Breach 2007

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(28) IMDb 7/10
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In 2001, FBI trainee Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe) starts work under the Bureau’s computer wizard Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper), with secret orders to check on his internet habits. He’s soon told Hanssen is the target of an espionage investigation.

Starring:
Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 50 minutes
Starring Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney, Caroline Dhavernas, Gary Cole, Dennis Haysbert, Kathleen Quinlan, Bruce Davison, Jonathan Watton
Director Billy Ray
Genres Drama, Thriller
Studio 20TH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 8 February 2008
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Peter Collier on 1 May 2008
Format: DVD
Chris Cooper stars as an ageing FBI officer with a dark secret, and Ryan Phillipe as the young agent aiming to uncover it. It is based on the true story of the treacherous agent Robert Hanssen, the most dangerous mole ever to be employed by the US government.
Unusually for a modern thriller, the director employs lingering shots and builds up the tension without using fast edit techniques so that we focus on the characters and not just the action.
The spare, uncluttered interiors are reminiscent of Hitchcock's film "Vertigo" or of scenes from the work of artist Edward Hopper, where lonely figures inhabit barely furnished rooms. Whether this was the director's intention or not, the sparsely-populated sets serve to keep the viewer focused, even transfixed, upon the characters, rather than their surroundings. Thus our absorption with them means that we are drawn into the story, so that we ourselves move from being spectators and are drawn into the hushed and secretive world of cold war espionage.
The title Breach signposts the major theme of trust within personal and corporate relationsips. This is not only seen in Chris Cooper's character and the betrayal of his country but also in Ryan Philippe as he, under orders, builds a close (almost father-son) relationship with his superior as a means of gathering information on his activities. Philippe's character, taken under the wing of his colleague and even welcomed into his home, then struggles with his own betrayal of their friendship. Meanwhile, sworn to secrecy and unable to tell his wife of what is happening, he finds his own marriage under stress as her trust of him starts to crumble.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jones the Film on 23 Feb 2008
Format: DVD
For me Chris Cooper is one of America's greatest actors. Often playing second billing to other stars, this film provides him the ideal opportunity to show his acting skills.

Robert Hanssen is an FBI agent who spied for the Russians in the 1980's and again later in the late 1990s. A peculiar character, with apparently strict Jesuit beliefs, he betrayed more than 50 US agents, leading to at least two being assassinated by the Russians.

A junior FBI trainee (Ryan Phillippe) is assigned to spy on him. The film focuses on the relationship between the two men, with the younger agent in awe of the man he is supposed to expose.

An intelligent story based on true events, this is cinema at its very best. Cooper sparkles as the canny Hanssen and Phillippe provides a credible performance as the rookie. The pining wife seemed a tad overplayed (clearly for dramatic effect), but this doesn't distract from a riveting story.

Recommended.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By deadteddy VINE VOICE on 3 Mar 2008
Format: DVD
What a brilliant film, saw this just a few days ago and to be honest I wasn't really expecting a whole lot from it. After only seeing the first 20 mins I had completely changed my mind and knew that this was going to be engaging, entertaining and intelligent.

Chris Cooper is superb as a rogue FBI agent Robert Hanssen while Ryan Phillipe is captivating as the new kid on the block brought in to keep an eye on him.

If you like thrillers and intelligent films then this is certainly for you and is certainly made more interesting knowing that the events in the film are based on reality. This isn't a glitzy hollywood bombs and car chase film this is the tension building thriller that has a good story to tell with characters that you care about. I recommend this film very highly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Oct 2008
Format: DVD
What do you do with an FBI traitor who for 20 years was feeding serious secrets to the Soviets and then to Russia? If you're the FBI, you don't follow up on tips about the guy, you don't get curious that his expensive life style doesn't match his FBI salary, you ignore his extensive, private hetero kinkiness even though a murmur about homosexuality would get another person booted out the door, and you sure don't want to look too hard and then find a scandal on your hands like the CIA's Aldrich Ames.

It was in 1979, three years after he joined the FBI, that Robert Hanssen started his career as a spy. It wasn't until 1999 that it occurred to the FBI to look closely at Hanssen. At one point, concerned about the possibility of a mole in their midst, the FBI actually had Hanssen investigating any possible moles within the FBI.

Don't look for FBI culpability in Breach. The movie barely alludes to all this, yet this is the real story of Robert Hanssen. What we have, instead, is a genuinely fascinating story of the final hunt to nail Hanssen, the hunt for evidence that would stand up in court. To get that evidence the FBI, finally on the job, sends in Eric O'Neill, a young man without much experience to be Hanssen's gofer. The hope is that Hanssen will not see this fellow as a threat and may let down his guard. If the FBI is going to nail Hanssen, they need to catch him in the act of sending classified information to the Russians. Without this, the best they can do is fire him. It's no spoiler to say that Robert Hanssen was arrested in 2001 and is now serving a life sentence in a high security prison, restricted to solitary confinement 23 hours a day. Eric O'Neill did his job.

That outstanding actor, Chris Cooper, plays Hanssen.
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