Customer Reviews


528 Reviews
5 star:
 (196)
4 star:
 (102)
3 star:
 (81)
2 star:
 (60)
1 star:
 (89)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


215 of 264 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It either clicks or it doesn't
Must admit, I'm quite surprised that even the mainstream critics dared to rate Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy so highly. Not because it isn't brilliant, which it is, but because critics have to consider their readership and, well... I would say that if you are finding the film dull or uninvolving then it's just not your cup of tea, which is fine. In fairness it is very...
Published on 8 Dec 2011 by Mr. D. Glover

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Having seen and enjoyed the Alec Guinness version and read the book this new version of Tinker Tailor was a big disappointment. Much of the original story had been cut and even the final scene didn't correspond to the original ending. Certainly a poor imitation and to us, a waste of money. Perhaps people who haven't seen the original would like it but our copy has now...
Published 14 months ago by JC


‹ Previous | 1 253 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

215 of 264 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It either clicks or it doesn't, 8 Dec 2011
By 
Must admit, I'm quite surprised that even the mainstream critics dared to rate Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy so highly. Not because it isn't brilliant, which it is, but because critics have to consider their readership and, well... I would say that if you are finding the film dull or uninvolving then it's just not your cup of tea, which is fine. In fairness it is very literary, the plot can be hard to keep up with and the dialogue is rather jargonistic (but really shouldn't be too difficult to decipher).
At the other end of the scale are the narrow-minded purists with their nostalgic view of the original BBC TV series, which was excellent for it's day but really doesn't hold up very well at all. I can remember when TV didn't pander to such short attention spans, but watching it on DVD I found the Alec Guinness version quite flat, and not in the moody, atmospheric way that it should be. It's okay to prefer the series, but that shouldn't come with an obligation to trash the film.
Tinker Tailor... gives us a small history lesson. This world of espionage is far removed from the bare-faced escapist fun of 007. The true face of the cold war in the 60's & 70's was this, a very private game played by lonely, vain, repressed old Oxbridge throwbacks in stuffy offices. Field agents were merely pawns to be used and abused. British Intelligence was under-funded, ineffective and disliked by the CIA. Gary Oldman's cool, understated incarnation of George Smiley views his former employer for what it has become- rejected, out-of-touch, eager to get back into the game and on the brink of it's own downfall. I hadn't read the novel beforehand but had no trouble following the plot or being absorbed by the story. All of the performances are great and the direction beautiful. What you get is a dark, dense, intelligent, sophisticated film. You may feel a little lost at times, but that's okay. All the pieces fit together in the end, and pretty much every scene turns out to have its own significance.
My only niggle would be a moment where we get to spend what seems like ten minutes watching Tom Hardy's character kissing his girlfriend. It felt like an intermission, but maybe that's just me. Apart from that, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the best film I've seen for years. At least LeCarre isn't as precious about his material as some of his fans. He loved it too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


133 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not supposed to be the book, or the series..., 17 Jan 2012
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
For everyone comparing this new movie to the book and the tv series (and I am a fan of both) - Le Carre himself has said in interviews that he categorically did not want someone just copying the book or even the series. He wanted a new take on the story. Yes, it is different. Of course it would have been nice to have characters fleshed out a bit more, but then, I think that will be the problem with anyone who has read the book or seen the series - you expect the same thing stuffed into an hour something, and that is nigh on impossible. My only personal gripe is that I didn't really understand some seemingly superficial changes, like Sam Collins (in the book) being changed in name to Gerry Westerby (considering Gerry is a whole big character on his own in the second book, and ultra posh to boot), Czech Republic being changed to Hungary etc. But that is minor, and overall, I think this was a great, quiet movie, the kind of thing you just don't get anymore. To the commentator who said this movie was more about betrayal than spies, it's probably true that this was the emphasis, but in the book, it is just as much about the nature of betrayal in relationships as it is about spies (in the book see Guillam/Camilla, Smiley/Ann, Little Bill/Prideaux, Connie/The Circus and even reality as she knew it, etc etc), to the point where you wonder if there is anything redeeming about the world outside of the Circus.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compact Reminder, 11 Mar 2014
By 
S. M. Evans "asylum69" (SOLIHULL, W Midlands, GB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Considering it's only a fraction of the length of the well-known BBC adaptation with Alec Guinness, it's not bad. The performances are almost all sterling. Unfortunately I think John Hurt was miscast again. A bit too much of something to feel realistic. Everyone else was really good.
I'll be honest ... I've not read the book. The only comparison I have is the BBC version, and I do remember that quite well; everyone fits in nicely, and the overall tone is convincingly of the correct era. If you just want a little something to remind you of the basics and don't want to go through all the BBC episodes, this covers the important bases.
I still think the BBC version outshines it by far, but I didn't dislike this film like I was expecting to. I quite enjoyed it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 16 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Enjoyed this dark, moody and atmospheric version. Gary Oldman managed the impossible and lived up to the original Alec Guiness portrayal of George Smiley.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 21 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
l looked forward to this but disappointed by drawn-out preview/adverts. Good when it gets going but difficult to keep track of all the characters as it was so fast moving.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the book, not the BBC serial, not Bond, not Bourne, 1 Jan 2013
By 
Mark Dyer (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Why compare this 2 hour film with the 6 hour serial, or require it to be a precise rendition of a book of more than 400 pages? I thought it a fine attempt to take many plot threads and make two hours of entertainment from them, I enjoyed items that were not present in the book. I do wonder though how the following books will be filmed now that Guillam's character has been changed.

Firstly, there are no explosions, chases, babes or helicopters (as if any potential viewer didn't know that) so be prepared to sit, watch and think rather than expect action and glitz to flow over you. Sure, there are some holes and inconsistencies; I suppose that I take a less forensic view to viewing films than do many of the reviewers here.

I don't care that we don't see the characters build to point the way to the identity of the mole because for me the identity of the mole is immaterial. This is about loyalty, betrayal and sacrifice. A few examples:
* Guillam ends his relationship immediately on considering that it might be used against him, quite a sacrifice in my opinion.
* A terrific moment of acting as Smiley makes a deal with Tarr that he knows will violate Tarr's trust because he can't fulfil the spirit of the deal.
* What a strange world where someone who makes such a sacrifice for their country ends up living in a caravan and teaching at a boarding school after being bunged only a few quid and a car.

There were some nice juxtapositions that made me think of how fragile lives might be and the fine line between normality and hardship. During a most stressful task undertaken by Guillam we see many characters singing along and playing along to George Formby singing Mr Woo; presumably chosen in the script as being light and frivolous and something that Roy Bland would be likely to sing afterwards to show Guillam how closely he was being observed. Whilst Prideau was being tortured his `minder' was just sitting by reading a newspaper to while away the time.

The atmosphere was wonderfully dusty, smoky and brown so conveying the impression that these are strange, quiet people in a strange world. Oldman's acting was great but then I almost always agree that `less is more'.

Lastly, there was the great irony of the Soviet national anthem at the Christmas party; tremendous, made me laugh.

If you judge it on its own merits and treat it as entertainment then I think it is good value. It's not as good as the TV serial but why shouldn't it be different?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 12 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Having seen and enjoyed the Alec Guinness version and read the book this new version of Tinker Tailor was a big disappointment. Much of the original story had been cut and even the final scene didn't correspond to the original ending. Certainly a poor imitation and to us, a waste of money. Perhaps people who haven't seen the original would like it but our copy has now been donated to the local charity shop.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old fashioned spy game., 27 July 2013
By 
Helier John (Birmingham, England, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This film is from the old style spying game which to me is far better than the rubbish that has been turned out for too long. A very good whodunnit type and it keeps you guessing. Very good film. Well worth a watch.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD, 8 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
An excellent film, although a remake I found it very interesting to watch and really enjoyed it, 5 star film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OK, It's Not the TV series, but in its way, it's just as good, 16 Aug 2013
By 
Macclad "Macclad" (Manchester, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I'll nail my colours to the mast first - I consider the BBC series to be the best thing ever on TV (and that includes the Wire, Sopranos, Mad Men etc).

But this is a MOVIE and is bound to be a different experience from many hours of TV. In many ways it's more real than the TV show, where the main device for illustrating that we're not in the world of James Bond is lots of men in suits smoking in a small room - but in the movie the spies are seen living real lives, doing mundane paperwork, commuting to work, wheeling bicycles into the office, lewdly discussing the office talent, getting lashed at the office Christmas party. Working in intelligence is just a job.

It's full of nice interesting touches - for example, the tense scenes where Peter Gwillam attempts to smuggle ACTUAL PAPER documents from HQ in his briefcase! No savant hackers here.
As for the actors, they generally match up well to the TV series - Hardy, Cummerbatch, Strong and Firth are equal to Bennett, Jayston, Bannen and Richardson - I was sceptical about Cummerbatch as Gwillam the enforcer, but he's genuinely intimidating and his uncontrolled anger in a confrontation with Ricky Tarr is ultra-real. And there's a lovely cameo by Kathy Burke playing older bonkers-dipso-nympho Connie Sachs.

That leaves Oldman as Smiley - a fine perfomance in my book - could any actor match up to Guinness? Probably not, but Oldman is at the top of his game and just about on a parr.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable film and as the previous reviewer said, can be watched more than once.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 253 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011]
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] by Tomas Alfredson (DVD - 2012)
£2.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews