Official Secrets – ★★★✩✩

Certificate – 15
Directed By – Gavin Hood
Starring – Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans.
Running Time – 112 Minutes (1 Hour 52 Minutes)

The Iraq war was an event that was happening during my life in school and I can’t remember much nor did I know this was a story as all I slightly remember a protest and a poster saying “No to the war”.

So I was interested in learning about modern history in England.

What Is Official Secrets About?

In 2003, on the eve of the UK-US invasion of Iraq, Katharine Gun (Knightley) intercepted a message asking the UK to spy on UN Security Council Members to help influence votes sanctioning the invasion. Gun must balance of duty of what’s best of the government or the national good.

Is It Any Good?

This is a fascinating film with a fantastic performance by Knightley.

The subject matter is seemingly handled fairly but has an anti-war look but does the question if you’d do the same thing as Gun, who did do an incredibly brave thing and that points to the bigger question of if this was a pointless war.

Image via eOne

The film itself is a fairly basic political thriller, but it’s the powerhouse performance by Knightley that carries the film, and deserves a BAFTA nomination, with great supporting work from Smith and Fiennes.

I was a big fan of the journalistic stuff and would’ve loved to have seen more from Smith’s Martin Bright in the newsroom and Ifans’ hard-edged Ed Vulliamy and think Hood would do a fantastic job in handling a journalism movie as these moments remind me of films like State of Play and Spotlight.

Image via eOne

I also think it could make an interesting double bill with a film like Vice as we can see the US side of things and the reaction from the UK press in this film.

Anything Bad About The Film?

It’s nothing massive but it does follow a similar footprint and does feel a little long as 10 minutes could’ve been cut out.


An interesting film with a powerful performance from Knightley.

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