Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)- Thomas Alfredson
Verdict: Think about it.
It’s a sad day when the film you waited for all year doesn’t live up to your expectations. That’s not to say that Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a bad film. It’s a solid film with great acting all around, particularly by John Hurt, Gary Oldman, and Tom Hardy. The writing is excellent too. And the on-screen tension is sometimes remarkable. But overall, this is a “who’s the mole?” spy thriller with more similarities to a game of Clue than than the Jean-Pierre Melville style movie it wants to be. The problem is that director Thomas Alfredson only partially carries the audience’s interest. At times the movie moves so slowly, you think it might stop churning out images. This is coming from one of those annoying moviegoers, who not only can sit through any film, but actually likes long, drawn-out scenes.
For the quickly distracted, think carefully before watching this. Yes, Tinker, Tailor has moments of riveting action and tense drama, but you will have to work for them. For those who like anti-Hollywood authenticity, Tinker, Tailor also has some powerful quiet scenes, but too often, those same kinds of scenes manage to miss the life-dense subtlety Alfredson so badly wants them to convey. Instead, they feel as though if you flicked them, you would only hear a deep, dull thud. Think about it.