80- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [8.5]
George Smiley, a disgraced British spy, is rehired in secret by his government – which fears that the British Secret Intelligence Service, a.k.a. MI-6, has been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets.
With a cast featuring Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones, Colin Firth and Stephen Merchant, you know you’re in for something good. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a dense, untraditional spy film thats only flaw is its pace.
There’s a tremendous amount of information to take in throughout the two hour run time– various relationships get turned on their head seemingly every other minute. I appreciate a film of this nature in which there are no grand shouting matches that lazily get across exposition or gigantic set pieces; however, I wish the film was just a little quicker. (It’s worth noting that director Tomas Alfredson’s other excellent film “Let the Right One In” didn’t exactly fly by either.)
The grainy textures employed by cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema gives the film a gritty 70s feel (not to mention a gloomy London look as well, though I imagine the weather meets a film crew half way). Tinker Tailor is the type of film you may need to see multiple times to understand all the layers of intricacies, but is certainly rewarding enough to see once.