Hidden Agenda
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This political thriller is set against the backdrop of Northern Ireland's "Troubles" and directed in the documentary fashion common to British filmmaker Ken Loach's films. Paul Sullivan (Brad Dourif) and Ingrid Jessner (Frances McDormand) are American attorneys serving on a human rights group working to monitor cases of prisoner mistreatment in war-torn Belfast. When Paul learns of some information that may be injurious to the Thatcher government, he is killed, and a top-secret tape disappears. Assigned to the case, Inspector Kerrigan (Brian Cox) is joined by Ingrid in… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Though it attempts to make an acceptable theatrical entertainment out of a complex political saga, Hidden Agenda lacks bigscreen impact."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Ken Loach's Hidden Agenda must be the most buttoned-down movie about a conspiracy theory ever made."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"It's made with the flaggelatory ardour that Ken Loach brings to all his films, a hard edged realism pounded into the mortar of cinema with naturalism"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Hidden Agenda could be accused of being dogmatic (Loach's films frequently slam the U.K. government), but the director keeps a sense of gritty authenticity throughout."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Lawrence Journal-World
"The film is a bit slow and at times slightly strained, and there are moments when you'll be hard-pressed to understand all the dialogue -- but on the whole it is effective and chilling."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"There's plenty of evidence of Loach's undiminished power as a film-maker, and equally ample evidence that something is very rotten in the state of Northern Ireland."
‑ Stephen Garrett, Time Out
"Its own terms and for much of the way, this is a superior thriller."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Made in 1990, it feels and looks like it's from 1980. Frances McDormand is an especially snoozy disappointment in a woefully miscast role."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Simplistic and unconvincing, but with some power"
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"This quietly explosive film comes to resonate more loudly than melodrama."
‑ Caryn James, New York Times
"Well-intentioned, but rather murky."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Gripping stuff, even if the outbreak of peace in Northern Ireland has somewhat blunted the message."
‑ , Film4
"It's good for a watch but far from a perfect film."
‑ Jamie Gillies, Apollo Guide
More reviews for Hidden Agenda on Rotten Tomatoes

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