San Diego Reader – David Elliot – 21 December 2011
The British do group acting the best. This is a master class, its lessons set in the aspic of sardonic wit.
Newsday – Rafer Guzman – 21 December 2011
Benedict Cumberbatch is very good as an intriguingly altered version of Smiley’s younger protege, agent Peter Guillam
Buzzsugar – Shannon Vestal – 16 December 2011
Oldman leads an ensemble of incredible actors like Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, and up-and-comers like Benedict Cumberbatch.
East Bay Express – Kelly Vance – 14 December 2011
Special kudos as well to Firth, always credible as the notable, envied, old schoolboy; Cumberbatch (War Horse) as careerist hatchet man Guillam; and Strong, typically a heavy but here a complicated man acting as a mentor to a younger version of himself, a shy student.
CNN – Mark Rabinowitz – 9 December 2011
including Peter Guillam (the always excellent Benedict Cumberbatch from the BBC’s “Sherlock”), who in one ingeniously staged sequence, must steal documents from The Circus. Cumberbatch also has the single most emotionally affecting scene in the film, illustrating the sacrifices the intelligence community must pay in the service of secrecy.
Time – Mary Pols – 9 December 2011
Look for meaty scenes between Oldman and the reliably delicious Firth, and great performances from War Horse’s Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Smiley’s put-upon assistant Peter Guillam, and Tom Hardy (Inception, Warrior).
Not only does Cumberbatch give a great performance, but Guillam as a character has a few unexpected qualities and Cumberbatch manages to ever so gracefully touch on his intricacies.
LA Times – Kenneth Turan- 9 December 2011
To see a novel of this level of quality getting the writing, directing and acting it deserves is beyond heartening. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is an enormously impressive piece of work, and that’s news too good to stay secret for long.
New York Times – Manohla Dargis -8 December 2011
Dread throbs like a heartbeat in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy a superb new adaptation of the 1974 spy novel by John Le Carre.
Movieline- Stephanie Zacharek – 8 December 2011
…a few performers stand out. Benedict Cumberbatch — in addition to having one of the most awesome names among British actors — has built a sturdy career playing supporting roles, though he’s mostly been relegated to officious head-boy types. Here, as junior agent Peter Guillam, he steps away from that restrictive box and becomes expressive in a way he hasn’t been before — Guillam is the kind of character who sees and processes everything, even though he says very little, and Cumberbatch navigates those subtle turns with wit and sensitivity.
Rolling Stone – Peter Travers – 8 December 2011
Stir in a rogue agent (an explosive Tom Hardy), a youthful Smiley ally (the excellent Benedict Cumberbatch) and a former MI6 researcher (a dynamite Kathy Burke), and the movie ignites.