This new telling of John le Carre's spy thriller somehow manages to feel longer than the seven-part BBC series that predates it by thirty years.
It's not a bad movie, just a tad ponderous. Could the director's detailed recreation of shabby 1970s London have come at the expense of a more compelling narrative flow?
In its favour, the Gentleman's club aura that was evoked in the BBC version is completely stripped away. This 'circus' is made up of a bunch of ugly, hacked-off, lower-middle class spooks.
At its quiet centre is Gary Oldman as George Smiley. He has been praised for wresting the Smiley character from the long shadow of Alec Guinness. Maybe, but for my money he sounded remarkably like him.