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Official Secrets has a familiar structure and an obvious if worthy message, but rises on the strength of Keira Knightley's powerful performance. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

One day in 2003, in the lead up to the Iraq War, British intelligence specialist Katharine Gun receives a memo from the NSA with a shocking directive: the United States is enlisting Britain's help in collecting compromising information on U.N. Security Council members to blackmail them into voting in favor of an invasion of Iraq. Unable to stand by and watch the world be rushed into war, Gun makes the gut-wrenching decision to defy her government and leak the memo to the press.

Cast & Crew

Keira Knightley
Katharine Gun
Matt Smith
Martin Bright
Matthew Goode
Peter Beaumont
Rhys Ifans
Ed Vulliamy
Adam Bakri
Yasar Gun
Ralph Fiennes
Ben Emmerson QC
Indira Varma
Shami Chakrabarti
Conleth Hill
Roger Alton
Hattie Morahan
Yvonne Ridley
Sara Bernstein
Screenwriter
Gavin Hood
Screenwriter
Melissa Zuo
Producer
Florian Hoffmeister
Cinematographer
Megan Gill
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Official Secrets

Critic Reviews for Official Secrets

All Critics (164) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (135) | Rotten (29)

  • Knightley shines... in a performance that balances conviction and soul baring, and is all the more genuine for its lack of showiness.

    February 21, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Official Secrets celebrates the courage of a government employee who attempted to prevent the invasion at considerable risk to herself and to those she loved.

    November 22, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The script, based on a book by Marcia and Thomas Mitchell, keeps layering in complexity, refusing to go dumb. And Knightley's performance gets steelier as she struggles to overcome her fears

    November 21, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • [Knightley's] smart not to play Gun as the noble martyr, but merely as an ordinary, frustrated citizen who makes a split-second decision.

    October 30, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a hard milieu to capture, and this takes the same broad strokes that these movies do...but it's absolutely saved by the performance at the center, which gives it nuance and depth and something more.

    October 24, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Gavin Hood's Official Secrets isn't a poor film so much as an unremarkable one, and if there is any suspense or stylistic innovation to be wrung from this important story then the director is keeping it under his hat.

    October 24, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Official Secrets

  • Jun 26, 2020
    Carefully crafted re-telling of the British spy who blew the whistle on the US government's attempt to unlawfully gain the United Nation's Security Council endorsement to start a war with Iraq. Super film.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 23, 2020
    Official Secrets is a blatant piece of propaganda that attempts to rewrite history and deify the liberal media and their "whistleblower" allies. But if you can get past the politics, it's a pretty engaging drama. The film follows an antiwar British intelligence analysis who leaks a top secret memo in an attempt to prevent the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and is subsequently charged with treason after being caught. Starring Keira Knightley, Matt Smith‎, Matthew Goode, and Ralph Fiennes, the casts is quite impressive and delivers solid performances. And the writers do a good job at building suspense and tension. The dialog however, is rather poor and is preachy as all get-out with sanctimonious speeches about whistleblowing and the usual liberal antiwar rhetoric ("Blair lied," "illegal war," blah, blah, blah). Yet while it's a far cry from an objective depiction of events, Official Secrets is a fairly solid legal drama.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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