try to jazz up the proceedings with a lot of then-and-now equivalencies. At the same time, it is implicit here that spy operations today are essentially the same, with only the names of the players and antagonists changed.
The cast is uniformly excellent, but as the ringleader of the Circus, Oldman owns the proceedings. In his limitless constraint - his commanding torpor - he is the equal of the magnificent Alec Guinness in the miniseries.
Alfredson offers no concessions to hindsight, no lessons for today. Instead, he's kept faith with le Carre's bleak, romantically elegiac vision of a moment in 20th century history at once glorious and doomed.
This spy story is all about the journey - the process - and the byways of the route, not the grand finale. This film's superb cast, script and direction threaten to make that journey equally as thrilling as Le Carré's book.
An inventive, meaty distillation of Le Carre's 1974 novel, pic turns hero George Smiley's hunt for a mole within Blighty's MI6 into an incisive examination of Cold War ethics, rich in both contempo resonance and elegiac melancholy.
It is one of the few films so visually absorbing, felicitous shot after shot, that its emotional coldness is noticed only at the end, when all the plot twists are unraveled in a solid piece of thinking-man's entertainment for upmarket thriller audiences.