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Reviews & Ratings for
Breach More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Incredible True Story! My Favorite Movie!

Author: mbg411 from United States
17 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, it's based on a true story. A story like this already fascinates me. There are plenty of drama and thrills. Those are the movie genres I thrive on. The only thing I will "spoil" is that you will learn so much about the real case. Especially if you get the DVD, which has so much coverage.

The actors couldn't have been better cast. Chris Cooper was the best here. He literally scared me at times! That's a good thing considering his character. Ryan Phillippe brings a lot of depth to his character too. Laura Linney is also well cast as a serious yet witty character. The rest of the cast is great too. I think they all enjoyed this movie.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Excellent movie all the way around

Author: chandlerbing28
29 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is a smart, intense thriller with A+ work all the way around, from the direction to the script to each member of the cast. I already knew Chris Cooper and Laura Linney were top-notch and they definitely proved that again in this film. Ryan Phillippe was the big surprise for me. He was excellent and I often had the eerie sense that he was truly generating the dialog himself, rather than acting.

The film was filled with quiet intensity, with the drama coming from character and well-written scenes. No theatrics, shoot outs or car chases were necessary to keep it interesting.

If you rent or buy the CD, you should also check out the bonus features-all are interesting, especially the the director's and the real Eric O'Neill's play by play commentary.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

More than just a spy story.

Author: bitter_sweet_devil from can
14 June 2007

This was a good spy story, but since it is based on real events which have already happened and we already know how it's going to end up, it is good that Breach is also more than just a spy story.

The pacing flows very well. We're brought along into the story with O'Neill, who's a "confident, bordering on cocky" agent who is doing it all for the promotion. As he realizes there is more to behind the case than just sexual perversion, his life, his morals and his beliefs are forced to be questioned as he struggles with the investigation of his Boss, of his Sir.

As we reach to the end of the movie towards an obvious fate, we learn much about the dark corners of life, how easily we can all fall when we choose to only blame others, when we choose to only remember the bad aspects of our lives.

The end scene was absolutely perfect for this movie, I loved both characters in the movie-O'Neill AND Hanssen. Hanssen was someone who had lost all direction in his life. On the contrary, O'Neill was someone who was trying to find his. O'Neill thinks he is on the right track, that is, until he meets Hanssen. It is here, that he sees a broken example of how he could become with the kind of goal he had in his mind.

Chris Cooper played his part as the pathetic Hanssen flawlessly. I'm not sure if the real Hanssen was as "real" as how Chris Cooper had portrayed him. Chris Cooper understood this character like the "back of his hand", I'm not sure if Hanssen had as much layers to him as Cooper had made him to be in the movie. Yet, it must be necessary, because the way Cooper had played out this character, it left me feeling for Hanssen, sympathizing him all throughout the whole movie and for a very long time after I left it. To summarize it, I saw him as well O'Neill had saw him in his investigation, every second O'Neill spent with Hanssen, I was behind O'Neill's eyes, feeling O'Neill's emotions that led him to his decision at the end of the movie.

Ryan Phillippe is not to be underestimated either. He played out his part as O'Neill very well too. This is not easy, as O'Neill is someone who goes through an extraordinary amount of transformations in his character, in his morals, not to mention in a very short time span. We have to understand his struggles. As much as he had to do his JOB, he was also suffering with what he was doing to Hanssen because during this time, O'Neill is the only one who understands what led Hanssen to this downfall in moral character.

I don't know much about music, but the piano symphonies in the background was excellent in carrying out the emotions at certain points in the movie. I especially liked the last one which ended the movie. I recommend this movie to everyone, and you don't have to be an American to view it. Despite all the repeated "patriotisms" echoed in the lines, I feel that it was only there to contrast Hanssen's doings. Hope I don't get criticized for sympathizing with Hanssen, but it must be excusable because the way Chris Cooper had portrayed him just FORCED me feeling for this character. Sorry if this review is too long but I really loved this movie. =p

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This will be one of my top films of 2007

Author: Jay Harris ( from United States
13 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the story of Robert Hannsen super spy & traitor & how he was brought down.

From a story by Adam Mazur & Wm Rotka & a screenplay written by these 2 and the director Billy Ray. Breach is without a doubt going to be one of my top films of 2007.

I do hope Universal will re-release this excellent thriller in late November for it to be considered for many Oscars. The superb cinematography of Tak Fugimoto,The excellent editing of Jeffrey Ford & the wonderful music by Mychael Denne as well as all the other credits must be considered for possible Oscar nominations.

Chris Cooper as the traitor & Ryan Phillipe as the agent in training who helps bring him down, BOTH are excellent.In fact no person in the cast is less than excellent.Laura Linney, Kathleen Quinlan,Dennis Haysburt, Bruce Davison & Gary Cole add vital support. I also must commend a new actress Caroline Dhavernas as Phillipe's wife.

Cooper WILL get a nod, all the others are possible as well.

I wish she does well in her career.

There is next to no action, as there should not be in this type of film, so children may not appreciate it.Some of the story may be too mature for them as well. It does have a proper PG-13 rating

This film is for adults & True movie buffs.

Ratings **** (out of 4) 99* points (out of 100) IMDb 10 (out of 10).

*It is very rare for me to award any movie 100 points

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"Breach" – A Crack In and Of Itself

Author: frankwhat from Lakewood, NJ
10 March 2007

Another one of a bunch movies in the past couple weeks to be released where the viewer already knows how it'll end. While most of the other ones were at least moderately successful in still being able to add an element of surprise, "Breach" wasn't. It was a supposed to be thriller that turned into a drama with only the slightest hint of suspense. Not only was it a slow-moving movie, which can sometimes be a good thing…but it was at times flat-out boring. This was hard for me to find because I'm always already a little bit intrigued when the words, "based on a true story," flash across the screen at the beginning of a film. However while that piques my initial interest, there has to be some substantiation for my fascination to remain…which this severely lacked unfortunately, even though the potential was there.

It's a crazy concept how a double agent was able to dupe the FBI for so long in real life and had the opportunity to be refined but the characters weren't developed fully. Robert Hanssen was whom the story should've been built around as for lack of better term I found him to be cool. There were so many levels too him that it was very hard to figure him out. Instead it focused on Eric O'Neill who I honestly didn't care too much about. The way he was portrayed he would've never been able to outfox Mr. Hanssen in a million years. This lead to a lot of head scratching on my part and as for others, at least two groups of people left the theater at some point well before it was over. If only the complexities of a spy, sexual deviant, religious fanatic, and family man wrapped all into one person were delved into this flick would've been so much better. O'Neill told Hanssen that he didn't matter and apparently the writers didn't either. On the contrary, I thought he did matter just as Robert retorted.

Chris Cooper was the one saving grace of the film as he was an exceptional force to be reckoned with. However Ryan Phillippe was outmatched and put in a pretty bad performance. He's a very one-dimensional actor and was miscast here. The only other parts I liked were a few great quotes coming from Cooper's character and the actual message of the film, that being the why behind things doesn't matter. This is very true because no matter how good an individual's intentions are when they do something, no one will care and will just judge that person based on the action taken itself…which is a sad thought. My favorite speech was when Robert Hanssen goes on about how America is much like a retarded child. It does sound horrible but he did have a valid point.

I wouldn't say this is one to miss completely but should be saved for the rental shelf and for those that know that it doesn't play out as it was advertised. All in all there was more good than bad in it, but barely. As a spy movie it was too inept by not even telling us why Hanssen betrayed his country for so long. Granted it could've been to make you think but that's a question it would've been better to have given the viewer a definitive answer to, since that's probably the main reason why most people will go see it…in order to find that out. Also too much time was spent on unnecessary symbolism such as the pen he used, and on the DVD's of "Entrapment" and "The Mask of Zorro". These two movies he had in his trunk represented his character being cornered in and his hidden identity, respectively. But we didn't need those objects to tell us that as it was only stating the obvious. Overall "Breach" was better than average but only because of a few redeeming factors. Besides that, it was just another mediocre February film that only makes this cold month seem that much colder. While Hanssen was always looking for more ways into the system to steal, I was looking for a way out…out of the theater that is.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Best film of 2007 so far.Period.

Author: Argemaluco from Argentina
24 August 2007

The stories about espionage appeared on a lot of movies.But we have seen two types of it.One type belongs to the shallow blockbusters with explosions and action but the other ones show the dark life of the spy.That movies(like The Conversation or The Tailor of Panama)do not focus on the spy who drives very expensive cars in the French coast who has the company of women while he shoots projectiles with his Seiko watch.That movies focus on the dangerous life of the spy who lives with fear and paranoia.The amazing movie Breach does the second style.We have not got shallow action scenes in here...this movie shows us how dangerous being a spy can be.Breach is,for the moment,the best film of 2007.The notable thing about this movie is that it could keep me all the time with suspense and tension and the movie shows us complex and fascinating characters.In 2003,the excellent actor Chris Cooper won a lot of recognition with his performance in Adaptation.After that film,we could see him as very different characters.But,on Breach,he brings the best performance of his career.His work in here is amazing.Ryan Phillipe is also great on his character and he surprised me because his work on other movies he had not stood out very much.Behind the perfect tension Breach produces on the spectator,we can see a critic to the United States.So,this movie also makes us think and go beyond to it and I found that perfect.Breach is an extraordinary film and a pleasure for the lovers of the cinema.The best film of 2007 so far.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Acted to perfection, a sad treasonous story

Author: Benjamin Wolfe from USA
6 July 2007

I saw the previews and was enamored by the whole 'story'. First right off the top, this film (Beside being a true story) is one of those one in a million type films. The feeling that it gives is not one that is congruent with the 'suspending reality' so that you can enjoy the movie as some movies have become, many in the last twenty years. It's not someone driving off of a building and the car crashes and they live or someone gets shot and they just kind of keep going no-problem. Sometimes having to suspend belief will destroy the experience for me as a 'whole'. "BREACH" had none of this and all the right ingredients.

This grabs your senses and allows you to feel the close calls that take place, with the lead character (Ryan Phillipe) Eric O'Neill, right along with an unexpected treat of a performance that Chris Cooper gave!! Bravo to Mr. Cooper and right there with him, having to take the lead is Mr. Phillipe. Chris as 'Hanson' the boss, with incredible attitude. This man is trained to be deadly, he is a human lie detector and he is licensed to be...armed to the teeth. That is a combo that would make many, shrink in his place. The man has gotten people killed, for a living. When Hanson walked in the door and gave Eric the stare that he gave, it was terrifying. Hanson, had a killer's steely-eyed fix on the new comer O'Neill. I would have had a case of disastrous nerves if it had been me there, O'Neill was a man trained and improvised to overcome. A real 'victor'. Funny thing is, I didn't even remember Ryan in anything else, but I was astounded by his right on the line portrayal of his character. You just feel, like hey, this is the way it would have to be. I watched this on the fourth of July. I both enjoyed the film and was saddened (truly)by the treachery of this sack-of-crap double agent that special agent Robert Hanson is. It was time and he (Hanson) to me more that anything else no matter how much passion that he possessed, was simply be taken down.

This was a wonderful, wonderful end of your nerves, sweat-it-out, but well shot, cinematic experience. This is a highly-recommended feature in my library of good film. (*****)

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating True Story of The Worst Spy In American History

Author: treeskier802 from United States
16 June 2007

Breach is a fascinating story of Robert Hansson, an FBI agent who for over 20 years, passed classified information to the Soviet Union/Russia. Chris Cooper is amazing in this role, which hopefully will not be overlooked by the Academy Awards.

Also in this all-star cast is Ryan Philippe, who plays Eric O'Neill, an FBI agent sent undercover to investigate Hansson. O'Neill posed as Hansson's aide, recruited by Laura Linney's character. Dennis Haysbert, Gary Cole, Kathleen Quinlan, and newcomer Caroline Dhavernas also pitch in with stellar performances.

The real Eric O'Neill served as a consultant on this film and based on the bonus features on the DVD, it sounds like Cooper's portrayal was right on. When you watch this DVD, make sure to check out the bonus features. There are some very good commentaries on the true case of Hansson, including a report from Dateline NBC.

This film is engaging from the first minute to the last. If you like thrillers, you will really enjoy this movie. The fact that it is a real-life story makes it all the more compelling. Rating 10 of 10 stars.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Breach for it.

Author: tamimarie228 from Iowa
14 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Robert is the biggest spy in American history. The government has a big problem and they need Eric to help them uncover what Robert has done. The thing is that Eric has to pretend to work along side Robert and everything is a lie. Most of this movie takes place in a tiny office but it's still an edge of your seat movie. I held my breath throughout most of the movie because I didn't know what was going to happen. Especially that part with Robert's car.

The character of Robert gave me the chills. I would be terrified to work with him in fear of being caught because he can tell if someone is lying. I liked when Robert has to have his picture taken and the photographer wants to put makeup on him. That look Robert gave him was heart stopping. I liked that it was based on a real life security breach. It was a really interesting film. It grabbed my attention and didn't let go.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Folks Will Be Watching This Film A 100 Years From Now!

Author: liberalgems from Baltimore, Maryland
2 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I consider Breach a true masterpiece! A film like this only comes along once or twice a year! A pure joy to watch, and absolutely perfect in every way! While I'm sure plenty of this "true story" is fabricated, what's most important are the parts that are all too real!

The film makes a subtle, but scathing, indictment of Roman Cathoicism in particular and religiosity in general; likewise for the FBI and all other American intelligence agencies.

How could a twisted, homophobic creep find solace in Opus Dei, an ultra-conservative movement within the Roman Catholic Church? The answer is simple: Over the past 25 years Pope John Paul 2, and his close ally, Pope Bennedict have allowed the ultra-conservative elements of the Church to thrive. Meanwhile the liberal movements within the church - from former liberal Congressman Father Robert Drinan S.J. to Catholic theologians Fr. Charles Curran and Fr. Mathew Fox to the liberation theology seminaries of the developing countries - have been allowed to wither on the vine. (Actually Congressman Father Drinan was told to quit; theologian Curran was banned from his job; theologian Fox was "silenced" - (I kid you not!) - and he has since left the Church; the liberation theology seminaries have all since been closed.) Given the direction of the Church, I don't find it the least bit hard to believe convert Hanssen found comfort with a religious movement that would only be too happy to turn back the clock!

Next, how could the FBI allow one of it's top spies to betray the American people for around twenty years? To add insult to injury, the FBI remained clueless until Soviet defectors were paid 6 million dollars to spill the beans on Hanssen, and others like him! And these are same folks the American public are supposed to trust with their lives!

But in hindsight, the events of 9/11 proves when the chips are down, our lofty American intelligence agencies do not add up to a hill of beans. But they did blame everyone else for their failure because their "hands were tied" by laws protecting American privacy, and even by the "rule of law, itself!" I mean, it's war - first a Cold one, now a hot religious one - so anything goes!

But what was most endearing about this wonderful film is the very moving decision by our hero FBI agent to quit while the quitting was good! In other words, he had both the sense, and courage, to put his, and his wife's, emotional wellbeing ahead of his career with all its supposed glory!

Which left me with a smile on my face as I walked out of the theater!

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