Movie review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

By Columbus Alive
From the January 5, 2012 edition

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” makes me long for the good old days of the Cold War — at least for the spy genre. Not so much for the constant threat of nuclear annihilation.

Director Tomas Alfredson — who helmed the excellent vampire flick “Let the Right One In” — has a blast with a script adapted from a John le Carré novel.

Gary Oldman plays George Smiley, a semi-retired British intelligence agent who returns to ferret out an agency mole who is working for Moscow.

The spy thrills here are quite different from the spy thrills in, say, the new “Mission: Impossible” — not much stuff blows up, and Oldman definitely doesn’t climb a Dubai skyscraper.

The adrenaline rush is replaced with some top-notch talky tension. I found it oddly evocative of some of the best dramatic moments from “The Sopranos.” And that’s high praise.

It’s a great spy movie for grown-ups.