Official Secrets


Keira Knightley plays Katharine Gun in this dry but effective dramatization of the events that transpired when Gun, a translator for British intelligence agency GCHQ, leaked information that could have prevented the Iraq War—and in the process, incurred the wrath of the British government, which was willing to overlook the slightly inconvenient fact that the administration of George W. Bush repeatedly lied to justify their invasion of Iraq. Knightley is solid, as is Matt Smith's hair, which plays The Observer's Martin Bright, but a restrained Ralph Fiennes and a not-restrained-at-all Rhys Ifans steal every scene they're in. The cloak-and-dagger early stuff in Official Secrets, inside GCHQ and The Observer, works the best; once Gun is trapped in a vindictive legal nightmare, the film can't help but lose some steam. Still, it all works, and it's all important, and as far as movies about heroic whistleblowers go, it's not too much of a stretch to put Official Secrets on the same shelf as Alex Gibney's Chelsea Manning-adjacent We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks and Citizenfour, Laura Poitras' remarkable Edward Snowden doc.

by Erik Henriksen
Showtimes & Tickets


Gavin Hood
Matt Smith, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode

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