Bottom Line: A tediously intricate piece of cinema that you need to see more than once – either because there’s so much story you couldn’t fully follow it without a flow chart or because there was so much story you decided your time was better spent napping. It’s an intelligent, distant, complex, riveting Cold War spy caper that’s made with great detail and craft – a definite contender come Oscar nod time – but this snail-paced, decidedly British, secret agent flick never fully pulls the zipper closed on its weekend bag packed for a month long trip story. It’s the antithesis of James Bondian level silver screen antics and, unlike that action hero; this cinematic martini is neither shaken nor stirred…it’s just methodically dry.
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Tom Hardy
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Running time: 127 minutes
Story: The time is 1973. The Cold War of the mid-20th Century continues to damage international relations. Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), a.k.a. MI6 and code-named the Circus, is striving to keep pace with other countries’ espionage efforts and to keep the U.K. secure. When things go awry, it's up to top lieutenant, George Smiley, a career spy with razor-sharp senses, to get things back on track. (Focus Features)