Breach - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Breach Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2010
Chris Cooper is solid always, Ryan Phillippe is liquid gay, I wonder who's the gas? Dat's me.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
May 17, 2007
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?"
Super Reviewer
½ June 11, 2007
A good film, well made, based on a true story. Just a pity there isn't a little more action or tension. The subject might be a tad boring for some and the film is very slowly paced.
Super Reviewer
June 30, 2008
An outstanding performance by Chris Cooper. He makes his character very interesting which can't be said about Ryan Philippe. This is all about the "worst spy in US history", Robert Hanssen.

The movie is tense with a truly interesting story. Highly recommended.
Super Reviewer
June 16, 2007
Interesting story and very good performances from Laura Linney and Chris Cooper, would have been so much better with a stronger actor in the lead than the vapid Phillippe.
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2007
Not bad, not bad at all.
Super Reviewer
February 22, 2007
Dull true story of the greatest security breach in U.S. intelligence history with too much investigations and talks.
Super Reviewer
½ December 22, 2007
Great Flix, One of the better CIA/FBI Films that have been out there in years. Worth the Buy
Super Reviewer
February 12, 2007
Directed by: Billy Ray.
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.
Super Reviewer
½ February 11, 2007
Who handled Breach? It's a shame what happened to this film. Releasing it in February screwed it over so hard; not only is it a dumping-ground month for some of Hollywood's truly heinous titles, but it also got put up against the intimidating (but no better) Zodiac. The film sank into relative obscurity, and that is downright criminal.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ September 12, 2007
really good flick. not as involved, dramatic, or clever as i expected it to be. you really never even expirienced anything of a spy story even though the flick was about catching a spy, it was more a film about relationships and the inner workings of the FBI. It was basically a spy movie that was not about spying. but it was interesting and well acted and worth a watch.
Super Reviewer
September 3, 2007
Somebody should just take the Oscar Chris Cooper already has and put diamonds where the eyes should be, as well as a crown that has etched into it "I am amazing". Breach is one of those 'slower' espionage thrillers. You wont find any of Bourne's shaky camera work, or Bond's sexy lady friends. Billy Ray once again directs a true story to startling effect by simply allowing the story and dialogue to speak for itself. He avoids flashy cuts or a headache inducing soundtrack, his skill also allows him to create tense scenes even when everything is happening emotionally within the characters. Cooper plays a complex and fascinating man, extremely religious and very loving but at the same time a traitor to his country. The film makes a point of blurring his motives, and so we can only judge him on the man that is shown. The final elevator scene where he is broken down is a bittersweet end. Phillipe is great in his role and illustrates our apprehensions about investigating such a stand up guy. It's an interesting journey.
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2007
Investigation concluded, good movie
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2007
One of the year's very best. Chris Cooper's performance elavates the film from very good to brilliant.
Super Reviewer
June 15, 2007
A refreshingly well done spy-thriller, with pretty much no gunplay or action, and a true to life post-cold-war setting. A great example of how a movie can adapt a real-life event faithfully without sacrificing entertainment quality or artistic license.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ February 11, 2007
Robert Hanssen: It's two guys in a fishing boat.

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.
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