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Breach (2006)



Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 176
Fresh: 147 | Rotten: 29

Powered by Chris Cooper's masterful performance, Breach is a tense and engaging portrayal of the FBI's infamous turncoat.


Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 49
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 12

Powered by Chris Cooper's masterful performance, Breach is a tense and engaging portrayal of the FBI's infamous turncoat.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 376,563

My Rating

Movie Info

Shattered Glass director Billy Ray directs Chris Cooper and Ryan Philippe in this fact-based drama concerning the FBI traitor who carried out what many historians refer to as the most notable national security breach in U.S. history. A key member of the FBI's elite Soviet Analytical Unit, Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper) would, for 15 years beginning in 1985, sell thousands of pages of classified documents to the Soviets. After making roughly 600,000 dollars on his clandestine endeavor and


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Jun 12, 2007


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All Critics (182) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (147) | Rotten (29) | DVD (26)

Tense, fascinating, worthwhile.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately, the movie soars because of the inspired casting of Chris Cooper as Hanssen.

March 21, 2007 | Comment (1)
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

(Chris Cooper)is the principal reason why this unspectacular, low-key study of the Hanssen national security fiasco is so effective.

February 23, 2007 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When your false spy rings the truest, there's a problem.

February 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ray's careful emphasis on authenticity over thrills and psychology over action is impeded by this narrative's narrow window: there's so much we can't know about what Hanssen did and why.

February 17, 2007 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Breach is competently made but, aside from Cooper's performance, there's nothing here worth getting excited about.

February 17, 2007 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The pulse of spy films so rarely comes from such meticulously detailed verbal and body-language suspense. Here, every conversation is a possible trap, inquiries feel like interrogations, responses and reactions could be lethal tells.

September 25, 2010 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)

An espionage thriller which focuses on strong character development, performances and setting, Breach could have been a contender had it not been for the ill informed depictions of the characters Catholic faith.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Matt's Movie Reviews

...a slow-paced character study that benefits substantially from Chris Cooper's downright astounding performance...

November 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Muffles suspense and dilutes tension without turning into a distanced approach

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Stvarni svijet se u "Pukotini", kao i u mnogo drugih slu%u010Dajeva, pokazao previ%u0161e kompliciranim za dogmatsku jednostavnost i nedostatak suptilnosti dana%u0161njeg Hollywooda.

April 10, 2008 Full Review Source:

Breach, a slow-burn thriller told from the inside out instead of the outside in, is not a great film. But it could have been. It will have to settle for being simply a very good film.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

Cooper gives a great performance as a man now spending 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, serving a life sentence without the prospect of probation.

September 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Enjoyable, slow-burning thriller with an intelligent script and strong performances from its two leads.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Breach is slow, but never ponderous, and not at all like your average spy thriller. It has less obvious thrills and more depth.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Breach rarely treads new ground, but the set pieces are used so sparingly and with such focus on the central characters, the movie reaches a degree of tension you might not think possible.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Cooper is always dead-bang on

August 31, 2007 Full Review
Norman Transcript

A sombre game of cat-and-mouse. What it lacks in genuine tension it amply compensates in the understated performances of the two leads.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Independent

Intriguing and intelligent, Breach may be too understated for its own good.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

An interestingly told tale: melancholy, thoughtful, and very un-American.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Chris Cooper, who won an Oscar for his supporting role in Adaptation, gives a brilliant poker-faced performance as Hanssen and Ryan Phillippe is also convincing as O'Neill.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Sun Online
Sun Online

Despite a couple of tense set pieces, the suspense needed to ignite this film is disappointingly lacking.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

In the face of such a towering performance from Cooper, Phillippe keeps his end up while Laura Linney, as his handler, delivers the kind of turn we've come to expect from one of America's finest movie actresses.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

An effective and meticulous character drama, Breach doesn't quite make the most of its story but still tells a fascinating tale, aided by Chris Cooper's magnetic central performance.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

Slow-burning and sombre, Breach won't be for everyone. But it's worth catching for Cooper's performance, while its fact-based tale of treachery will strike a chord in today's climate of suspicion.

August 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Audience Reviews for Breach

Breach is a very intense film based on the true story of Robert Hansen who commited the worst breach in US history. For over twenty years, Robert Hansen sold secrets to the Russians. Breach is the story that tells of investigation to catch Robert Hansen. A phenomenal Thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Breach is one terrific film with a great cast. The film doesn't have action, but it more than makes up for it in thrills. A terrific film based on a shocking true story.
June 18, 2010
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Chris Cooper is solid always, Ryan Phillippe is liquid gay, I wonder who's the gas? Dat's me.
January 30, 2010
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

A solid, very well-acted governmental drama based on a true story of an FBI agent who got caught selling secrets to the Russians. The film follows a young, kind of hot-shot (Phillippe) whose stone-cold face make the paranoid and usually grumpy veteran agent (Cooper) susceptible to trusting him, when it turns out that young agent is out to burn him. It's mostly interesting to see the interactions between the two agents, as well as how the weathered veteran starts to break down and trust the one man he shouldn't be trusting. Chris Cooper turns in a simply outstanding performance. He captures the inner guilt as well as the pain and hypocrisy his character is undoubtedly feeling. Phillippe is also does an admirable job.
December 4, 2009
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Based on the true life events surrounding America's worst spy Robert Hannsen, who's actions, led to the deaths of three covert US agents in the Soviet Union and the full damage cost of his information leakings is unknown, but believed to be in the billions. At it's heart Breach is a spy thriller of the highest pedigree. Tense, compelling, gripping, unnerving, and very understated. The film relies heavily on suspence and the central character, of the story, Hanssen, played by a genius Chris Cooper who's performance is Oscar worthy. The film would easily have become mundane, had a weaker actor played the part. Cooper creates almost a second Hannibal, a murderous monster with higher things on his mind than killing, a cultured, genius and importantly a devoultly religious man. A member of the Catholic organization Opus Dei, and a fervent Catholic, Hanssen's character thickens as more layers are developed. Everyone, as the detective Eric (played by Ryan Phillippe) says 'mis-read him', from the CIA themselves, to Eric and to the audience. How can such a seemingly good man be so bad? Yet apperances aren't what they seem, and so the fun begins. The film works up to a grand finale, in which the audience is worked up with it. Like a Hitcockian film, suspence builds to a crachendo and explodes with power, then resolves. Importantly Breach doesn't give you the one thing your left dying for, a real glimpse into the mind of America's worst spy. As Hanssen himself says "The why doesn't matter really, does it?"
June 7, 2009

Super Reviewer

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