The movie is tense with a truly interesting story. Highly recommended.
Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney, Chris Cooper.
Finally, a true thriller right down to the core, you have no car chases here, no gunfights, no explosions, just actors, dialogue, a very strong script and solid direction.
To cover Robert Hanssen's main life would have taken many long episodes to cover all the main points, instead with this film, it focuses on the final personal two months of how he got caught. Without resorting to any fancy sequences to 'attempt' to create suspense, it comes naturally here, Billy Ray's very tight direction keeps us engrossed on these characters and everything else is drawn from them. It's very much a character study and involves a lot of dialogue, but it is a fascinating one and I found myself very intrigued by these characters, the way they are developed keeps you engrossed right up until the end. Now I bet it would have been a difficult choice to fill the cast, especially for Robert Hanssen. Ryan Phillippe proves he can do well and delivers quite a sustained and excellent performance as the hopeful FBI Agent, Laura Linney is captivating and great as always, but I really hope for her to jump out of her shell and show us something amazing....but the real man to mention here is Chris Cooper, in what can easily be said as his 'Oscar nominated' or winning role, come next year. His portrayal of Robert Hanssen is nothing short of outstanding, he fits into this tough role so well and displays an outstanding range of emotions in both his dialogue and his facials, he has always been great in the roles he plays but this one will certainly be life changing.
Tense, intriguing, captivating and very solid. A thriller that never relies on cheap hollywood tricks to wow the audience, its a character study that is smart and compelling and Billy Ray delivers some outstanding taut direction, his movements and letting his actors shine creates the suspense needed.
Breach is not an absolutely amazing movie, but it's damn good for its genre. It is a little more chatty than most of the movies in that "thriller" genre, but well-written enough to get away with it. It has plenty of thrilling scenes, but they are tempered with and surrounded by incredibly engaging dialogue. Take, for instance, the traffic jam scene; not only is it incredibly suspenseful, but it shares an abundance of information about both Philippe and Cooper's characters. It is productive, intelligent film-making. The movie embraces modern thriller sensibilities and at the same time refuses to shy away from conversation and the human mind as a springboard.
The second tragedy of Breach's release is that Chris Cooper's performance will be forgotten by the Academy. Having won for Adaptation and then being considered for this would have been one of the greatest follow-ups ever, but alas, his brilliant work here is completely squandered. He delivers his character, a chest-puffing bundle of insecurities, so naturally. Laura Linney slides right into her part too. Even Ryan Philippe, who some would argue hasn't really paid his dues yet, does very well here, except it can be kind of hard to tell because his character is a little underwritten. It would have behooved him to have more to do than react perplexedly to Cooper's unusual questions.
I think the film's one failing is that it succumbs to the need to be Hollywoodian, what with the swelling scores and the need to explain the cyclicality of some of the themes. I found myself having a few of those "thanks, guys, I could have figured that out on my own" moments. But if the movie wants to hold my hand a little, it's cool. You could be spotted with something worse than Breach.
A movie that treats it's audience maturely, but doesn't go into labyrinthine plot twists merely to prove that what is happening it complex.
A good story surrounded by the framework of a decent story.
The good plot involves the uncovering of the traiter within the FBI. Chris Cooper owns this movie as Robert Hanssen. His character is said to have done many bad things, but we only see so much of him, and Cooper does a great job showing only so much his character, yet giving us a lot of what we need to know. Ryan Phillipe takes the role of Ethan Hawk in Training Day basically and gets shit on during the whole movie. He does a good job during his scenes with Cooper which matter most.
The main problem I have is how I wasn't really caring for the Phillipe and his wife, it kind of goes to the same problem I had with The Good Shepherd, another recent spy drama, something about the family life of spies just takes me away from things, it can be necessary, but I just don't really care.
Still it's a good movie with a great performance from Cooper.