6.4/10
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13 user 16 critic

Secret défense (2008)

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:

Philippe Haïm

Writers:

Natalie Carter (participation) (as Nathalie Carter), Philippe Haïm (idea) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérard Lanvin ... Alex
Vahina Giocante ... Diane / Lisa
Nicolas Duvauchelle ... Pierre
Mehdi Nebbou ... Ahmed
Rachida Brakni ... Leïla / Chadia
Simon Abkarian ... Al Barad
Aurélien Wiik ... Jérémy
Katia Lewkowicz Katia Lewkowicz ... Aline
Kamel Belghazi Kamel Belghazi ... Aziz
Djemel Barek Djemel Barek ... Khaled
Carim Messalti Carim Messalti ... Hajj
Hassam Ghancy ... Danar
Nicolas Marié Nicolas Marié ... Fouche
Salem Kali ... Salem
Moussa Maaskri ... Slim
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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 »
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Details

Official Sites:

UGC Distribution [France]

Country:

France

Language:

French | Arabic

Release Date:

10 December 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Secrets of State See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€1,038,041 (France), 14 December 2008, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

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User Reviews

 
terror thriller a la americaine
6 February 2014 | by dromascaSee all my reviews

What is bluntly visible in this French film is the American look. Actually it is not only the look - the whole approach taken by the film starting with its story and I dare say with its ideology, going through the rapid pace and crisp editing style and ending with the style of acting is borrowed from the American 'war on terror' movies. We even have some kind of a French equivalent of the CIA headquarters in this film. The most amazing things is however that the combination works. Philippe Haim is a talented director and his 'Secret Defense' is a good American thriller even if it is acted in French.

Recruiting a young and sexy woman who finds herself in some kind of distress and turning her into a spy is a theme that we have already met in the classical Nikita, and original French film turned into an American movie and than successful TV series. The world of Secret Defense is however today's France and Middle East, and a parallel thread develops the background of an abused criminal who falls of dark side of the war on terror. The paths of the two characters are to meet inexorably, and we know it from almost from the beginning. The smart and unfortunately true idea of the script is that both the good girl and the bad guy are victims, paws, foot soldiers in war machines that confront each other and eventually crush everybody who falls under their wheels.

The story has logic and the development of the main character played by Vahina Giocante is credible and does not lack an unexpected dose of sensitivity. There is one moment only when the accumulation of coincidences seemed to me to be hard to believe, but otherwise the story line and the excellent acting, the exact rendering of the various environments and the pace of action built upon interleaved threads contribute all to the good quality of a film that has an American look, and this time I am writing this appreciation on its positive meaning.


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