Lots of praise for both Tom & Benedict in these reviews!
From a very VERY glowing review of TTSS (calling it near faultless):
A brooding atmosphere of espionage encapsulates the stunning performances of the ensemble cast. Gary Oldman’s lead as Smiley would steal the show were it not for Mark Strong, Tom Hardy and in particular Benedict Cumberbatch, whose turns as their respective characters are as close to perfect as conceivably possible. Wrapped in Alfredson’s chilling and collected visuals, the film is a gripping spectacle fuelled with fierce dialogue exchanges and calculated moments of tension and violence. Rarely do you see such an emphasis on the spoken word and the subtle facial expression – Alfredson allows his actors plenty of scope to perform their roles and it pays off tenfold, each portrayal oozes class. The screenplay is also surprisingly funny in parts, with numerous laughs dispersed throughout the first half.
And from another wonderfully positive review:
The rest of the cast deserve awards too. Amid the double-crosses, Kathy Burke’s nostalgic Basil Exposition and Mark Strong’s haunted schoolteacher offer a nice portion of pathos. But prizes must go to Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch. Hardy’s rogue agent, Ricki Tarr, delivers a romantic subplot with a jaw-smacking tenderness, while Cumberbatch almost steals the film from under Oldman’s nose with a superb heist scene. His charming, funny, and sexy turn holds the film together as much as Alberto Iglesias’s versatile, threatening score - after The Skin I Live In, that’s the second brilliant soundtrack the composer has thrown out this year.