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Reviews & Ratings for
Breach More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Enemy Within

Author: wes-connors from Earth
1 February 2010

Youthful F.B.I. agent Ryan Phillippe (as Eric O'Neill) is assigned undercover work as clerk to senior agent Chris Cooper (as Robert Hanssen), who is approaching retirement age. Superior agent Laura Linney (as Kate Burroughs) wants an in-house investigation of Mr. Cooper, who is a suspected "sexual deviant." Soon, Mr. Phillippe is checking Cooper's computer "history" for pornographic sites. He finally does uncover Cooper's anti-climactic sex tape, but Phillippe discovers his subject is involved in something much more sinister - the worst security "Breach" in U.S. history.

"Based on a true story," proves again, truth is stranger than fiction. Herein, a veteran American spy circulates recognizable sex tapes of himself and his wife. Obviously, the man has problems - along with a remarkably trustworthy group of European spy friends, who enjoy watching older couples demonstrate the missionary position. Yet, director Billy Ray's "Breach" is engaging and believable. Try to ignore the opening video tape of "right-wing" Attorney General John Ashcroft, who shared Mr. Hanssen's Christian zeal, but wasn't involved in the same sort of criminal activity.

Most importantly, this well-crafted story never seems to go for obvious embellishments; and, this helps it smolder with credibility. Believability breeds suspense. Cooper is outstanding as a disgruntled worker who remains frightening while losing power. Phillippe, who once seemed unlikely to become a determined, successful actor, proves it again. And, Ms. Linney guarantees a top-notch supporting cast. Hopefully, producers won't let Mr. Ray get away with directing only two feature films - because this and his "Shattered Glass" (2003) should certainly be joined by others.

******** Breach (2/12/07) Billy Ray ~ Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney, Caroline Dhavernas

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2 out of 3 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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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

spy movie

Author: ssto from New York, USA
7 July 2007

i didn't like it much. its OK to watch, but never really got me involved. it reminded me a lot of some Russian spy-movies from the 80ties, but its maybe even worse, because Breach is just so uninspired

I didn't like Ryan Phillippe's play, while Chris Cooper and Laura Linney played so well this movie didn't deserve them. Also - can we please see a CIA/FBI/NCA movie without Dennis Haysbert in it?

Of course, it is filmed very well. Could it be better? Probably. Every story can be filmed superbly, depending on the drive behind it



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2 out of 3 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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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Breach- What A Compromise! ***

Author: edwagreen from United States
26 June 2007

Chris Cooper is very good as spy Robert Hanssen who caused so much damage with his espionage dealings from 1985.

Cooper conveys the mood of a religious obsessed person, who is autocratic, surly and just downright nasty to his subordinates. Who would ever guess that he was passing to the Soviets so much information?

Ryan Philippe is definitely an up and coming actor. Sent in by the bureau to investigate Hanssen, he immediately comes across as a nervous, incompetent person. Hanssen finally comes to realize that Officer O'Neill is not as foolish as he makes himself out to be.

Laura Linney, a bureau head, does a very good job in conveying what is going on and what she is doing to destroy Hanssen.

This true story was handles adeptly by Hollywood.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An Insightful and Deeply Compelling Movie

Author: tabuno from utah
21 June 2007

One of the best movies of 2007, Breach represents excellence in drama. What is especially surprising is that this espionage movie isn't so much a thriller or action movie but a real drama that exposed the dense gray area of the complexity of human behavior, thinking, and emotions. Chris Cooper landed a script that is amazing in its ability to allow Mr. Cooper to present on screen a complex individual that cannot be easily categorized or demonized for what is purportedly the worst spy scandal in United States history. The drama that incidentally revolves around the true story of FBI agent Robert Hanssen details deeply movie dialogue and psychological warfare both impacting on a marriage, employee-employer relationships, and individual to individual trust issues. A qualitatively superior based on a true story production. Nine out of Ten Stars.

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2 out of 3 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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2 out of 3 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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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good spy movie

Author: Andrew Marshall from United Kingdom
12 June 2007

This movie is based on a true story. Being from the UK I'm not familiar with the story, so i can't vouch for the accuracy or otherwise of the movie. The film stands up on it's own right though and I don't think knowledge of the facts would make any difference to the enjoyment of the film.

The story revolves around thee investigation of the most notorious double agent in American history. Robert Hanssen is played by Chris Cooper who must be one of the finest actors in current cinema. It's a shame the movie wasn't cut a bit more because it's a bit ponderous at times, but it's still well worth a view.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Breaching the spy thriller genre

Author: blairgallop7 from Australia
9 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie"Breach" which stars Chris Cooper,Ryan Phillippe and Laura Linney is inspired by the true story of FBI agent Robert Hanssen who was selling secrets to the Soviet Union before it's collapse. It was a "cat and mouse" type thriller where you have one agent chasing another agent by gaining trust and expecting him to reveal himself as a mole to the FBI and a traitor to the United States of America. It is a movie that is guaranteed to make you sit down and watch very closely and it is highly recommended not just to watch at the cinema's but also at home on DVD. One thing that was a disappointment was that a clip of a February.19,2001 news conference statement by John Ashcroft was shown as it would sort of spoil the end of the movie with Robert Hanssen's capture, however it would only show when and why he was captured but not how he was captured. Excellent performances by Chris Cooper,Ryan Phillippe and Laura Linney. I would give it a 9 out of 10 for it's excellent casting and a bit of a twist. It is definitely worthy of a few Academy Award nominations such as Best Actor-Chris Cooper and Best Supporting Actor-Ryan Phillippe.

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