Tinker Tailor Solder Spy reviews

January 06, 2012|By Dave Rosenthal

I was always a big fan of the John le Carre novels, so I'm happy to see the strong reviews for the adaptation of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." The Cold War seems very distant these days, and his novels, which eschewed shoot-em-up theatrics for a more subtle, almost bureaucratic, espionage, might seem quaint today. Here are excerpts from some reviews:

Los Angeles Times: [Director Tomas] Alfredson, for his part, has seen to it that "Tinker Tailor" moves along at a fast-paced, almost electrifying clip. Blessed with a superb ensemble cast, he displays a gift for authenticity and honesty in performance plus an almost uncanny feeling for atmosphere and mood, for letting the pitiless, almost Scandinavian gloom of this tawdry, amoral universe seep into its physical objects.

New York Times: The story, skillfully mined from Mr. le Carré’s labyrinthine book and set in 1973, is a pleasurably sly and involving puzzler — a mystery about mysteries within mysteries.

Roger Ebert: "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" looks, sounds and feels exactly right. Alfredson's film is faithful to the tone set by the novel. But the screenplay, by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan, is not a model of clarity. I confess I was confused some of the time and lost at other times; the viewer needs to hold in mind a large number of characters, a larger number of events and an infinite number of possibilities.

Entertainment Weekly: "Tinker Tailor" is a whispery brain-teaser starring every British actor you’ve loved in every movie of the last few years. It’s also an English spy movie, and we’ve had a severe shortage of English spy movies in the last few Bond-free years. It’s also the biggest showcase for pure uncut Gary Oldman in years.

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