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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Movie
Studio(s): 
Director(s): 
In Theatres: 
Jan 06, 2012
Grade:
A-
Running Time: 
127 minutes
Did you know?

To prepare for the role of George Smiley, Gary Oldman ate a lot of treacle sponge and custard to "put on a bit of middle-aged tummy". Oldman also watched Sir Alec Guinness's performance in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and paid a visit to Smiley's creator John le Carré.

Like in any good spy thriller, there is always a mole within the system. In Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the system is the British Intelligence aka “the Circus,” and the supposed mole is a high ranking double agent within the agency. Retired agent George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought back to the Circus to investigate said mole and attempt to save the precious institution before it collapses upon itself and the entire British government.

The Circus is comprised of many top level agents who manage and control most of Britain’s deepest secrets. A mole would spell disaster. With the help of Peter Guillam (Benedict Cumberbatch), a young agent within the company assisting the investigation, Smiley gathers evidence on all the leading agents, of whom each has been given the nickname of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, and Poorman. More details surrounding the mole are brought to like by Ricki Tarr (Tom Hardy), the original source of the allegations. He has been reduced to hiding if fear of any retaliation from the Circus. With accusations this big, no one can be trusted and everyone is a suspect.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy intricately weaves a web of characters, plot lines, and conspiracies into a single narrative that will draw you into its world. With so many key components, it’s difficult to keep track of everything that’s going on. New information is constantly being brought to light by either questionings or flashback sequences. Blink and you may miss an integral part of the story. This is just one of those movies that require multiple viewings. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, as this is one film worth seeing again.

This is mainly due to the fantastic cast performances. Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, and plenty more stars come together and bring life to their respective characters. They’ll keep you guessing through the entire film. Just when you think you know who the mole is, some little detail will shine through and throw you for a loop. When it comes to spy thrillers, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy delivers.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy features an ensemble cast with Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson taking the helm. The engaging tale of espionage and conspiracy will leave you wanting more, which is a good thing as there are plenty more novels featuring George Smiley. Whether they too will get the theatrical treatment has yet to be decided but if Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is any indication, things are looking quite joyous for Agent Smiley.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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