Hidden Agenda (1990)
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 18
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 688
This political thriller is set against the backdrop of Northern Ireland's "Troubles" and directed in the documentary fashion common to British filmmaker Ken Loach's films. Paul Sullivan (Brad Dourif) and Ingrid Jessner (Frances McDormand) are American attorneys serving on a human rights group working to monitor cases of prisoner mistreatment in war-torn Belfast. When Paul learns of some information that may be injurious to the Thatcher government, he is killed, and a top-secret tape disappears.
Sep 11, 1990 Wide
Apr 16, 2002
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Though it attempts to make an acceptable theatrical entertainment out of a complex political saga, Hidden Agenda lacks bigscreen impact.
There's plenty of evidence of Loach's undiminished power as a film-maker, and equally ample evidence that something is very rotten in the state of Northern Ireland.
Ken Loach's Hidden Agenda must be the most buttoned-down movie about a conspiracy theory ever made.
It's made with the flaggelatory ardour that Ken Loach brings to all his films, a hard edged realism pounded into the mortar of cinema with naturalism
Made in 1990, it feels and looks like it's from 1980. Frances McDormand is an especially snoozy disappointment in a woefully miscast role.
Gripping stuff, even if the outbreak of peace in Northern Ireland has somewhat blunted the message.
Hidden Agenda could be accused of being dogmatic (Loach's films frequently slam the U.K. government), but the director keeps a sense of gritty authenticity throughout.
Simplistic and unconvincing, but with some power
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