6.4/10
2,604
13 user 15 critic

Secrets of State (2008)

Secret défense (original title)
In France, terrorist groups and intelligence agencies battle in a merciless war everyday, in the name of radically opposed ideologies. Yet, terrorist and secret agents lead almost the same ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(participation) (as Nathalie Carter), (idea) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Sylvie, a 30-year-old scientist, has to dig deeper and deeper into her own background.

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Grégoire Colin
State Affairs (2009)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A plane explodes above the Gulf of Guinea. An escort girl is murdered in a Parisian park. Thousands of miles separate these two events, and yet Nora Chahyd, believes there's a connection ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Valette
Stars: Rachida Brakni, André Dussollier, Thierry Frémont
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The Malakian clan, a family of ruthless gangsters, controls the underworld of Southern France. At its head, the violent godfather Milo Malakian rules his world with an iron fist. His son ... See full summary »

Director: Laurent Tuel
Stars: Jean Reno, Gaspard Ulliel, Vahina Giocante
Alive (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After a brutal attack, a 19-year-old girl falls into a self-destructive cycle.

Director: Sandrine Ray
Stars: Vahina Giocante, Samuel Jouy, François Berléand
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The two brothers Julien (Nicolas Duvauchelle) and Louis (Steve Le Roi) work on their father's steel barge, which he won't let them inherit. To keep the boat, they resort to stealing a ... See full summary »

Director: Manuel Pradal
Stars: Vahina Giocante, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Steve Le Roi
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A Parisian criminal gang fall apart after challenges to the gang's leader lessen his influence.

Director: Frédéric Schoendoerffer
Stars: Benoît Magimel, Philippe Caubère, Béatrice Dalle
Lila Says (2004)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two inner-city teenagers engage in an obsessive, innocent flirtation fueled by Lila's sexually explicit overtures.

Director: Ziad Doueiri
Stars: Vahina Giocante, Moa Khouas, Karim Ben Haddou
Crossfire (2008)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A grizzled Parisian detective is sent to an outpost town in Southern France to dismantle a gang of killers which has freed a notorious criminal. The detective inherits a team of unmotivated... See full summary »

Director: Claude-Michel Rome
Stars: Richard Berry, Pascal Elbé, Zabou Breitman
96 heures (2014)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After 3 years in prison Kancel is being transferred for questioning. In transit, he escapes, abducting Captain Carré of the BRB, responsible for putting him behind bars. Kancel has 96 hours to find out who betrayed him and get his revenge.

Director: Frédéric Schoendoerffer
Stars: Gérard Lanvin, Niels Arestrup, Sylvie Testud
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A random montage of disturbing images tell a story about one summer in the lives of two teenagers who somehow find love within each other, Orso and Marie. After they realize this, they run ... See full summary »

Director: Manuel Pradal
Stars: Vahina Giocante, Frédéric Malgras, Nicolas Welbers
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An impossible love story between Yossi, a former IDF soldier, and Dora, a mysterious French photographer visiting Israel, as they both struggle in vain to leave their pasts behind

Director: Matan Guggenheim
Stars: Johnny Arbid, Salim Dau, Gil Desiano
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Valérie Müller
Stars: Olivier Soler, Marina Golovine, Lorànt Deutsch
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alex
...
Diane / Lisa
...
Pierre
...
Ahmed
Rachida Brakni ...
Leïla / Chadia
...
Al Barad
...
Jérémy
Katia Lewkowicz ...
Aline
Kamel Belghazi ...
Aziz
Djemel Barek ...
Khaled
Carim Messalti ...
Hajj
Hassam Ghancy ...
Danar
Nicolas Marié ...
Fouche
...
Salem
...
Slim
Edit

Storyline

In France, terrorist groups and intelligence agencies battle in a merciless war everyday, in the name of radically opposed ideologies. Yet, terrorist and secret agents lead almost the same lives. Condemned to secrecy, these masters of manipulation follow the same methods. Alex and Al Barad are two of them. The former is the head of the D.G.S.E.'s (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure, the French equivalent of the CIA or the MI6) counter-terrorism unit while the latter reigns over a terrorist network, and both fight using the most ruthless of weapons: human beings. Secret Défense (aka Secrets Of State) tells of their secret war through the destinies of Diane, a student recruited by the French secret service, and Pierre, a troubled young man who thinks terrorism will bring him salvation. Trained and indoctrinated for missions which are beyond them, they are both drawn into a chain of events from which they seem incapable of escaping. While they both be sacrificed in the name of ... Written by Happy_Evil_Dude

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 December 2008 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Defense  »

Box Office

Budget:

€11,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicolas Duvauchelle's first scene was his character's rape in the prison showers. See more »

Goofs

DGSE headquarters are shown in La Défense (west of Paris) whereas the real headquarters of the DGSE is in the eastern part of Paris See more »

Connections

Featured in En bonne intelligence (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Space Weaver
Performed by Lisa Gerrard
Composed by Lisa Gerrard and 'Michael Edwards (XIX)'
Published by Sony ATV Music Publishing Australia
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A French agent and French terrorist, both inexperienced, head for a collision
1 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Secret Defense" (2008) is a mildly entertaining spy story. Vahina Giocante plays a woman recruited into the French secret service by a ruse engineered by Gerard Lanvin, in an underwritten part. Giocante, who looks morose for most of the film, infiltrates a terrorist network by being the honey to trap its top man, Simon Abkarian. He's too smart to be taken in by her, however, and begins to use her for his own ends without her knowing it. Maybe Lanvin does too, but that scheme, if there is one, is murky. Meanwhile, in a parallel story, Nicolas Duvauchelle is a French drug dealer who goes to prison where he is converted by a jihadist group. Upon being released, he goes to a training camp to learn how to be a martyr. His task will be to set off poison gas in a crowded Paris subway.

All this is told with earnest seriousness and is supposed to be realistic, yet it does not come across that way, actually looking like what it is, a concocted spy tale based on the not especially fresh or innovative imaginings of its writers. The director and/or writers didn't succeed in lifting this story above the mundane or run of the mill level. Its action and plot outlines are quite predictable. In places, it's actually quite ludicrous and badly written. Ms. Giocante is capable of good work as in "Ultimate Heist"; I think she needed stronger direction here. Duvauchelle does a very good job, showing his character's changes. Lanvin's part is too limited to allow him much range. Abkarian is a charismatic actor (as in "I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed"). He handles his part easily.

We are given the well-known thematic idea that spying is a dirty business, with those who run the spies ever ready to use their field agents mercilessly. We are given the idea that young people are susceptible to being brainwashed or used by both terrorists and intelligence outfits. At the end, we are told that the French secret service has foiled 15 terrorist plots.


2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Question about Pierre/Aziz? chaiks
Mehdi Nebbou C-Skull
how did they make the dog convulse? west182
Discuss Secrets of State (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?