Breach

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Feb 232007
 

BreachBased on the true story, FBI upstart Eric O’Neill enters into a power game with his boss, Robert Hanssen, an agent who was ultimately convicted of selling secrets to the Soviet Union. (view trailer)

Directed by
Billy Ray

Genres
Drama / Thriller

Cast
Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney, Caroline Dhavernas, Gary Cole, Dennis Haysbert, Kathleen Quinlan, Bruce Davison, Jonathan Watton, Tom Barnett, Jonathan Potts

Breach is based on the true story of the capture of Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent responsible for many treasonous acts against the United States. Chris Cooper is excellent throughout in portraying a Catholic family man who goes to church constantly with his wife and kids while hiding his sexual perversions. Ryan Phillippe is Eric O’Neill, Hanssen’s new assistant who is assigned by boss Laura Linney to keep tabs on Hanssen to use as evidence against him. Caroline Dhavernas as Eric’s European wife who wants Eric to come clean about his job, Gary Cole as another agent, and Dennis Haysbert as Linney’s superior round out the fine cast in a film that slowly but surely builds up suspense in the various ways of snooping that brings the bureau closer to catching Hanssen in the act of treason. Don’t expect James Bond or Alias action here. Do expect an excellent drama about an agent who almost slipped from the FBI’s hands.

Chris Cooper, already an established actor, gives the performance of a lifetime. Cooper convincingly portrays the smugness, cockiness, and “holier than thou” attitude which eventually (in my eyes) led to Hansen’s downfall.

The movie is tense and moves swiftly without compromising the story line. Ryan Phillipe is equally impressive as the young FBI employee who is brought on to earn Hansen’s trust and find out what made him tick.

This is a must-see – I saw it with about 100 people … and from what I heard, almost everyone was still talking about it afterward as they walked out and in the bathrooms – and all were great comments.

Definitely an early Oscar contender for 2008 in my opinion.

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