Jack Goes Confidential: ‘TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY’ Makes For Inglorious Spy Thriller

We’ve seen a ton of TV spots of late for the screen adaptation of John le Carre’s best-selling, Cold War spy thriller, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY.

The film is receiving a platform release pattern—meaning that it opened in major centers in mid-December then was gradually opened in additional markets in subsequent weeks.

It opens as a limited multiple in Kansas City today.

TV spots for the movie would have you believing that it’s a fast paced spy thriller along the line of James Bond.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not!

Which is not to say TINKER, TAILOR isn’t worthy of your visit. But go expecting a slow-paced, thinking person’s thriller. In other words, no glamour and no sex.

A collegue who saw the film prior to my viewing it put it in starker terms: "It’s like watching paint dry," he quipped.

That’s an overstatement for sure, but now at least you know what you’re in for.

Set in 1973, the British Intelligence Service—code named ‘The Circus’—tries desperately to keep up with the eastern block’s espionage efforts whose intelligence budget, unlike Great Britain’s, is unlimited.

Making matters worse, signs now point to the agency having been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets. Time for the agency to bring back ousted master spy Gary Oldman to make use of his unique perspective to flush out the mole.

And while these spies don’t take their martini’s shaken or stirred, they’re nevertheless a crusty bunch.
Their portrayal is executed here to perfection by screen pros like Colin Firth, John Hurt and Oldman.

I guess what I’m saying is if you really want to dig into the Cold War, where an escalating spy game took an emotional and physical toll on its players, this is your movie.

However if it’s big action and sexy intrigue you’re looking for you’ll be sorely disappointed.

For fans of that era on film, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY will bring back memories of 1965’s THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD which starred Richard Burton.

To that end, I’m raising 3 out of 5 inglamorous fingers.

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8 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: ‘TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY’ Makes For Inglorious Spy Thriller

  1. chuck says:

    Your kiddin me!!
    I thought it was gonna be great. 🙁

    I am still gonna see it right away. It will be the dogs breakfast.

  2. Gerald Bostock says:

    what’s really important
    Well, the review from this Jack guy is OK, I guess, but we really want to know what Brett Mosiman thinks about it

  3. jon says:

    ?????
    Why are critix making such a big deal of this movie?

  4. chuck says:

    @ jon
    Hell of a cast, and, hell of a great book by a famous author.

    Oldman is great. If he gets the right role, right script and the right actors to bounce off of, he is transcendental.

    Immortal Beloved, True Romance (Is it white boy day? what a great flick. Dennis Hopper in the trailer with Chris Walken, “I think I’ll take that Chesterfield now…”), Dracula, Romeo is Bleeding (Jesus what a flick that is…), the guy can do a character, especially a character with idiosyncrisies.

    Yeah, its white boy day.

  5. PB says:

    Yes, Love Me Some Oldman
    Even his obviously over-the-top performances such as the dirty cop in Leon:The Professional and as the white trash “gangster” in State of Grace are brilliant and full of scene-stealing fun. Is equally great when somewhat subdued as in the Batman series, Harry Potter and I’m guessing this film.

  6. Jolie Randolph says:

    Saw it in London
    I am sorry, I thought it was fantastic…Jack is right though, you must pay attention or you will miss something. The acting is supurb!

  7. smartman says:

    Don’t Know? Jack
    86 out of 100 Metascore on Fandango from critics and a GO from fans. Three fingers are for tequila and harleys mom.

  8. paulwilsonkc says:

    damnit smartman, get it right
    Its SAM…. not HARLEY. And stop insulting JoJo’s mom. I mean, Sams mom.
    I’ve had it, Im leaving, you wont have paulwilsonkc to kick around any more.
    This IS my last post.
    I
    just had to
    say that
    then
    Im never coming back
    again. Say goodbye
    to Glazer, Hearne and Harley.
    I mean
    Sam

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