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
After the opening scene, code quickly flashes and is reduced to the movie title. The scrolling code is a Linux procedure that mounts (connects to) networked data sources such as Unix, Windows and Novell file systems. See more »
In a number of scenes, computers were displayed clearly showing Microsoft 'Windows XP' screens. Windows XP did not appear until October 25, 2001, well after the time the movie was set. 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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The performances were all just fine, the story had the potential to be intriguing, the characterizations ought to have been riveting.
Why then, was this movie so ho-hum? It felt like the director and writers didn't know what story they were trying to tell. Was it a character study of a traitor? No, we don't get much depth on Hanssen. Was it a taut thriller? No, there weren't thrills to speak of, and no real twists or turns. Was it an inside-the-FBI potboiler? No, we didn't learn much about the bureaucracy of intelligence.
At times, there were glimmers of each of these stories, but never any depth on any them. I felt like we skated along the surface of a story that would have been much more interesting viewed from underneath the ice.
I don't recommend spending the time on this, unless you really like looking at Ryan Phillipe. I do, and it still didn't elevate it.
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