Hidden Agenda 1990 ****

Ken Loach isn’t really known for his thrillers but clearly doesn’t want to be typecast; his 1990 film Hidden Agenda is a withering examination of British government ‘black ops’ activities  in Northern Ireland, and features Frances McDormand as Ingrid, an American activist whose lover is shot dead, and who teams up with tough cop Kerrigan (Brian Cox) to investigate. What they discover is a conspiracy that’s all too plausible, and Loach does well to convey the red-tape and obfuscation that ensue.  Most political thrillers only have a veneer of political interest; Hidden Agenda sticks to its guns and makes its points with genuine anger and steely control. Written by Jim Allen.



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