She risked everything to stop an unjust war. Her government called her a traitor. Based on world-shaking true events, Official Secrets tells the gripping story of Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), a British intelligence specialist whose job involves routine handling of classified information. One day in 2003, in the lead up to the Iraq War, Gun receives a memo from the NSA with a shocking directive: the United States is enlisting Britain's help in collecting compromising information on United Nations Security Council members in order to blackmail them into voting in favor of an invasion of Iraq. Unable to stand by and watch the world be rushed into an illegal war, Gun makes the gut-wrenching decision to defy her government and leak the memo to the press.
So begins an explosive chain of events that will ignite an international firestorm, expose a vast political conspiracy, and put Gun and her family directly in harm's way. Based on the book The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katharine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion by Marcia Mitchell and Thomas Mitchell
The Globe and Mail/Brad Wheeler
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.
Film Week/Christy Lemire
[A] very solid, totally respectable, well-cast, well-acted, slow burn political thriller potboiler.
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.
Wall Street journal/John Anderson
An unabashedly political movie that is, essentially, a procedural, but also a very sophisticated, ornate, complex and convincing thriller.
Washington Post/Ann Hornaday
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.
The Guardian/Peter Bradshaw
There's something interestingly tough and forthright about this slow-burner from director and co-writer Gavin Hood.