Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tomas Alfredson (2011)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Admirers of the BBC's 1979 TV series might think it foolish to make a feature film of John le Carré's novel in the first place, let alone give it to Tomas Alfredson, the Swedish director of cult horror Let the Right One In. But this period thriller features great performances and terrific Cold War detail, as retired spy George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought back to the secret service after the death of a colleague (John Hurt), who claimed to have evidence of a deep-cover Russian agent. But who is it? On the page and on TV, such intrigue had time to smoulder, but in the course of two hours the plot points whizz past at a bewildering rate, pausing only for cryptic close-ups of the major suspects (Ciarán Hinds, Colin Firth, Toby Jones and David Dencik). The cast and set dressing are all first class, superbly capturing a weary point in recent British history, but there's a sketchiness to the characters that makes it hard to root for Smiley, let alone ponder the motives of the mysterious mole.


The deputy to the head of British intelligence is forced into retirement after an operation ends in disaster. He is later recruited by the government to return to duty and investigate the possibility of a Soviet mole in a high-ranking position in MI6. Cold War thriller based on John Le Carre's novel, with Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Roger Lloyd Pack.

Cast & Crew

George Smiley Gary Oldman
Bill Haydon Colin Firth
Peter Guillam Benedict Cumberbatch
Jim Prideaux Mark Strong
Percy Alleline Toby Jones
Ricki Tarr Tom Hardy
Control John Hurt
Roy Bland Ciaran Hinds
Esterhase David Dencik
Connie Sachs Kathy Burke
Mendel Roger Lloyd Pack
Jerry Westerby Stephen Graham
Oliver Lacon Simon McBurney
Polyakov Konstantin Khabensky
Ann Smiley Katrina Vasilieva
Mackelvore Christian McKay
Irina Svetlana Khodchenkova
Tufty Thesinger Philip Martin Brown
Director Tomas Alfredson
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Optimum ReleasingGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 16 Sep 2011