ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

UK/France 127m, Colour
Director: Tomas Alfredson; Cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciarán Hinds

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an adaptation of the 1974 John le Carré novel of the same name. Set in London during the 1970s, this is a deeply complex tale of espionage and paranoia involving the covert investigation of allegations suggesting that the head of British Intelligence was compromised. Gary Oldman’s chameleon-like portrayal of the aging spy George Smiley is remarkable and may be his finest performances to-date. Stylistically, this unglamorous slowly paced film has an authentic 1970s era look and feel that slowly builds suspense in a manner not often accomplished or even attempted in contemporary action-based espionage films (Klaus Ming January 2012).

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5 comments on “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

  1. Joachim Boaz
    01/22/2012

    I saw this a few days ago in theater — I enjoyed it but didn’t feel much for the characters. I wonder if the late 70s TV show it was based on and the original novel are any good…

    • Klaus
      01/22/2012

      I went to see this last night with with friends – one of which is a huge fan of the book. While i’m not really into the spy genre, I did appreciate the performances and the cold war vibe. The characters were pretty detached and were difficult to like (then again, that probably was the point?). My only real complaint is that the eventual outing of the mole wasn’t really that big of a surprise.

      I’m not familiar with the TV series (although i’m not sure i’m invested enough in the genre to invest in it). Thanks for the heads up.

      • Joachim Boaz
        01/23/2012

        It definitely was the point — and I kind of like the idea of a “spy” movie with most of the action happening back in London. From the reviews I thought there would be less real spy scenes and violence. I dunno, it felt rather empty.

  2. Klaus
    01/23/2012

    I suspect it’s the kind of movie one might need to see ore than once, and that it might be a very different movie the second time around? Although i don’t think i’ll be re-watching any time soon.

  3. vinnieh
    09/10/2013

    Great post, saw this the other day and agree with you about the accomplished way it builds suspense.

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This entry was posted on 01/21/2012 by in 1001+, 2010s, All and tagged .
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