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Hidden Agenda (1990)

tomatometer

83

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 688

My Rating

Movie Info

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.

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Apr 16, 2002

HBO Video

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (3) | DVD (3)

Though it attempts to make an acceptable theatrical entertainment out of a complex political saga, Hidden Agenda lacks bigscreen impact.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This quietly explosive film comes to resonate more loudly than melodrama.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ken Loach's Hidden Agenda must be the most buttoned-down movie about a conspiracy theory ever made.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its own terms and for much of the way, this is a superior thriller.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Well-intentioned, but rather murky.

March 30, 2009 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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

January 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Made in 1990, it feels and looks like it's from 1980. Frances McDormand is an especially snoozy disappointment in a woefully miscast role.

January 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Gripping stuff, even if the outbreak of peace in Northern Ireland has somewhat blunted the message.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

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.

November 3, 2002
Lawrence Journal-World

Simplistic and unconvincing, but with some power

July 30, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

It's good for a watch but far from a perfect film.

June 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

The film is a bit slow and at times slightly strained, and there are moments when you'll be hard-pressed to understand all the dialogue -- but on the whole it is effective and chilling.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Hidden Agenda

A Ken Loach film without a great deal of hype but I would highly recommend searching through the older film rack to take a look at this one.
January 26, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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