Okay, I saw it the day after it opened and I'm finally going to type up a review of:
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: 9.0/10
This movie is flat out amazing. It was exactly what I was expecting when I went to the theater.
This is a movie that needs your undivided attention to fully grasp what is going on. I sat there, eyes fixed on the screen, while people were shifting uncomfortably, going to the bathroom, checking their phones, etc.... The shortness of attention spans in most people is ridiculous. You paid to see a movie, so f*cking watch the thing!
It is a terrific period piece. If not for Oldman and a few other actors, I could believe it was actually shot in the 70s. The outfits, the cars, the machinery, the offices, and the decor was amazing.
The editing was masterful. The film deliberately set out to confuse the audience with unannounced flashbacks, for characterization purposes as well as Smiley thinking through his operation. You are f*cked if you don't pay attention.
The direction was also great. It was subtle, mysterious, and had many shots of characters from a distance or dwarfed by surroundings.
Oldman acted the shit out of his role. He was the mastermind, he controlled, he observed, he wept, and he ran an operation to out brilliant spies. He barely said a word, but his presence was immense. The gears were constantly turning, mulling through all of the minutia to find his answers.
Basically, this movie is what a spy's life truly is. Mind numbing, dull, filled with paperwork and gathering intel. You slowly put yourself into position to take the King (chess metaphors were used in the movie). The lifestyle is intriguing to me because these men give up what makes them unique, and segregate themselves from society, to do what they believe is right... But what they believe may not be the right thing. It's all keeping up appearances and concealing information. Every day must be stressful as hell.
I followed along and put the pieces together to solve who was the mole about 6 minutes before Smiley's reveal. That was incredibly satisfying, an engaging movie that I can dissect and solve while watching, while also commenting on the nature of the Cold War. Great, great movie.
Cons: A CGI owl in one scene pissed me off. I would give it a higher rank but it really does require multiple viewings, and I don't know when I want to invest the time and energy again. I'll probably only watch it once more when it comes out on DVD.
If you expect an action movie, have no attention span, or no attention to detail DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE.