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Breach (Widescreen Edition)
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The film is plot and character-driven, without any special effects gloss. Most of it consists of dialogue between Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper) and Eric O'Neill (Ryan Phillippe). O'Neill is assigned to keep tabs on Hanssen, providing detailed reports to Kate Burroughs (Laura Linney). Mysterious deadlines loom, and Hanssen, a veteran of Cold War politics, is a tad suspicious of all the goings-on. Hanssen and O'Neill move from room to room, situation to situation; each scene adds a layer of suspense. Further, both men have intriguing and complex moral selves. These selves are illuminated via startling combinations of beliefs and personality traits.
Cooper is amazing as Hanssen. To my mind, he's one of the most fascinating of today's male screen personas, communicating a visible emotional depth and intensity that's fraught with ragged edges. Ryan Phillippe subtly and thoroughly transforms himself through mannerism, voice, and expression. Linney's Burroughs is, on the surface, as hard as nails; a more complicated personality is suggested when she delivers a few moments of much-needed humor, without which the film would be unbearable.
Director Billy Ray has made a film that's polished from start to finish. He and the screenwriters tell the story dispassionately, clinically; they give it an ambiance of objectivity but delay final revelations and easy summaries.Read more ›
The scenario is naturally suspenseful: Hanssen is a master of deception, so deceiving him is a challenge. Eric learns to exploit Hanssen's ego and his obsessive religiosity -he was a member of Opus Dei- to gain his trust. The situation is urgent. The Bureau must catch Hanssen red-handed, selling secrets to the Russians, before he retires in a few months. "Breach"'s brilliance is in its layered presentation of Hanssen and his professional life. We know the outcome but are captivated by the finer points. The characters constantly lie to disguise their agendas. Hanssen is right about many things, but his ideals are at the mercy of his overwhelming spite and egoism. Hanssen would be a distasteful character even if he were not a spy whose actions resulted in 3 deaths.Read more ›
This movie is much superior to The Good Shepard. The only other spy movies that really come close are those featuring Alec Guiness as George Smiley.
The reviewers that cannot understand motive will never understand spys and traitors. One line in this movie really grabbed me--in it, Hansen talks about how "the US can be likened to a powerfully built but retarded child." Throughout the movie, Hansen is cast as a devout even obsessive Catholic who cannot get people inside the FBI to realize how vulnerable they are, and ultimately I would conclude from the movie that the motivation may have started as a desire to prove a point, then a slow burn into addiction--making fools of those that would not listen.
The movie misrepresents the clerk as counter-spy. The FBI actually caught Hansen by going through his trash and finding the one note that he failed to destroy. Still and all the individual depictions, from the hardened solitary female senior special agent with no one in her life, not even a cat, to various others, are excellent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good movie about a true story. Well played to fit in the time alotted.Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
We had just personally had lunch with the REAL Eric O'Neil so we found this movie to be fascinating!!! He told the story exactly as it was portrayed in the movie!! Well done!!Published 10 days ago by Pat Ringnalda
Very good suspenseful movie. The acting is superb, especially Chris Cooper.Published 26 days ago by Bookman
Geat writing,directing and actingtis.This is an A+ film about cold war spy Robwet Hansen.Chris Cooper is amzing imn hisd portrail.Published 2 months ago by carl anthony
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Why do they keep bringing out Combo HD DVD/Standard DVDs?||
Read the HD DVD Planet Earth reviews and you will find out why. Start with the worst reviews first.
Jun 13, 2007 by RC | See all 2 posts
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