Hidden Agenda (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hidden Agenda (1990)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Hidden Agenda Trailers & Photos

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. Assigned to the case, Inspector Kerrigan (Brian Cox) is joined by Ingrid in probing Paul's death, which seems to be related to rumors of a high-ranking cabal within the British government working to undermine the Irish Republican Army and liberal policies toward Irish separatists through violent and illegal means. Ingrid meets with Harris (Maurice Roeves), a former British Secret Service agent who's now turned on his former cronies. Together, they look for the top-secret tape.more
Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Jim Allen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 16, 2002
HBO Video


Brian Cox
as Kerrigan
Frances McDormand
as Ingrid Jessner
Jim Norton
as Brodie
Patrick Kavanagh
as Alec Nevin
Bernard Archard
as Sir Robert Neil
Michelle Fairley
as Teresa Doyle
Oliver Maguire
as Supt. Fraser
Des McAleer
as Sgt. Kennedy
Mandy McIlwaine
as RUC Policewoman
Ivan Little
as TV Reporter
Llew Gardner
as TV Announcer
Kate Smith
as News Reporter
John Keegan
as Detective Sergeant H...
Desmond McAleer
as Sgt. Kennedy
Ian McElhinney
as Jack Cunningham
Maureen Bell
as Mrs. Molloy
Stephen Brigden
as Army Major
Kym Dyson
as Carol
Jim McAllister
as Liam Philbin
Gerry Fearon
as Taxi Driver
Ron Kavana
as Musician
Kathleen Smith
as News Reporter
Terry Woods
as Musician
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hidden Agenda

Critic Reviews for Hidden Agenda

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6)

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

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top 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.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 11, 1990
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


A political thriller with more politics than thrills makes for a nice change of pace -- but ends up as a borderline soapbox for a particular agenda. Between a 6/10 and 7/10.

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