Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

(Last Updated On: April 19, 2020)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) - Poster

Title:  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Year: 2011

Genre:  Drama | Mystery | Thriller |

Runtime: 122  min

Director: Tomas Alfredson

Starring:  Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong

imdb 7,1/10


In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.




Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy takes place in the 60s, in time for the Cold War. The unholy war between Russia and USA, concerning all the undercover spies it had. With a sublime cast including  Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Ciarán Hinds and Toby Jones; It should be a cakewalk to be entertained by a film where many are involved on so many levels. Swedish Tomas Alfredson has directed the film and it’s based on John le Carré novel about the Cold War.

This is a fairly complex story, that requires some attention. You can’t sleep it through and think you’ll be fined. Then there will be details that you could miss. The dialogue doesn’t always express the emotion of the characters throughout the film. The prolong dialogue scenes are kind of ambivalent and these scenes often showcase a big amount of unnecessary exposition.

Alfredson doesn’t have that much of merits. Sure, he directed the Swedish version of Let the Right One In, which in the end became a Swedish horror- classic to some extent. Some scenes aren’t fully explored, and it could have more clarified as much as the plot is a mystery. Finding the mole is one of the plot points but with several expositions and flashbacks, it kicks you out of the film experience. It isn’t consistent with the story and is more of a cheap way to tell the story.

Gary Oldman is the big carrier here, even with a big ensemble that could punch you in the face with their performance. He is the one who creates an absorbing atmosphere although he doesn’t have a majority of the scenes. He’s in the background or directs the position of everyone involved in a charged manner. But occasionally he also has a distant relationship to the audience, doesn’t really capsulate the character to the fullest. A worthy performance, perhaps, but surely not the best or memorable. Tom Hardy is abysmal as his character on the other hand. There is no real character imposed at him. He just delivers lines with no emotions behind it. Benedict Cumberbatch sticks out like a sore thumb but doesn’t really embrace the essence of the film. Although, he’s far better than Hardy at his job.

As you would expect, this is a very British film. It takes place in London, features a very British cast so the dialogue is exclusive in terms of linguistic and the spoken word. The setting would work perhaps better if it was more intension included. Most of the film is dedicated to dialogue scenes and not so much action. The resolution of the film itself feels bland and doesn’t achieve the expected conclusion.


Grade 2 of 5

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