Genre Guesstimation – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Keith of Keith Loves Movies and it is Spy/Espionage Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of April by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Keith!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Spy/Espionage Films.

“It’s the oldest question of all, George. Who can spy on the spies? ” – Oliver

Number of Times Seen – 2 (11 Jan 2012 and 2 Apr 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A former spy is tasked with trying to find a mole within British Intelligence

My Take on it – This is a spy thriller that works only part of the time.

The pacing of it all is what does it in since it creeps along most of the time.

The information that they try to get across doesn’t work as well on screen as it probably does on paper and that also hurts this film.

Perhaps if it has a longer run time, it would manage to explain things more completely.

The cast is superb but many of them have little to do besides sit around looking suspicious so that we can keep trying to guess who the mole is.

I have never seen the miniseries from 1979 and I wonder if they manage to deal with all of the complexities of the story better since they are not constrained by a set 2 hour + run time.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that works on some levels. The pacing tho is too slow and there are too many points where things just creep along instead of moving at a normal speed even. The cast is superb but many of them have little to say or do besides just standing around making us try to guess who the mole really is. I assume that this story works much better on paper where much more information can be given to us while also focusing on background information.  Perhaps if it had been longer, it would have worked even better.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – To prepare for the role of George Smiley, Gary Oldman ate a lot of treacle sponge and custard to “put on a bit of middle-aged tummy”. Oldman also watched Sir Alec Guinness’ performance in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979), and paid a visit to Smiley’s Creator John le Carré: “The way he touched his shirt, spoke and so on, I took all that and used it. I hope he won’t mind, but Smiley is in his DNA. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not Really. This film moves a bit too slowly and takes its time instead of giving us a fast paced spy thriller that probably works much better on paper than on screen.

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (76/10)


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2 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2011 |

  2. Pingback: Genre Grandeur April Finale – Skyfall (2012) – Keith Loves Movies |

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