Official Secrets - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Official Secrets Reviews

November 21, 2019
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
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 30, 2019
[Knightley's] smart not to play Gun as the noble martyr, but merely as an ordinary, frustrated citizen who makes a split-second decision.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
October 18, 2019
[H]obbled by fidelity, spatchcocked by earnestness, this film never takes off.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
October 18, 2019
While it'll do nothing to restore trust in the august bodies that rule the land, it's a pacy, palm-clammying watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 18, 2019
There's something interestingly tough and forthright about this slow-burner from director and co-writer Gavin Hood.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 16, 2019
Hood knows how to crank the tension and a certain fury ticks under the story.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 15, 2019
There's a fascinating tension at the heart of this whistleblower drama about dubious intelligence operations on the eve of the 2003 Iraq war.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 10, 2019
Official Secrets does its baseline job if you needed the story of Katharine Gun retold and vaguely dramatised, but it's dreary entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
September 27, 2019
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
September 12, 2019
Like the whistleblower at its center, "Official Secrets" has backbone and conviction, something we could use more of today.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 10, 2019
It's a good story, well told, though you have to forgive Hood for indulging in a little journalistic cliché.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 9, 2019
The end result is a professionally made film that is whistle-blowingly relevant, starring an excellent actress who successfully comes in from her Pride & Prejudice past.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 6, 2019
It's difficult to become immersed in a film in which far too many characters sound like they're reciting talking points and not delivering authentic dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 4, 2019
"Official Secrets" scratches the surface of a deep and dark universe of things we're not supposed to know but should.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
September 4, 2019
Although Knightley's Gun often seems to be a passive figure, buffeted by the machinations of those around her, the film's honesty about the enormous personal costs of whistleblowing is a welcome relief from more romanticized heroics.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 4, 2019
I don't know if you can have spoilers when actual history if involved, but by the end you may be happy, unhappy or something in-between.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 3, 2019
It never rises to the heights of its lofty aspirations.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
September 3, 2019
[A] very solid, totally respectable, well-cast, well-acted, slow burn political thriller potboiler.
August 30, 2019
Feels both dutiful and dry.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 30, 2019
As concisely informative as an Economist article and as gripping as a beach read.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 29, 2019
An unabashedly political movie that is, essentially, a procedural, but also a very sophisticated, ornate, complex and convincing thriller.
Top Critic
August 29, 2019
As the Iraq War recedes into our rear-view mirror and our current news cycle spins blindly from one world crisis to another, films like Official Secrets, bland as they may seem, will serve as crucial efforts to keep our past mistakes in our minds.
August 29, 2019
Bloody hell, the Brits do low-key, paranoid procedural dramas like Official Secrets well, with a pervading chill and no flash: The crispness cuts like a knife.
August 29, 2019
The characters are malnourished and Hood's attempts to build suspense often fall flat because he leans hard on genre conventions, on dark shadows, ominous music and abrupt sounds straight from a horror flick.
August 29, 2019
Gavin Hood's earnest whistleblower drama does a stirring if occasionally didactic job of reminding us why speaking truth to power, even at the highest personal cost, still matters.
Full Review | Original Score: B
August 28, 2019
Although Official Secrets may take liberties with the historical record, it's effective as both a drama and a cautionary tale and the lessons it teaches are possibly more relevant in today's world than they were 15 years ago.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 28, 2019
Official Secrets rarely deviates from the standard whistleblower template... What compels are the offbeat details surrounding the case.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
August 27, 2019
Knightley gives one of her strongest performances here, using her innate steeliness and presence to create a convincing portrait of a courageous zealot who believes in right and wrong in an almost biblical sense.
August 27, 2019
But where Hood's All the President's Men ambitions feel forced -- there's even a shadowy meet-up in a parking garage -- the second-half machinations pertaining to Gun's legal peril and eventual defense are duly fascinating.
August 27, 2019
So much of Gregory Bernstein, Sara Bernstein and Gavin Hood's screenplay arrives with a thud that it might've been written with clenched fists. Knightley's overwrought performance doesn't help either.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
February 5, 2019
Too much of Official Secrets plays out like a history class.
February 4, 2019
A dry and honorable retelling of events that exists mostly to remind us who she was, and why any potential whistleblowers out there should honor her example.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
January 29, 2019
The film relies on its lead star and Knightley is more than equipped for the task of carrying it on her shoulders.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 29, 2019
A straightforward, solidly old-fashioned slice of real-life espionage, journalistic and legal intrigue that gets the job done in engrossing, clear-eyed fashion even if it lacks much in the way of stylistic verve.