Benedict Cumberbatch Special: TTSS, War Horse, Starter For 10

It’s been ages since my last movie reviews. I have been watching TV Shows more than movies lately…but I still manage to sneak one or two movies in between my TVShow.

I actually have 5 movies waiting to be reviewed, but since three our of them have Benedict Cumberbatch, whom I prefer to call Benny, as the supporting role…so I decided to separate those five movies into 2 sections of review.

I watched Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy like 3 or 4 months ago but never got around to write about it for reason you’ll soon find out, I watched War Horse a couple of month ago and I watched Starter For 10 last night. Benny wasn’t in the leading role in those three movies but his presence was clearly noticed.

I don’t want to talk too much in this introduction section, so let’s move on to the movie.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Staring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong
Rating:  (I would have given 1 star but I love the cast)

Story (from IMDB)

In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control, resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. It transpires that Control believed one of four senior figures in the service was in fact a Russian agent – a mole – and the Hungary operation was an attempt to identify which of them it was. Smiley had been forced into retirement by the departure of Control, but is asked by a senior government figure to investigate a story told to him by a rogue agent, Ricky Tarr, that there was a mole. Smiley considers that the failure of the Hungary operation and the continuing success of Operation Witchcraft (an apparent source of significant Soviet intelligence) confirms this, and takes up the task of finding him

I am so sorry that I can’t summarize the story on my own because the movie bored me to death. I had high hope toward the movie because of its amazing cast. But it seemed that I have no luck with John Le Carre’s story. I quit reading his book, The Constant Gardener and I almost quit watching the movie if not for the cast.

One thing that you should know that I AM NOT A MOVIE CRITIC who judges movie from every possible artistic angle. I am only a person who loves movie and simply judge a movie by its story, whether I like the story or not. I wasn’t expecting Bond type of spy movies (I am not a fan of Bond either, in fact I have only seen 1 Bond movie) but I wasn’t expecting it to be that boring either…I nearly fell asleep watching it. Maybe the main reason is because I never much of a spy movie fan.

I am not saying the movie is badit’s just NOT my kind of movie. Many people like it and I can understand their opinion because the movie is actually good…but it’s just not for me.

Once again I have to say that the cast were amazing!! Every one played their parts perfectly…enjoying their performances was the thing that kept me awake throughout the movie.

As it is Benny’s special. I have to mention that Benny looks posh here…I rarely like man in formal suit, but I make an exception for this one 😉

War Horse (2011)

Director: Stephen Spielberg
Staring: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Marsan, Toby Kebbell, Niels Arestrup, David Kross


The story is basically about a horse in time of war. Joey was raised by Jeremy to be a farm horse when he isn’t actually a farm horse type. Jeremy’s father sold him to the army when the war started. From then on, Joey was owned by several people. Eventually he met Jeremy again.

It was a fun movie, I am not going to say it’s a great movie…but it was fun. The story was very predictable but I always have special place for animal related movies. I love human-animal relationship; animals have such beautiful unconditional love. The cinematography was stunning.

Honestly, there isn’t much to tell about War Horse…you can pretty much sum up the story through its DVD.

As for Benny…he was great in it. Very believable as an army but man how I hate that mustache!!

Starter for 10 (2006)

Director: Tom Vaughan
Staring: James McAvoy, Alice Eve, Rebecca Hall, Dominic Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Catherine Tate

Story:  When I was looking for the director and full cast in wikipedia, I read the summary of this movie’s story and I think it’s a great one and I decided to copy it here.

A period comedy set in 1985, the story chronicles the adventures of Brian Jackson, a student in his first year at Bristol University. A somewhat geeky gifted accumulator of knowledge, Brian has been a fan since childhood of University Challenge. That TV show’s famous catchphrase—”Your starter for 10″—gives the film its title. Soon after arriving at university, he seizes upon the opportunity to join Bristol’s University Challenge team. He promptly falls for his glamorous teammate Alice, though he may be more compatible with a Jewish counterculturalist friend, Rebecca. Additionally, Brian finds himself caught between his new life, amongst the academic university set, and his old, with his working-class family and friends in the seaside town of Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

Ruth @ Flixchatter has reviewed this movie somewhere last year, if you want to read a better review, you can hop to her post>> Here.

What surprised me the most was seeing Catherine Tate (my favorite Doctor Who companion) acted as McAvoy’s mom…She is a great comedian who can act. I really love her. As for the story/plot…same as War Horse, it’s a fun movie. I know that young people will face new situation as they leave their house for college. I have been there myself…tho my college life wasn’t as complicated as the main character, Bryan.

It’s a kind of romantic comedy with a bit of wit…but to be honest, the one that drawn me the most is Benny. Benny was such a nerdy in this movie, his character (Patrick) was a really annoying man. So stiff and not fun at all but he managed to steal the show…at least for me.

Well…that’s all for today’s reviews 🙂 sorry I couldn’t write a better review because none of the movies blew my mind.

Have you watched any of those movies? what do you think?


  1. I liked Cucumberbatch 😛 in WAR HORSE, although Tom Hiddlestud stole the show in it, if you ask me.
    STARTER FOR TEN was nice, and I also didn’t like TINKER TAYLOR SOLDIER SPY, not my cup of tea.

    1. Ah yes…Tom Hiddleston was great there. Too bad he and Benny only got short screen time 😦

      *high five* I thought I was going to be the only one who didn’t like TTSS because I read somewhere a blogger really like it and put great defense on the movie. I don’t it was bad, it was just not my cup of tea…just like you 🙂

    1. It was cheesy!!! but like I said in the post, I have a soft spot for animal-human movie…maybe because I love my turtles a lot. I am not going to watch War Horse again but I am not going to say it was bad movie either.

      Glad to know Alfredson found a new fan…I still need to see more of his works.

  2. Hey thanks for the link, Nov. Glad you saw that one, I quite enjoyed Starter for 10 and Benny is sooo cute in that school uniform, ahah. I second Julian about War Horse being overly too sentimental, I do like both Cumberbatch and Hiddleston in it though. I wish I could say I LOVE TTSS, I appreciate it for the performances but overall it’s a bit too slow for my liking.

    1. You’re welcome Ruth 🙂
      Me too!! it was a fun movie. Benny looks weird but also cute…typical nerdy guy who doesn’t know how to have fun 😉

      Yup…very sentimental, if it’s not about human-animal relationship, I might have turned it off before it ends but I always managed to watch a full sentimental movie when it emphasized on human-animal love. I love my own pets so much is the main reason for that.

      I also wish I could like it…I tried to like it but My God it was incredibly slow! Maybe that’s how Le Carre makes all his stories because the Constant Gardener also felt that slow.

  3. I’ve only seen WAr orse and think he was good in it. I read a lot of raving reviews about Tinker, Tailor… but like you I don’t like spy stories, I can’t say why but I find them sooo boring. I had never heard of the last one but sounds entertaining. He looks dreadful, worse than with the moustache.

    1. yup…his brief appearance in war horse was very good. I like his leadership aura there.

      Spy with some action is still bearable for me, but TTSS is a spy drama full of talk and no thrill at all…it as so not my kind of movie.

      hahahaha yeah he is dreadful there..both his look and his attitude. Annoying know it all kind of person. I think you miggt like the movie.

  4. The first time I watched TTSS, I thought it was terribly slow. But, because of Benedict, I re-watched it when I was less tired, and I could follow it much better the second time around. I liked it a lot more the second time. As for War Horse, I was terribly disappointed that Benedict’s part was so short-lived. I love horses (and I mean LOVE them), so I was amazed at how little I liked War Horse overall. It was okay. I was expecting spectacular, but it was okay. Starter for Ten: the book is hilarious. David Tennant, for you DT fans, reads an audio version that is OUTSTANDING. The character Patrick is such a pain in the butt in the book, and Benedict brings him to life brilliantly on screen. Of all three movies, this one, I think, is the most fun to watch. That’s my two cents. Well. Maybe that was ten cents. :o)

    1. Hi tara…thank you for sharing your ten cents 😉

      Maybe I should watch TTSS again but I don’t know if I can bare the boredom all over again. Even a boring movie by my number one actor is still unbearable to watch again….but one day i will try watching it again 🙂

      David Tennant narrated the book??? oh I need to find the audio book then. I love his accent and I love him too (although I love him more as the Doctor). I agree with you, out of all three, Starter For Ten is the most enjoyable one.

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