Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 177

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 377,369


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
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Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

When young Eric O'Neill is promoted out of his low-level surveillance job and into the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, his dream of becoming a full-fledged agent is on the verge of becoming reality. Even more impressive, O'Neill is hand picked to work for renowned operative Robert Hanssen within "information assurance," a new division created to protect all classified FBI Intelligence. But O'Neill is quickly confronted with the true reason behind his hire: Hanssen is the sole subject of a long-term, top-secret investigation, a suspected mole made all the more dangerous by the sheer global import of the information he is charged with protecting. The Bureau asks O'Neill to use Hanssen's growing trust and slowly draw the traitor out of deep cover. Engaged in a lethal game of spy-versus-spy without the benefit of a cover story or backup, O'Neill finds himself fighting to bring down Hanssen before the treacherous double-agent can destroy O'Neill, his family and the nation they are both sworn to serve.

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Chris Cooper
as Robert Hanssen
Ryan Phillippe
as Eric O'Neill
Laura Linney
as Kate Burroughs
Caroline Dhavernas
as Juliana O'Neill
Gary Cole
as Rich Garces
Dennis Haysbert
as Dean Plesac
Kathleen Quinlan
as Bonnie Hanssen
Bruce Davison
as John O'Neill
Tom Barnett
as Jim Olsen
Jonathan Potts
as D.I.A. Suit
David Huband
as Photographer
Catherine Burdon
as Agent Nece
Scott Gibson
as Agent Sherin
Courtenay Stevens
as Agent Loper
Clare Stone
as Lisa Hannsen
Jonathan Keltz
as Greg Hanssen
Richard Fitzpatrick
as Michael Rochford
Craig Eldridge
as Gene Connors
Jonathan Whittaker
as Tim Bereznay
Reagan Pasternak
as Beautiful Reporter
Mary Jo Deschanel
as Vivian O'Neill
Elie Gemael
as Libyan Man
Oula Boubkraoui
as Libyan Wife
Chris Owens
as Trunk Cataloguer
Jonathon Ruckman
as SWAT Agent
Stan Coles
as Father McKee
Bart Bedford
as Information Center Manager
David Frisch
as Agent Pack
Scott McCulloch
as Director Louis Freeh
Mathew Lyons
as Richard
Greg Campbell
as Special Agent in Charge
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News & Interviews for Breach

Critic Reviews for Breach

All Critics (177) | Top Critics (53)

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

    Aug 31, 2007 | Rating: 3/5
  • An interestingly told tale: melancholy, thoughtful, and very un-American.

    Aug 31, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Despite a couple of tense set pieces, the suspense needed to ignite this film is disappointingly lacking.

    Aug 31, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Tense, fascinating, worthwhile.

    Aug 31, 2007 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…
  • Despite a career-best turn from Chris Cooper, however, Breach is a weirdly muted affair.

    Aug 28, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Neil Smith
    Top Critic
  • Ultimately, the movie soars because of the inspired casting of Chris Cooper as Hanssen.

    Mar 21, 2007

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic

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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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

Lenny Muggsy
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.

Dan Schultz
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?"

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer

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