I feel like I need to preface this review with I had watched the BBC miniseries with Alec Guiness first which really makes it hard to judge this film. The reason is there is so much depth to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy that compressing it into a two hour film just doesn’t do the plot justice. However, they did do a great job on this film. The quality of acting is top notch. It should be with the caliber of actors in the film (Max Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gary Oldman, and Colin Firth). This movie is really cerebral and the pacing is wonderful. I also had the knowledge of what was going on which made it much easier to fill in major gaps. I think this film is worth watching, but I would suggest watching the miniseries instead.
Bottom Line (Warning Contains Spoilers)
This film is quite deep and really slow paced. It builds tension in a way that it makes the viewer never know what is coming next. The entire film revolves around finding a mole within MI6 due to a major incident that happened a long time ago so they have to round up the suspects. It is natural to compare Alec Guinness to Gary Oldman but the style of film and miniseries give the movie a completely different. I feel both are great in the role. I really think this film should either be done in parts or a long movie because there is just so much skipped in the film due to time constraints. If they decide to do Smiley’s People as well I hope they do something much longer than two hours. I will say that they ended the film beautifully and made it look and feel like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy went full circle.