Breach

Breach

84%

Opening

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Breach Reviews

Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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Tense, fascinating, worthwhile.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/6

August 31, 2007
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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Ultimately, the movie soars because of the inspired casting of Chris Cooper as Hanssen.

March 21, 2007
Jonathan F. Richards
Film.com
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(Chris Cooper)is the principal reason why this unspectacular, low-key study of the Hanssen national security fiasco is so effective.

Full Review Source: Film.com

February 23, 2007
Tom Charity
CNN.com
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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.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

February 17, 2007

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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February 17, 2007
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Ray's impression of the real Hanssen remains frighteningly opaque.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

February 17, 2007
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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When your false spy rings the truest, there's a problem.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/6

February 17, 2007
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Breach is competently made but, aside from Cooper's performance, there's nothing here worth getting excited about.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 17, 2007
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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An uncompromising study in the gradual decay of a soul.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

February 16, 2007
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Though you know from the start just how it's going to end, Breach, based on the true story of a treasonous FBI operative, is an edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

February 16, 2007
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
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Breach is a movie tailor-made for the age of intelligence failure.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

February 16, 2007
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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Subtle, complex, bleakly funny at times, but always utterly enveloping, one of the great studies in profoundly abnormal psychology.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

February 16, 2007
Ted Fry
Seattle Times
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One of the best elements of this lean, tense and coolly believable story about the internal hunt for FBI turncoat Robert Hanssen is how its visual style and dearth of formulaic structural ingredients run counter to almost any other spy movie.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 16, 2007
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
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Breach suffers from lavishing so much attention on a relatively minor figure.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

February 16, 2007
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Just when you're thinking every new American film belongs in the Bomb Squad, along comes Breach to win one for our side.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

February 16, 2007
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A riveting true-life thriller about the young FBI specialist who got the goods on the veteran agent selling secrets to Moscow.

| Original Score: 3/4

February 16, 2007
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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The movie gives us counter-espionage without the Bourne or Bond embellishments, and superb acting from Cooper, Phillippe and Linney.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

February 16, 2007
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
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Cooper's performance is fine. The script, however, is filled with dead-end tangents and unanswered questions.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 16, 2007
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Though it's being dumped in the wastelands in February, Breach is better than many of the pack of so-called prestige movies that were released at the end of last year.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

February 16, 2007
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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A sharp cat-and-mouse game between Hanssen and Eric O'Neill (Ryan Phillippe), the agent/trainee assigned to spy on him.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

February 16, 2007
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Filled with tension, deception and bravura acting, Breach is a crackling tale of real-life espionage that doubles as a compelling psychological drama.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

February 16, 2007
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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I can imagine no better man [than Chris Cooper] to play the enigma at the center of Breach.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

February 16, 2007
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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A thriller with no thrills, a true story minus a single interesting truth, a real-life tale with all the fascination scraped off to leave only a residue of tedious facts.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

February 16, 2007
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Breach is the sort of studiously serious, well-made, based-on-fact film that critics go crazy for and audiences find earnestly dull and eminently avoidable.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C

February 16, 2007
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Breach is a good cloak-and-dagger tale and telling this complex story through O'Neill proves a brilliant way to watch Hanssen's schemes unravel.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

February 16, 2007
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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We know from the outset that Hanssen, brilliantly played by Chris Cooper, is guilty. What we don't know is how the FBI caught him, and that's what director Billy Ray's carefully detailed and absorbing movie tells us.

| Original Score: B

February 16, 2007
Michael Booth
Denver Post
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It's not just that Breach looks terrific compared with the dreck Hollywood has thrown on screen so far this year, though there is that. No, Breach has the early-season intelligence and intriguing casting of last year's Inside Man.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 16, 2007
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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This isn't one of those labyrinthine works of deception that doubles back on itself at every turn. Breach is content to tell a strong story with the utmost efficiency and let its cast do the heavy lifting.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B

February 16, 2007
Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
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About the only thing ineffective about Breach is the humdrum title. Everything else in this smart thriller works like a perfectly crafted Latin Square puzzle.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

February 16, 2007
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen is now serving a life sentence for his long career as a Russian and Soviet spy, but this rote thriller implies he should have done prison time just for being Catholic.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

February 16, 2007
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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There's precious little espionage where we can see it, and that's what makes the movie such a compelling and eerily effective little drama.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 16, 2007
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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The thriller Breach manages to excite and unnerve despite our knowing the ending.

| Original Score: 4/5

February 16, 2007
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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The picture is suspenseful where it counts, and at times, it's truly terrifying. There were moments that made my skin crawl.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

February 15, 2007
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Without Cooper's performance, Breach would have been a good, workmanlike thriller. His presence lifts it to a whole new level.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B+

February 15, 2007
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Chris Cooper is the whole, haunted show in Breach.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

February 15, 2007
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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Because this espionage thriller is based on true events, it's a given that the bad guy will be caught. But [director] Ray builds an intriguing maze around the how, seen through the eyes of the audience's proxy, a young FBI man sent to spy on a colleague.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

February 15, 2007
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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As he proved with Shattered Glass and as he proves again with Breach, director Billy Ray has become the John Ford of Washington culture.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

February 15, 2007
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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You begin to suspect the FBI may be the world's most boring bunch of crime busters during Breach, a movie that urgently asserts itself as a spy thriller.

| Original Score: 1.5/4

February 15, 2007
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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After the lumbering self-importance of The Good Shepherd, this lean, self-effacing portrait of an organizational black sheep is welcome.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

February 15, 2007
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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If you don't see enough of personality-deficient paper-pushers and sterile office environments on your daily rounds, this film will offer just what you've been missing.

| Original Score: 1.5/4

February 15, 2007
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Breach becomes a one-man show, and even though, thanks to [Chris] Cooper, it's quite a show, spy thrillers depend on the kind of give-and-take conspicuously missing here.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: C

February 15, 2007
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
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Much like Hanssen himself, Breach, which was co-written and directed by Billy Ray, remains cool to the touch, and all the more queasily fascinating for it.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

February 15, 2007
David Germain
Associated Press
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An unusually smart, tense and engaging film amid the usual dreck that lands in theaters this time of year.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

February 14, 2007
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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In truth, the movie leaves us scratching our heads. And yet, for most of it, I was held -- by Chris Cooper's dour portrayal of walled-off demons, by the director's fascination with a deception that, on the surface of it, doesn't add up.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B

February 14, 2007
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Breach is a tough, bare-knuckle look at the new cyber-terrorism that holds you captive from start to finish.

February 14, 2007
David Ansen
Newsweek
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A wonderfully taut cat-and-mouse thriller. It features a performance by Chris Cooper, as the eccentric, contradictory Hanssen, that ought to be remembered as one of the year's best come December.

Full Review Source: Newsweek

February 13, 2007
Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
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It's not interested in cheap thrills or playing gotcha with the audience. (Which isn't to say parts of it aren't exhilarating.)

Full Review Source: Village Voice

February 13, 2007
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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As he proved in Shattered Glass, Ray has a talent for nailing the essence of an ecosystem.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

February 12, 2007
David Denby
New Yorker
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The unexciting look and feel of the movie wouldn't have bothered me if the filmmakers had penetrated Hanssen's skull a little.

February 12, 2007
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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Just as somber as The Good Shepherd, the most recent domestic spy drama, but more tightly focused, Breach absorbingly zeroes in on how the FBI nailed the most damaging turncoat in American history.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 9, 2007
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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Breach, based on actual CIA and FBI history, meticulously scrutinizes the real world of spies to draw scary portraits of deadly, unpleasant people.

February 8, 2007
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