Cold war bore
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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Despite the accolades this espionage reboot is a dull slog, writes JIM SCHEMBRI


(128 min) MA

Reviewer rating


Rating: out of 5 stars

Title Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Genre Drama
Director Tomas Alfredson
Actors Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy
OFLC rating MA 15+
Run Time
Year 2012
Language English

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.

Full synopsis

Quote all you like from the accolades and acclaim this film has received, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a tangled, sombre, impenetrable mess of a film. And it's as dull as five-day old dishwater. Based on the classic, complicated Cold War novel by John le Carre, director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) does a terrible job trying to revive the anxiety of Cold War tensions as he fails to pump life into the hunt for a spy inside the British secret service.

A crusty, laconic Gary Oldman is George Smiley, the super-spy at the core of a gaggle of bumbling stiff upper-lippers. It wasn't out of the question that a compacted movie version of the sprawling story could improve upon the superb 1979 mini-series (starring Alec Guinness), but that certainly hasn't happened here.

General release

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