Hidden Agenda Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 26, 2010
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.
December 13, 2014
This should have broken out of the American Art House circuit and gotten a fist full of Oscar noms. The most underrated film of 1990. Essential.
July 13, 2014
The conflict surrounding Northern Ireland will never be understandable. This film portrays one incident - true or not - and captures the spirit and emotions and terror in Belfast in the early 80s. It's political. It's good.
January 24, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

(1990) Hidden Agenda

Well made and gripping cover up movie centering on the existing immoral tactics of the UK police during the early 1980's in Northern Ireland. Human rights activist Ingrid(Frances McDormand) goes on a dangerous journey to find out the truth about her husbands assassination with Brian Cox as the investigator as an aid to Ingrid. Looking at a different side of the fense centuring on inhuman liberties against the IRA and Northern Ireland. A great thinking looking picture.

3 out of 4
January 10, 2011
I like several Ken Loach films but this one was not as good. It started off quite well but from the moment the American lawyer is killed, until the end, I felt lost its focus. I don't know if it was based on the killing of Patrick Finuance, the Belfast lawyer, but the movie did feel like it was intended to be similar too, or echoing this event.

I feel this did not really translate too well. The problem was that it showed intelligence agents murdering the lawyer and a suspected IRA man, when what seemed to happen in Northern Ireland was that security force killings were usually carried out by the SAS and not by intelligence services. Also, Loyalist groups seem to have carried out killings which the state did not want to be immediately linked too, such as the Finuance murder. Therefore, the shooting of the lawyer did not ring true for me. In addition, I did not think that the British intelligence officer character was very credible.

As the story developed I thought the plot became a little far-fetched. I did not like the introduction of all the old allegations about the intelligence services actions against the Labour government of the 1970s. I thought it took away from the collusion issue that I think the movie was trying to get across. In conclusion, I think Hidden Agenda is a decent film but becomes confused and is not really very illuminating when it comes to its major theme of security force collision during the conflict in Northern Ireland.
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