Official Secrets

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 127


Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 352
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Movie Info

She risked everything to stop an unjust war. Her government called her a traitor. Based on world-shaking true events, Official Secrets tells the gripping story of Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), a British intelligence specialist whose job involves routine handling of classified information. One day in 2003, in the lead up to the Iraq War, Gun receives a memo from the NSA with a shocking directive: the United States is enlisting Britain's help in collecting compromising information on United Nations Security Council members in order to blackmail them into voting in favor of an invasion of Iraq. Unable to stand by and watch the world be rushed into an illegal war, Gun makes the gut-wrenching decision to defy her government and leak the memo to the press. So begins an explosive chain of events that will ignite an international firestorm, expose a vast political conspiracy, and put Gun and her family directly in harm's way.


Keira Knightley
as Katharine Gun
Ralph Fiennes
as Ben Emmerson
Matt Smith (XI)
as Martin Bright
Matthew Goode
as Peter Beaumont
Indira Varma
as Shami Chakrabarti
Rhys Ifans
as Ed Vulliamy
Conleth Hill
as Roger Alton
Tamsin Greig
as Elizabeth Wilmshurst
Hattie Morahan
as Yvonne Ridley
Jack Farthing
as Andy Dumfries
Monica Dolan
as Fiona Bygate
John Hefferman
as James Welch
Kenneth Cranham
as Judge Hyam
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Critic Reviews for Official Secrets

All Critics (127) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (105) | Rotten (22)

  • [H]obbled by fidelity, spatchcocked by earnestness, this film never takes off.

    Oct 18, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • While it'll do nothing to restore trust in the august bodies that rule the land, it's a pacy, palm-clammying watch.

    Oct 18, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • There's something interestingly tough and forthright about this slow-burner from director and co-writer Gavin Hood.

    Oct 18, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • There's a fascinating tension at the heart of this whistleblower drama about dubious intelligence operations on the eve of the 2003 Iraq war.

    Oct 15, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Do yourself two favors: see the picture, and if you're unfamiliar with the outcome of the case, avoid the Google before purchasing a ticket. It'll make for a much more nerve-wracking time at the movies.

    Sep 27, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Like the whistleblower at its center, "Official Secrets" has backbone and conviction, something we could use more of today.

    Sep 12, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Official Secrets

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