Synopsis: 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. The head of the Circus, known as Control, personally sends dedicated operative Jim Prideaux into Hungary. But Jim's mission goes bloodily awry, and Control is forced out of the Circus - as is his top lieutenant, George Smiley, a career spy with razor-sharp senses.

Estranged from his absent wife Ann, Smiley is soon called in to see undersecretary Oliver Lacon; he is to be rehired in secret at the government's behest, as there is a gnawing fear that the Circus has long been compromised by a double agent, or mole, working for the Soviets and jeopardizing England. Supported by younger agent Peter Guillam, Smiley parses Circus activities past and present. In trying to track and identify the mole, Smiley is haunted by his decades-earlier interaction with the shadowy Russian spy master Karla.

The mole's trail remains cold until maverick field agent Ricki Tarr unexpectedly contacts Lacon. While undercover in Turkey, Ricki has fallen for a betrayed married woman, Irina, who claims to possess crucial intelligence. Separately, Smiley learns that Control narrowed down the list of mole suspects to five men. They are the ambitious Percy Alleline, whom he had code-named Tinker; suavely confident Bill Haydon, dubbed Tailor; stalwart Roy Bland, called Soldier; officious Toby Esterhase, dubbed Poor Man; and - Smiley himself.

Even before the startling truth is revealed, the emotional and physical tolls on the players enmeshed in the deadly international spy game will escalate...
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
U.S. Rating: R

Yes, we should start mentioning that Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy could be considered a spy film master piece. The film is based on the 1974 novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré. It is not a surprise the film could get such a great critic and reviews. In 1979, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was adapted to television as a seven-part series for the BBC, being one of the best TV series of its kind and time.

The film clearly showed that you actually can produce a film to the masses that is just not an and intelligent and very thought provoking film, but a film that basically didn't need explosions, gun fights, to keep you entertained and absorbed. Played by such an amazing cast, the film is well directed, and perfectly adapted to its time.

If you want to know more about the plot:

British intelligence officer George Smiley comes out of retirement to uncover a Russian double agent. Agent Ricki Tarr had been sent to Istanbul to investigate a Soviet agent, Boris. He is about to return to London, when he sees Boris beating up his wife, Irina, and he starts an affair with her. Irina is also a Soviet agent and tells him of the existence of a mole (a penetration agent) run by Soviet spymaster Karla, within the "Circus", the headquarters of British intelligence. Tarr takes his suspicions to Oliver Lacon, the senior civil servant in charge of intelligence.

Smiley's former boss, Control, had suspected the existence of the mole and sends agent Jim Prideaux to Budapest, Hungary to meet a Hungarian general who wishes to provide information. The operation is blown and Prideaux is shot in the back and captured by Soviet intelligence. As a result Control and Smiley retire from the Circus and Percy Alleline becomes Chief, with Bill Haydon as his deputy. Their ability to deliver apparently high grade Soviet intelligence material, code named "Witchcraft", establishes their status.

Smiley's investigations, authorised by Lacon and aided by Peter Guillam and retired researcher Connie Sachs, follow Control's chain of thought, investigating suspects code named "Tinker" (Alleline), "Tailor" (Haydon), "Soldier" (Roy Bland) and "Poorman" (Toby Esterhase). Prideaux, who has been repatriated, is interviewed at the prep school where he has taken a position as a teacher. With the aid of Tarr, Smiley lays a trap and captures the mole, who is revealed to be Haydon, at a safe-house, along with Polyakov, a Soviet intelligence officer, to whom the mole had been passing secrets, under the guise of receiving Witchcraft material. Jim Prideaux tracks his former friend Haydon down to the "Nursery" at Sarratt, the agent training and interrogation centre for the Circus, and shoots him dead. Smiley is elevated to take control of the Circus.

Totally recommended!

I would rate this movie with a 4/5

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