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.

82%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 163

89%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 361

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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 (163) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (134) | 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…
  • 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…
  • [H]obbled by fidelity, spatchcocked by earnestness, this film never takes off.

    October 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.

    October 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.

    October 18, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | 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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