Director: Tomas Alfredson
Cast: Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Toby Jones
Release Date: Monday 30th January
"I'm retired." Those are the first words spoken by George Smiley (Oldman), and they don't occur until 15 minutes in. But even before then we've spent enough time with Tinker Tailor's hero to know what he's about. We see him forced out of MI5 ("The Circus") alongside the paranoid chief, Control (Hurt), and follow him home during the muted opening credits. Throughout, Smiley says nothing.
It's a hugely effective sequence that sees allegiances change, powers shift, and paperwork go up and down in a lift. Welcome to Tomas Alfredson's take on John le Carré's world. It's a quiet, tense, and stylish place to be betrayed. How British.