In February, 2001, Robert Hanssen, a senior agent with 25 years in the FBI, is arrested for spying. Jump back two months: Eric O'Neill, a computer specialist who wants to be made an agent is assigned to clerk for Hanssen and to write down everything Hanssen does. O'Neill's told it's an investigation of Hanssen's sexual habits. Within weeks, the crusty Hanssen, a devout Catholic, has warmed to O'Neill, who grows to respect Hanssen. O'Neill's wife resents Hanssen's intrusiveness; the personal and professional stakes get higher. How they catch Hanssen and why he spies become the film's story. Can O'Neill help catch red-handed "the worst spy in history" and hold onto his personal life? Written by
To recreate Robert Hanssen's arrest in 2001 on Fairway Drive in Vienna in Virginia, close to the agent's home on Talisman Drive, director Billy Ray insisted the scene be filmed at the location of the actual arrest. He noted: "That was something I fought hard for. It took a bit of arm twisting, because it's expensive to shoot anywhere around D.C., but I wasn't going to shoot that scene anywhere else." See more »
When Robert Hanssen is making his final "dead drop" of government secrets in a metro DC park in February, the sound track includes the distinct sound of robins singing. Robins do not migrate into the DC area until many weeks later. See more »
Sunday, the FBI successfully concluded an investigation to end a serious breach in the security of the United States. The arrest of Robert Hanssen, for espionage, should remind us all, every American should know, that our nation, our free society, is an international target, in a dangerous world.
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Chris Cooper, already an established actor, gives the performance of a lifetime as Robert Hansen, the FBI agent arrested for 25 years of espionage against the United States. 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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