7.3/10
17,077
155 user 136 critic

Official Secrets (2019)

Trailer
2:13 | Trailer
The true story of a British whistleblower who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Director:

Gavin Hood

Writers:

Gregory Bernstein (screenplay), Sara Bernstein (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
314 ( 124)
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keira Knightley ... Katharine Gun
Matt Smith ... Martin Bright
Matthew Goode ... Peter Beaumont
Rhys Ifans ... Ed Vulliamy
Adam Bakri ... Yasar Gun
Ralph Fiennes ... Ben Emmerson
Conleth Hill ... Roger Alton
Indira Varma ... Shami Chakrabarti
Jeremy Northam ... Ken Macdonald
John Heffernan ... James Welch
Monica Dolan ... Fiona Bygate
Tamsin Greig ... Elizabeth Wilmshurst
Niccy Lin Niccy Lin ... Mi-Yung
Jack Farthing ... Andy Dumfries
Gabrielle Downey Gabrielle Downey ... Mrs. Archer
Learn more

More Like This 

Dark Waters (2019)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A corporate defense attorney takes on an environmental lawsuit against a chemical company that exposes a lengthy history of pollution.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

American security guard Richard Jewell saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is vilified by journalists and the press who falsely reported that he was a terrorist.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Brandon Stanley
Just Mercy (2019)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

World-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner.

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Charlie Pye Jr., Michael Harding
The Report I (2019)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Idealistic Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones, tasked by his boss to lead an investigation into the CIA's post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation Program, uncovers shocking secrets.

Director: Scott Z. Burns
Stars: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Jon Hamm
The Informer (2019)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ex-convict working undercover intentionally gets himself incarcerated again in order to infiltrate the mob at a maximum security prison.

Director: Andrea Di Stefano
Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Common
Bombshell (2019)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of women take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.

Director: Jay Roach
Stars: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie
Midway (2019)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of the Battle of Midway, told by the leaders and the sailors who fought it.

Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson
21 Bridges (2019)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An embattled NYPD detective is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy.

Director: Brian Kirk
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, J.K. Simmons
The Good Liar (2019)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Consummate con man Roy Courtnay has set his sights on his latest mark: the recently widowed Betty McLeish, worth millions. But this time, what should have been a simple swindle escalates into a cat-and-mouse game with the ultimate stakes.

Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey
The Aftermath II (2019)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Post World War II, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German who previously owned the house.

Director: James Kent
Stars: Keira Knightley, Ned Wills, Pandora Colin
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Lloyd Vogel.

Director: Marielle Heller
Stars: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper
The Gentlemen (2019)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An American expat tries to sell off his highly profitable marijuana empire in London, triggering plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his domain out from under him.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery

Photos

Edit

Storyline

A morality tale for the 21st century, Official Secrets tells the true story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun who, during the immediate run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top secret NSA memo exposing a joint US-UK illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council. The memo proposed blackmailing smaller, undecided member states into voting for war. At great personal and professional risk, journalist Martin Bright published the leaked document in The Observer newspaper in London, and the story made headlines around the world. Members of the Security Council were outraged and any chance of a UN resolution in favour of war collapsed. But within days, Bush declared he no longer needed UN backing and invaded anyway. As Iraq descended into chaos, Katharine was arrested and charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act. Martin faced potential charges too. Their legal battles exposed the highest levels of government in both London and Washington ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Truth is Always the First Casualty of War See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Secretary of State Colin Powell learned that the information he was given for his presentation to the United Nations was false and intentionally misleading, he was so disgusted that he resigned from office. For one example the false evidence that he presented included photographs of some metal tubes. Photographic analysis showed that the tube walls were far too thin to be used as suggested and were quite ordinary. See more »

Goofs

When Catherine was arrested she was taken to a local police station in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, which was staffed by police wearing Metropolitan Police uniforms (ie from London). The local police are Gloucestershire Constabulary. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Clerk of the Court: Katharine Teresa Gun, you are charged with an offense contrary to section 1, subsection 1, of the Official Secrets Act of 1989, in that you did knowingly and intentionally disclose top-secret intelligence information contrary to the said act. How do you plead? Guilty or not guilty?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Morning Britain: Episode dated 11 October 2019 (2019) See more »

User Reviews

 
Kiera Knightley's powerful performance carries the movie
14 September 2019 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Official Secrets" (2019 release from the UK; 112 minutes) brings the story "based on actual events" we are reminded, of British whisleblower Katharine Gun. As the movie opens, it is "25 February 2004, London", and Gun is appearing in court. "As to the charge regarding the Official Secrets Act, do you please guilty or no guilty?, the court asks her. We then go "One Year Earlier, Cheltenham", as we get to know Gun, as she is watching Tony Blair on TV making the case for the war on Iraq. She works a the Government Communications Headquarters. Gun happens to get some very sensitive information regarding attempts to influence the votes of certain members of the UN Security Council. Gun is very upset and decides to leak the information... At this point we are 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see fort yourself how it all p[lays out.

Couple of comments: the movie is directed by veteran South African director (and co-writer) Gavin Hood ("X-Men Origins: Wolverine"). Here he brings the real life story of what happened to Katharine Gun. As we all know at this point, the Bush administration outright lied and manipulated the data so as to make the case for invading Iraq. The Blair administration wasn't much better. The movie is hence on the right side of the truth, but of course that is easy to do with 20/20 hindsight. Apart from the whistleblower case, the movie also brings to the front what happened at the Observer, the British newspaper that published the sensitive data. I quite enjoyed it all, and not only because I couldn't wait to find out how it would all end for Gun. Kiera Knightly plays Katharine Gun, and she plays it with passion and with determination. She is an absolute delight to watch her carry this movie on her shoulders. Ralph Fiennes is equally up to the task (as the non-profit lawyer representing Gun).

"Official Secrets" premiered to positive acclaim at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The movie opened on 2 or 3 screens in all of Greater Cincinnati this weekend. The Saturday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended very nicely (about 25 people). If you have any interest in whisleblower cases or how the US and UK administration misled the public about the war in Iraq, I'd readily suggest you check out "Official Secrets", be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.


26 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 155 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

30 August 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Official Secrets See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,965, 1 September 2019

Gross USA:

$1,988,546

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,581,462
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed