Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Is What Spies Really Do

With a new Cold War already ramping up, you can bet all your remaining pennies that every country is spying on the other with even more enthusiasm than normal. And for a sense of what that actually entails, you should go watch Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.


The film is set during the height of the Cold War, with the protagonists (obviously) being the Brits and the Russians, with a few other Soviet Bloc countries thrown in there for good measure. It's an adaptation of a 1974 book by John le Carre. Notably, it eschews the normal spy-movie format of GUNS SEX GUNS EXPLOSIONS for a plot full of political intruige, tight plot lines and exemplary writing. The most exciting action is probably a man stealing a file from a library. [Netflix]



Entertainingly enough, I literally JUST finished watching it on Netflix and saw this story on Gizmodo. While it may be a truer to life depiction of the spy world in the 60s and 70s, there's a good reason why there's very little realism in movies. Generally, it's boring. Yes, there's political intrigue and intricate plot lines, but watching it felt more like work than entertainment. The thing is, even with generally good (sometimes great) acting, the writing leaves the movie flat. I was left to feel no more for the characters than for the keyboard I'm typing this on. Yes, they're useful, but there's no attachment or sense of true connection. It's a movie that takes 2/3 of the critical components of a great movie and absolutely nails them - but scores miserably on the rest. 66% is still a D...