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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

Movie review by David Blackwell

127 minutes, rated R
STUDIO:  Focus Features/ Working Title/ Studio Canal/ Karla Films/ Paradis Films
Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  1-6-2012 (wide release)/ 12-9-2011 (limited)

STARRING Gary Oldman (George Smiley), Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy (Ricki Tar), and John HURT (Control)
SCREENPLAY by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan
based on the novel by John le Carre
DIRECTED by Tomas Alfredson

In 1973, Control (John Hurt), head of the Circus (aka British Intelligence), sends an agent to Hungary to find out the identity of a mole in British Intelligence.  The operation goes wrong and Control is kicked out (he takes his right hand man George Smiley with him).   After control's death, George Smiley is approached to put together a small group outside of the Circus and find out who the mole is (if a double agent from Moscow exists).  

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY is a densely plotted Cold War spy thriller.   I would liken to what a spy thriller would be like if it took place in the real world.   You wouldn't have a super agent like James Bond on big missions with tons of damage.   Espionage is about gathering information and doing it unnoticed as possible.   TINKER TAILOR SPY is the second adaptation of the John Le Carre novel.    It has the feel of an old time spy thriller mixed with a great cast of actors.   Gary Oldman plays the silences of George Smiley out with great skill.   Smiley is sometimes a man of inaction and a silent man of very few words, but people listen when he has something to say.   Sometimes it is more important about an actor doesn't say and what the scene says about the character in it.   Tom Hardy performs another chameleon trick as he transforms himself yet again to play Ricki Tar.  

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY goes back and forth in time as the puzzle pieces start to be put together.   It is a movie where you have to pay attention and watch for the character drama (and story).   The film manages to capture the paranoia and politics of the cold War while delivering one of the best spy thrillers to fill in a spot left cold by James Bond while we wait for the next Bond film to come out this Fall.   TINKER TAILOR SPY is a fantastic English language directorial debut from the director of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.  I wonder what Tomas Alfredson will direct next because he is a director to watch.   It is definitely one of the best films I have seen in recent months and it is refreshing to see a thriller not dependent on fight scenes to create a complex spy film.

this review is (c)1-9-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com