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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Teaches about the act of being a whistleblower and what's at stake in exchange for trying to expose and correct wrongdoing. It's an extraordinary act of bravery and integrity, with great risk involved.
Positive Role Models
Katharine decides to risk her own safety and comfort -- and that of her loved ones -- to do the right thing. She faces extremely difficult odds. She shows her fear but always keeps going.
Violence & Scariness
Arguing. Threats. Sense of danger. Bombs, war footage on news.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Married couple kisses and is intimate; suggestion of sex.
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Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--t," "t-ts," "Christ," 'hell," "ass," "a--hole," "tosser," "freakin'," "kinky," "oh my God," and "Jesus Christ" (as exclamations).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Official Secrets is a drama based on the true story of whistleblower Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), who leaked information about the United States' attempt to blackmail members of the UN into supporting the 2003 war against Iraq. Expect strong language, including uses of "f--k," "s--t," "t-ts," and more. There's some arguing and danger and war footage on the TV news, including bombs exploding. A married couple kisses and is intimate in bed (sex is suggested but not shown). Directed by Gavin Hood, the film is uneven and a bit flat, but it gets by on its righteous outrage and scary relevance and is worth seeing for older teens and adults. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Wordy, disjointed, and not exactly dynamic or visual, this fact-based political drama nonetheless gets by on sheer righteous anger, painful relevance, and a few stand-up-and-cheer moments. Official Secrets gets a large portion of its strength from Knightley, whose Katharine is seen early on during her free time shouting at Tony Blair on TV. She must sell a character who's beholden to her better instincts, and suffers to the point that she would put herself and her husband in danger to set things right; Knightley does this admirably.
Directed by Gavin Hood (who doesn't quite reach the highs of his Eye in the Sky), the movie does spend long chunks away from Katharine. But fortunately, it sometimes turns into a crackling newspaper movie, with Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans, and Matt Smith filling out the requisite colorful journalist roles. While the film struggles to make memos and meetings and editing decisions into cinema -- and struggles equally with half-baked, ill-placed attempts at suspense -- Official Secrets regularly rediscovers threads of tension and keeps things moving, and Fiennes' late-entry performance helps carry the story ably toward the finale.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.