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The Secret Scripture

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Ireland · 2017
Rated PG-13 · 1h 48m
Director Jim Sheridan
Starring Rooney Mara, Theo James, Vanessa Redgrave, Eric Bana
Genre Drama, Romance

The hidden memoir of an elderly woman confined to a mental hospital reveals the history of her passionate yet tortured life, and of the religious and political upheavals in Ireland during the 1920s and 30s.

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What are critics saying?


Empire by

A maudlin adaptation hampered by low energy and lapses of logic, The Secret Scripture does a disservice to the book it is based on, and the Irish history it plunders.


Screen International by Allan Hunter

It is an elegantly crafted, expertly acted old-fashioned weepie that manages to sell a whopper of a plot that would bring a blush to the cheeks of Nicholas Sparks.


Variety by Andrew Barker

A classic case of a literary adaptation capturing the high-gloss trappings of its source without getting a handle on its story or themes, The Secret Scripture is like a nicely decorated Craftsman home built on a foundation of Jell-O, with a toilet where the kitchen sink should be. It looks nice on first glance, but spend any time there, and things start to get messy.


TheWrap by Sam Fragoso

The ending of this movie is monumentally, historically, even catastophically bad. Its big reveal is so mind-numbingly asinine that it nearly retroactively erases any intelligence you may have had before watching this movie. Yes, it’s that agonizing.


The Hollywood Reporter by Sheri Linden

Rooney Mara and Theo James deliver their most richly nuanced screen work to date in the drama, a memory piece whose true subject is Ireland’s tangled, bloody history and the Church’s toxic paternalism toward women.


Time Out London by Tom Huddleston

So the cast is talented, the director has a decent track record and of course ‘The Secret Scripture’ looks pretty, in a picture-postcard sort of way. But the script is painful, not just horribly clichéd but trite, directionless and unaccountably pleased with itself.

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