• Jack Aling

Official Secrets - Review (London Film Festival 2019)

On a Need to Know Basis. 3 / 5



Directed by Gavin Hood. The true story of British intelligence whistleblower Katharine Gun who—prior 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 member states into voting for war.

I try my best to stay away from politics (unless they made a good film after the fact) so I was in the dark with much of this film's plot which made Official Secrets a surprisingly tense film surrounding bravery, freedom of speech, and the legality of war.


Keira Knightley leads the film as Katherine Gun who goes against the official secrets act to stand up against the UN who were attempting to blackmail other parties to make the Iraq war work in their favour. Understandably a heavy topic.


Director Gavin Hood juggles corruption, treason, immigration, war, and investigative journalism in this tense real-life political thriller and treats the subject matter with the care and respect it deserves.


It's a stomach-churning look into having the bravery to do what's right when you have nothing to gain and everything to lose which made for a very compelling watch.


There's nothing extra that helps this stand out amongst other political films but the story and the great cast help to create a solid British crime drama. Read our latest reviews at: letterboxd.com/TheJackAling

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