Based on the book by John Le Carré and directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the story of a mole in MI6 during the Cold War. Veteran George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is forced out of retirement to investigate and uncover the mole and takes Peter Guillam (Benedict Cumberbatch) as his assistant, forcing him to spy on his own kind - something which does not sit too well with Guillam.
With a mind-blowingly brilliant cast including Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Mark Strong and Ciarán Hinds, this film was always going to be brilliant. It is, I would say, a perfect film. The cast are flawless, the dialogue captivating and brilliantly executed, the plot is complex and clever, the score is dark and subtle, the locations are stunning and the era is depicted with incredible accuracy from the visual outfits, hairstyles and cars to the mannerisms and attitudes regarding sexism in the workplace. (Colin Firth, rather amusingly, actually rings his bike bell to perve on the new girl in the office).
In its perfection, however, lies a problem. It's almost TOO good. You don't have a loud moment in the cinema to pick up your popcorn and eat. It's such a quiet film, there is never an appropriate moment to make a noise. You hear every cough, every sneeze, every shuffle in a chair. And there is so much talking you cannot let your mind wander for a second for fear of missing a vital piece of information. So who is the mole in MI6? It doesn't really matter. If you are waiting for the big dramatic reveal, you may just find yourself disappointed. This is not that sort of film. It isn't about leading up to the ending. It IS the lead-up to the ending. So don't watch it waiting for it to get good. Every second of it is good, and enjoy each one as it takes place.