Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a crackling, intense, complex, old-fashioned spy-thriller…but you need to wait over an hour to get there. Director Tomas Alfredson does a fantastic job of painting a rich 1970s setting that swings between London, France, Istanbul, and Budapest, but we have trouble getting our bearings as we jump across timelines and struggle to understand the wide cast of characters. Terrific performances begin to peek out and try to surface but are smothered in an overdone attempt to obfuscate rather than intrigue. Alfredson wants to put us inside the web of confusion of trying to uncover the truth, but he strings us along for too long. At some point, the spy game must begin.