It's the true story of Katharine Gunn (Keira Knightley), a British Whistleblower who leaked an important memo to the press, in the build-up to the America-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
It's a bit jarring to see Keira Knightley in a film where she's not wearing a corset...she's built a career on mostly period-piece films. Technically, "Official Secrets" is a period-piece, set against the backdrop of the Iraqi invasion in 2003. And while this is an important subject matter, the movie doesn't quite pull you in the way that it should, or the way that other, better films on the subject have in the past.
Conleth Hill (Lord Varys from HBO's "Game of Thrones") plays the plain-spoken head of the newspaper that received the leaked intel...his role is small but he's quite good, even if his presence is a bit cliché. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes, Indira Varma, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans and Matthew Goode.
Whistle-blowing is important. So is the role of good journalism. This movie's head is in the right place, but it seems to be making a mountain out of a mole hill in how it dramatizes a leaked memo. This is more of a "purpose" movie, meaning that it has something important to say, and uses its characters as tools to get across its message. But more effective stories deal with people that feel real, and "Official Secrets" never quite proves itself authentic.
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance.
Run Time: 1 hour 51 minutes.
Starring: Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Ralph Fiennes, Indira Varma, Rhys Ifans, Conleth Hill, Matt Smith.
Directed by Gavin Hood ("Eye in the Sky," "Ender's Game," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine").
"Official Secrets" opens theatrically on Friday, September 13th, 2019.
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