The Independent - Jonathan Romney - 18 September 2011
Click One - Liverpool - 18 September 2011 (9/10)
An icy cold portrayal of 'Smiley' is delivered by Gary Oldman with sterling performances from the cast of British heavyweights in Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Mark Strong and Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Guardian - Philip French - 17 September 2011
The Telegraph - Sukhdev Sandhu- 16 September 2011 (5 stars)
Somebody should give Jina Jay, the casting director of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, an award. The much-heralded remake of John le Carré’s 1974 spy novel has, with apologies to fans of The Expendables, the best acting ensemble of any film in recent times.
Liverpool Echo - 16 September 2011
It is a solid ensemble drama with a formidable, 24-carat cast of British thesps – including Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch – working from a deliciously complex script and with direction by Tomas Alfredson.
The Guardian - Peter Bradshaw - 15 September 2011 (5 stars)
Hey U Guys - Jon Lyus - 15 September 2011 (4 stars)
Highlights for me include seeing the great Kathy Burke back on screen, Stephen Graham in his small, but crucial, role more than held his own and Benedict Cumberbatch joins Tom Hardy as the film’s biggest surprises, both showing a depth of character and ability that we’ve not seen from either actor before.
TNT Magazine - 15 September 2011
Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch put in equally riveting performances as agents chasing their tails....as a study of the dissembling and double dealing that characterises the murky underworld of intelligence gathering, TTSS is superlative.
The Wharf - Giles Broadbent -15 September 2011(4 stars)
Boston Herald - Stephen Schaefer - 8 September 2011
Gary Oldman is fine as Smiley, Benedict Cumberbatch (the young contemporary Sherlock in a current British series) as his conflicted assistant is even better and there are wonderful moments from Kathy Burke as a grand MI-5 veteran and Tom Hardy as a man hunted and haunted by a Russian woman taken prisoner.
Mild Concern - Tim - 8 September 2011
Tom Hardy and Mark Strong are the best I’ve ever seen them, Colin Firth continues to carve out his position as a “proper actor”, John Hurt and Benedict Cumberbatch are joyful to watch as ever and Kathy Burke is a little bit of a revelation. It feels like a genuine treat to see the best of British given the space to strut their stuff.
The Establishing Shot - Craig Grobler - 8 September 2011
I have seen some shout outs for both Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy. I’m not familiar with Cumberbatch’s work but he is absolutely outstanding as George Smiley's trusted insider, both vulnerable and like the period clearly there is a lot more happening under his calm veneer. The chemistry of his mentor/student relationship with Gary Oldman's Smiley is emotionally spot on.
Impact Magazine - Tom Grater - 7 September 2011 (4 1/2 stars)
A brooding atmosphere of espionage encapsulates the stunning performances of the ensemble cast. Gary Oldman’s lead as Smiley would steal the show were it not for Mark Strong, Tom Hardy and in particular Benedict Cumberbatch, whose turns as their respective characters are as close to perfect as conceivably possible.
I-Flicks.net - Ivan Radford - 7 September 2011 (4 stars)
But prizes must go to Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch. Hardy's rogue agent, Ricki Tarr, delivers a romantic subplot with a jaw-smacking tenderness, while Cumberbatch almost steals the film from under Oldman's nose with a superb heist scene. His charming, funny, and sexy turn holds the film together as much as Alberto Iglesias's versatile, threatening score - after The Skin I Live In, that's the second brilliant soundtrack the composer has thrown out this year.
The Telegraph - David Gritten - 5 September 2011 (5 stars)
There’s a terrific extended set-piece scene involving Smiley’s young colleague Peter Guillam (Benedict Cumberbatch) who must smuggle archived files from the Circus undetected. It’s funny, seductive and suspenseful all at once.
The Playlist - Oliver Lyttelton - 5 September 2011
More of a breakout is Benedict Cumberbatch, until now best known for his starring role as the BBC’s “Sherlock.” He’s a total professional, willing to walk through fire for Smiley, but there’s a simmering anger in his performance, a slow build of paranoia as he’s asked to turn against his masters. It’s a beautifully layered turn, considering his public persona as a flirt and a playboy, something that pays off beautifully in a quietly devastating scene, one that may be prove controversial to die-hard fans of the book.
Variety - Leslie Felperin - 5 September 2011
Casting is one of the pic's strongest suits, with an ensemble that reps some of the finest talent working in Blighty. Everyone brings their A game, with Oldman setting the bar high as an eerily still, slightly sinister Smiley. Particularly worthy of mention are Cumberbatch, who in one charged scene gets across the cruel debt of silence secret servicemen will always owe...
Screen Daily - Allan Hunter - 5 September 2011
The slow burn pays off in a richly satisfying piece of storytelling brought to life by a once in a generation cast that also includes Benedict Cumberbatch as Smiley’s legman Peter Guillam, John Hurt as MI6 Leader Control and the welcome screen return of Kathy Burke as lonely researcher Connie.
The Guardian - Xan Brooks - 5 September 2011 (4 stars)
Cine Vue - Joe Walsh - 5 September 2011 (5 stars)
Time Out - Dave Calhoun - 5 September 2011 (4 stars)
The Daily Mail - Chris Tookey - 5 September 2011 (4 stars)
The Mail - Baz Bamigboye - 22 July 2011