The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.