This is not your average spy flick.

There're no guns blazing action or your sleek cat-and-mouse games.

What drives this gripping thriller is the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Watching him in action leaves a bittersweet aftertaste, knowing that you'll never ever see him at work again.

Based on the novel by John le Carre - the writer behind Gary Oldman masterpiece Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -Hoffman plays Gunter Bachmann, a German intelligence agent whose painstaking efforts to root out an illicit Muslim terrorist ring are stifled by politics.

Ever the consummate pro, Hoffman not only shines on his own, he also elevates the performances of his supporting cast - Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Bruhl and Robin Wright.

- Joanne Soh

Rating: 4/5