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Breach 2007

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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:
Laura Linney, Chris Cooper
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

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

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Heard about this DVD after reading the Robert Hanssen spying case elsewhere and watching the Youtube Hanssen content - which is quite extensive. The DVD was compelling enough to watch in one sitting and there is good build up of tension. Where there is existing historical FBI or CCTV video, the film has gone to some lengths to recreate the scenes as closely as possible.
The suspicious FBI get Eric O'Neill to work under Hanssen as his assistant in an attempt to create a personal relationship and break into his secretive lifestyle. Hanssen turns out to be something of an early tablet geek and kept document drop dates and incriminating information on his Palm III PDA, which never left his side. Until the day came that they manufactured a situation which separated him from it for brief time so they could read its content.
The film's storyline is actually mostly created around the difficult experiences of Eric O'Neill and his family which arose as he worked with Hanssen and we get little about Hanssen himself apart from his weird autocratic management style (think Dr. Strangelove). So the film is mostly silent about his personal life and cranky ideology that can be found elsewhere. I assume much is still classified.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Based on the true story of the FBI's most damaging double agent during the Cold War, Breach is a deceptively simple thriller. A detailed guide to the film's plot would make it sound like not very much happens during the film, and indeed you know who the double agent is from pretty early on - along with knowing that the FBI know. The story does not have the sort of twists an piece of fiction would require.

Yet for all that simplicity, and the absence of high-speed thrills, it is a tense film which keeps you watching thanks to the brilliance of the acting - especially Chris Cooper, the interplay of the characters and the use of sparse sets which get a twist of extra tension by the camera lingering over them. Even if the overall plot is straightforward, almost every scene has a form of tension that makes it a cut about the usual American espionage fare.

The DVD comes with some extras that are actually worth watching, including a news documentary on the real life case which the movie is based on, and a set of deleted scenes - a couple of which are quite brilliant - which come with a commentary that does a good job of explaining to the uninitiated why even brilliant scenes end up being axed in order to make the overall film work better.
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