Being a Le Carre fan in my youth and having read most if his books including this one I just loved this adaption. Yes it can be hard to follow and I see why some wouldn't have liked it but I loved it. Great cast. Great production. I couldn't remember who the mole was so I found it suspenseful as well.
Very poor direction, slow to develop without meaningful character development, turned off midway.
I watch mostly action and sci-fi flicks, so this suspense/thriller/spy/drama is something of an oddball. It starts off a bit slow and has none of the trappings of ‘glamorous’ spy movies like the Bond franchise. Instead there is a really interesting story and excellent actors used to deliver a slower paced mystery that will keep you guessing. Highly recommended, it’s a bit slower paced but watch it through and you won’t be disappointed.
A very intriguing in-depth spider and fly spy story, with a dark plot and moody overtones. Wonderful cast, excellent cinematography and brilliant use of colour, editing and placement. 4 stars.
You need to pay attention with spy dramas. Gary Oldman was great as Smiley. Suspenseful plot. Movie seemed shorted than actual duration.
Found the book easier to follow than the movie, possibly due to tiredness on my part; a battle to stay awake. A superb cast though and good production. Definitely one for the Le Carre fans.
Better than the original. This is a quality film - great pacing and fantastic acting. Well worth watching.
Good suspense, good acting.
Good, but not as good as I thought.
If you can stay awake, ok movie! Very heavy going and a bit slow and you really have to listen to understand what is happening and when.
Very slow build up flushing out a "spy mole" that really did'nt eventuate too much. Quality actors but rather shallow charcters. Expected twists & intrigue but I think to many flashbacks detracted. Not recommended . Interview with Le Carre about the stupity of the cold war and it's players was more informative & intertaining.
The movie was disappointing. Unclear dialogue, hard to understand, not well defined characters. The story gets lost at various points. The book is far, far superior
disappointing. Too much darting about from present to past. Difficult to follow. Book is much better
Convoluted plot. Way too arty. Ended up being really boring.
You have to pay attention to this one, but well worth it. Oldman as Smiley is fantastic, and so is Colin Firth and the others. Gets the vibe of 70's England beautifully. Gritty and real.
I'd rather watch paint dry. One star, five z z z z z's
Starts off well then becomes a long drawn out affair. Quite a dull movie.
quite enjoyed it but found it a bit difficult to follow.
Good old school British spy thriller. Great actors too.
Brilliant. A fantastic period piece with great acting and set and costume design.
Not my kind of movie...lots of Cold War intrigue which I didn't follow. Rather slow moving
Waited 30 mins for something to happen and gave up.
Difficult to rate.
It's the type of film, in which you know you're watching something great if you invest your attention for the duration. I can see this one being studied in a film class, but probably not so great for the average film-goer.
Oh, Gary Oldman cooks himself an egg and then eats it. You get the whole process. If that interest you in the slightest, then you'll probably enjoy this one :)
Damn good movie with lots of twists and turns, enough to keep my attention until the very end. Top actors and intrigueing story.
disappointing. the people who are suspected of spying.....it's the one who gets the most screen time.
Great atmosphere and actors make this one a winner. Although not for all tastes.
Not quite a little all over the place
A wonderful screen adaptation from Le Carre book. Everything about this production is gripping and real.
An intriguing movie. However, it takes some close concentration to follow the plot.
Slow to begin but worth the watch
Was very close to the book and i loved this film ,well made and well acted
Was a little slow at times to follow the action but once into movie found interesting and absorbing enough to warrant watching all the way through
There is an unsavoury quality about John Le Carre’s characters, which isn’t the case with (almost) every other writer in the spy genre. He doesn’t glamorise them; the spy game is a nasty business. Le Carre doesn’t create indestructible characters but fallible, real and gritty ones, so much so that you almost smell them. ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ is no exception: the script is complicated and tangled, as you’d expect from Le Carre; the acting is first rate and the direction tight if a little ponderous but that is the nature of this author. My only criticism is an over-use of flashbacks, a legitimate device no doubt, but in this movie became a little too confusing.
This is a movie that requires a couple of viewings and discussion with other viewers to piece it all together. However, if you make the effort you won't regret it. Gary Oldman is brilliant as George Smiley the expert British spy who is unable to find the same level of success in his private life. He is more an intelligence agent than a spy, and the movie is more about gathering and interpreting intelligence than your typical action-packed spy movie. It is set in the cold war 1970's where the middle aged ordinary-looking agents live a dangerous and nervous, almost Kafka-esque, existence. Concentrate, then watch it again.
very slow, We turrned it off
I was really open to liking this adaptation of the John Le Carre novel (which I haven't read), especially on a day when I woke up at 5:30 AM and wanted a slick Hollywood thriller to wash over me, telling me exactly how to feel and think. However, this wasn't that. Far from being too challenging or thought-provoking or arthouse, though, the plot was just too complicated, with too many names, under-used characters and locations, or plot threads. Perhaps you just had to read the book to follow what was going on and without that all you get is a sense of paranoia in the spy world and George Smiley/Gary Oldman's methodical way of dealing with it. So, the actors have some pretty intense and well acted interactions (in the present or in flashback), but really no one in charge here bothered to keep the audience in the loop.
A slow and boring film, of which I lost interest a quarter of the way through.
True to the book in as much as it was a bit plodding but still a good movie. Gary Oldman is very true to the original character. Good cast. Not a fast moving movie by any means and you have to be prepared to really listen.
This was ok - wasn't boring but wouldn't have been upset if I never saw it
A mole inside the British Secret Service is slowly flushed out. A pretty good adaption of the Le Carre spy thriller. The major drawback is that characters of the suspects are sketchy compared with the TV series which had more time to flesh them out. 3.5 stars
Slow and dark cinematography
Gary Oldman is superb. As the action junkies below have stated it doesn't move at a frantic pace. Those that require every twist explained and handed to them on a platter C.S.I style should avoid. The viewers attention is required completely in order to take in the twists & details of the story. If your a fan of well made, character driven, thought provoking thrillers watch this, an understanding of the Cold War (esp. 1970's) will help.
Moves at glacial speed. Terrible, terrible, self-indulgent, pretentious, just awful. Those that claim to not only like but actually understand this film are being economical with the truth. Worst film of the year.
Somewhat boring take on the "reality" of how espionage works.
Much too slow. Couldn't watch it all
fairly boring for a spy movie.
was disappointed. not totaly bad though. i expected too much i think.
few twists and turns make it a little hard to follow.
No. Didn't enjoy this one at all.
What a total waste of time! I managed to some how stay awake during the whole film. While there was some good acting and actors the reasonable underlying plot was destroyed by pathetic editing and obvious self indulgence by the driector. I better would go to an art gallery and review paintings & decide whether or not some of them were distorted versions of an artists feeling on a subject that very few might appreciate. As a form of entertaininment this one lost miserably. Movies are for watching and being entertained not as means to bore the majority of viewers with poor or somewhat meaningless jumps between periods of time so as to lose the viewer or confuse what the story is really about. How can one, as seen in the review dated 17/01/2012 above, justify this film with those comments.
If you like big explosion Hollywood shallow movies, this is one for you to skip. Please do so, and don't ruin it for the ones that actually enjoy this genre of film. Slow paced but full of intrigue and mystery. Keeps you thinking on your feet the whole time. A must see for people who enjoyed the book, or who enjoy intricate suspense movies that make you think. The acting is superb, Gary Oldman at his best.
Strangely engaging despite the usual thriller content. Hard to follow at times
Sorry. too slow. didn't even finish watching it.
I have to agree with the one star givers however I wish I had watched the interview ( on the disc) with John le Carre. He gave a wonderful insight into the spy world and these nuances would have made the film more enjoyable
Very disappointed with this movie, expected much more
mmmmm I thought it was a good movie well acted and yes you did have to concentrate but it all made sense to me and some solid performances.
Terrible movie. Kept jumping back & forth , very confusing. Hard to know what is going on. Very slow moving, too much dialogue. Save your money.
Was so confusing we turned it off, not good
Very slow moving. You have to read the book to understand the story. Smiley from the book does not go with the actor.
Gary Oldman incredible - you really feel his pain - in this taut 70s period piece. Feels totally authentic - I can even remember my father wearing those coats and having sideburns like these men too ! Extra features interview with John le Carr? on the DVD a real gem - what an amazing human being, as he says the whole Smiley/Carla trio really being an accurate representation of our relationship with the institutions we create, gathering together the currency of secrets, trusting yet not trusting one another. Brilliant.
This is the sort of movie you probably need to be in a certain mood to watch. It's pretty long and not a fast paced/action sort of a movie. It does however have a definite (very English) charm, intriguing plot and the acting is awesome. Probably the sort of movie I'd watch if I was off work sick and had plenty of time on my hands! Also probably would follow up with something short and light-hearted!
Uncovering a mole at the top of British intelligence is potentially a great plot. I don't mind slow pacing and I liked the austere look of the film, but where was the tension? Also, the characters were one note. Puts the cold in Cold War.
If you want to be bored and puzzled then this is the movie for you - only got 20 mins into it and had to turn it off - confused and a slow moving film. Do something else with your time than watching this.
Has to be in my top 5 worste movies of all time... slow, boaring, disjointed! Basically a poorly told story with little entertainment value!
First off can I make a suggestion for those unfamiliar with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, you might want to search out the original 70’s adaptation starring Sir Alec Guinness which is a six part series to watch first and get a better understanding of the story line (as complicated as it is) the original ran for 6 parts about 5 ? hours and is undoubtedly one of the best spy thrillers ever, now this version is condensed down to 127 minutes so some bits are glossed over or omitted altogether but this doesn’t take away from what is a fine remake of a classic, so do yourself a favour watch the original first.
Bit of a whodunnit but the storyline didn't flow, the story was pointless.
The cast must have been offered a ver large fee to have been part of this very dreary and dull film.Please do your self a large favour and give this a miss.
Such a huge disappointment. The film was very difficult to follow, unfinished story lines and had absolutely no buildup of suspense whatsoever. Obviously tried to be too clever and the end result is a jumble of scenes squashed together.
Please do not watch this if you cannot concentrate for more than 5 minutes due to being spoon fed rubbish TV all your life. Otherwise, enjoy!
Outstanding spy triller in the best tradition.
A feast to an intelligent person.
Terrifying cast and play, exact period capture..
If you are unfamiliar with the story, or missed Alex Guinness as George Smiley in the first TV adaptation series of the book, perhaps check out first the interview with John Le Carre by Gary Oldman and Paul Smith included on the CD. The small details deliberately included in each scene are amazing. Well worth several viewings.
Quite an involved and fast moving spy plot which was a little hard to follow initially. As it evolved it captured your attention to become an interesting but not exceptional movie.
If you like well written spy story you will enjoy this, but if you are a James Bond action spy type you will not. This is a slow movie but a very good movie.
With such a supurb cast I should have enjoyed this more but I found it exceedingly dull.
In a word 'Obtuse'. Don't bother. I have read the book and watched the BBC version with 'Sir Alec Guinness' several times and yet ... I found this slow, dull and what plot - I couldn't follow it! And I know it.
Do yourself a favour and watch the BBC, 1979, production, it's most excellent!
This film is a masterpiece. It is artfully and lovingly made.. every scene, every shot is beautifully put together to evoke a 1970's world of cold war paranoia and intrigue.The actors are superb. Gary Oldham deserved an Oscar for his subtle performance of the steely, controlled, faceless man; George Smiley. This film requires patience.. as a viewer you will be rewarded if you concentrate and pay attention to the many plot twists and change of location. There is a logic here; therein lies the mastery of the storytelling of John Le Carre and the film makers.
Couldn't follow the story line.... hang on what story line. I had no idea what was going on didn't even watch to the end.
what a load of rubish, thats all I can say. I give it no ratings utter stupid could not get the hang of it.
Was looking forward to watching this one, but it had such a dull start (the first 40 minutes) I had to stop watching. The first scene with Mark Strong was promising, after that... Lingering shots of a man staring into space as a phone rings; a man stands at a window; a train pulls into a station; Man on couch hears the knock on the door; flashback to a scene that doesn't seem connected; men sit at a conference table. Life's too short to waste watching films you don't understand and quite simply aren't interested in.
A complex and confusing film that has compressed a longer story into the running time, would need to watch again I think, very slow in places, jumps back and forth but rewards patience, if you loved Battleship you will hate this, the cinematography is wonderfull, old school use of the wide screen, shot with care and attention, no shaky cam here, makes me want to get the old mini series from way back.
watched the 1st 15 minutes and was quite bored so turned it off
very poorly produced and filmed cannot understand how it won awards - i hated it and turned it off
A hard film to rate. Very British but with a strong touch of Swedish/Danish cinema photography running through it. Photography is superb, as is the acting but the story builds so slowly that I lost interest in who the double agent might be after the 1st hour. Stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, my new favourite young actor in Benedict Cumberbatch (TV's Sherlock) but for all the strong acting and great photography, I think most will be bored in this fast paced 21st century world. This movie is before the personal computer was invented and the dark, moody scenery misses totally the actual excitement of the 1960s and 70s (I speak as someone who lived through the era in England). Recommended but only for those who like this type of slow paced movie. For more excitement, watch the original of 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' (Naomi Rapace) - now that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Super-solid story-telling. It's true you might get bored, but only because we're all so used to vapid and glib scripts that when some takes their time we get confused and assume it should be faster. Break the habit 5/5
Very slow, with many implicit plot twists. You will need to focus during the entire movie to follow everything (I must have missed a couple subtleties). A good watch overall however.
Well this is another slow production, there is glimpses of some great acting, but that's about it, the story is way to long, slow and dull.
The second most boring movie I've ever seen!! Cinematography dull, grey and boring ... story too long, too slow and just completely convoluted rubbish. Don't bother! I only give it 1 star because you have to rate something!
Honestly, I don't know if this was wasted on me, or if as a few people have said below it's just a bit slow and convoluted.... a couple times I wondered what was going on. However, absolutely marvellous acting from usual suspects as expected. Make sure you are bright eyed, bushy tailed and focused for this one!
Would be best if you read the book before you watched the movie so you don't get disappointed. It is a very slow to get into, about 90 mins in you can start to put all the dots together. It is not until the final 15 mins you can really understand the whole plot. Don't expect "thrilling, James Bond" like stuff, this is the real thing...slow, tedious and a fair bit boring. It is a good movie if you have read the book or understand the concept of Cold War spy dealings.
The acting was done very well for the time period and so was the set design. The picture quality on DVD was great, but the talking was so quiet I needed to keep turning the volume up and then back down at other points. I think there was only about one spot in which the 5.1 really was noticed and that was a phone conversation being recorded with voices going back and forth in the rear speakers....boring sound work.
so so. Really, not as riveting as I expected. But Gary Oldman's performance is superlative, as expected.
Great cast, great production quality and undoubtedly a good story, but unless you are really 'in it' (as in, complete concentration, no distractions) you are likely to very quickly get lost. I wish I had seen this at the movies because the small screen just couldn't capture it for me and I was left with many questions.
Very confusing and I couldn't get past the blond 'Sherlock' ( Benedict Cumberbatch) ! ! !
Gary Oldman is, as usual, brilliant. His control and restraint perfectly portray the character and many little details mark him as one of the great actors of our time. Very good story and very well done. If you're looking for car chases try something less demanding. . .
quite slow, but worth staying with. Great actors
Couldn't follow the storyline at all ,quite slow to start,turned it off after an hour, the acting was good but prefered the book
Great. It shows that the British are smart and don't need to have car chases or kill everyone to get the job done, shows what the real world is rather than Americans just shooting everyone and hoping a stray bullet hits the target , its British so you know the acting and story will be better than American or Australian movies.
Couldn't finish the book? Try the movie. Marginally less dreary (not even a car chase!), but eventually pale Anglo Brit outwits enemies and outs suss foreign-tinged colleagues to gain complete ascendency in the secret world of spies.
Superb acting, but you *really* need to be on the ball with this -- miss a pivotal scene and you'll be wondering for the rest of the movie "who the hell are they talking about now"? The book was a milestone for it's time -- the genesis of the whole whodunnit spy thriller. Sadly, other films have done it better since then, so this one looks a bit contrived. Three stars from me.
Great actors but this movie just didn't grab me; in fact I mostly listened to it while doing the housework. There just wasn't anything exciting happening or anyone you really cared about. Perhaps spy movies have had their day, or maybe just stiff upper lip British ones.
It took about an hour into the film before there were some longer scenes that provided some inkling of what the story was about. Unfortunately then the next hour was no better the first: lots of short sequences cut short with no indication of what came before or after. Some were obviously flashbacks, which only served to make it all the more confusing. Moreover, the movie was very grainy, like it was 50 years old. In contrast the interview with John le Carr? on the DVD was wonderfully crisp and clear, and this 80 year old was articulate, erudite and interesting. However, the interviewer could scarcely be heard; how incredibly unprofessional.
This is a good film that requires a bit more concentration. Bearing in mind it is based on a real spooks experience - so it is not going to have the Americanised over the top action. Great acting too.
Can a film suffer from an excess of Englishness? That seems to be case with this meticulously constructed spy drama that is so unassuming and well mannered in it's approach that the Cold War almost seems like a problem that gentleman could sort out with a nice cup of tea and a day at the cricket. TTSS has many attributes - it's brilliantly acted, intricately scripted and the look of the film - with its relentlessly drab grey and brown palette - is wonderfully evocative. It is very slowly paced ( glacially at times) but the storyline will reward those who are prepared to pay close attention. The real problem is tone. There are just so many stiff-upper lips in action here, so many thoughts never expressed, so many confrontations that never occur because everyone is just too damn polite. As an intellectual exercise TTSS is a triumph. As an emotionally engaging film - far less so.
Oh my god. I was soooo very bored watching this. It is an extremely slow film, not a lot happens in it at all. It seems like you need to travel through a whole bunch of swings and roundabouts to get to the end. Nothing engaging about this at all, yes the acting is excellent, but that wasn't enough to keep my attention. Too much talking, not enough action. It looks dull and bland... and thats exactly what it is.