British Intelligence is messed up from the inside and Gary Oldman is the only one able to figure it out. Is it Toby Jones? Is it David Dencik? Is it Ciaran Hinds? Is it King George? Nobody knows…

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a British spy thriller that is pretty far away from the James Bond genre that you would expect it to be. Gary Oldman leads the all-star class of British actors that are a part of MI6. The cast includes Colin Firth, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Ciaran Hinds, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hardy. Out of that cast though the stand-outs have to be Oldman, Cumberbatch, Firth, and Hardy though. Each one of those actors brought out a fantastic performance and even though each doesn’t deserve to get a award nomination, I feel that Oldman deserves a lot of praise for the work he did in this film. Oldman stars as George Smiley, a retired MI6 agent who is asked to take on a very special case for the agency. Smiley is brought in to overlook a suspicion that a MI6 agent in the hierarchy is giving secrets to the Soviets. The rumor was brought up by the former head of MI6, Control (John Hurt), who was seen as crazy for even proposing that idea. But the mystery begins to unravel when agent Ricki Tarr (Tom Hardy) sends messages to MI6 saying that he has been told a important secret pertaining to a double agent. Tarr is pretty much exiled from the agency after he took too long on a mission in Istanbul so him coming to the agency to tell them is severely out of the question. Tarr does find Smiley and this is where the movie starts to pick up. Tarr gives Smiley evidence that something has started to transpire which jump starts Smiley and Guillam’s (Cumberbatch) investigation. I’m not going to lie this movie is rather hard to keep up with due to its slow pace and constant moving and introduction of characters but the story is still entertaining and intense and it kept me questioning who the double agent is. The high points of the movie have to be the acting, the script, and the directing. The acting led by Oldman is superb and nothing less than what is should be with the line-up they have. The script started out slow but started to speed up by the end and had a lot of great hooks and intense moments for such a slow paced spy movie. The directing by Tomas Alfredson was stellar. His shots were perfect for the tone that he was trying to convey, that classy, somewhat classic spy tone. The problems I had with the movie though is that the amount of characters getting introduced became confusing after awhile and while I know it was supposed to be kind of slow paced, I wished there was a little bit more action. But that didn’t take away from the great movie that it was and I recommend seeing it if you love classic British spy thrillers.


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