Ryan Philipe is great here as the real life man who was assigned to watch him, who was ultimately responsible for his taking down.
The movie really focuses on one central theme, with his relationship with his wife loosely in the backdrop.
The movie follows the one on one direct relationship that the two men have, as Philipe is basically his day to day assistant: driver, secretary, etc.
He reports to an FBI agent when paged, and informs her of his movings, and day to day operations, basically what he does with his life.
I thought the movie could of been better if it focused more on the FBI operations surrounding the investigation. The movie did do this not to be mistaken, but I did want a little more involvement from other characters. However the goal of the movie took on directly the one on one relationship the 2 men had and it did work.
A bond is formed at first until he learns the man is really a spy.
You see the case affect his marriage as it becomes on the rocks.
Again outside the one on one between the 2 men everything else is loosely plotted and not too involved. I think a little bit more of that would of escalated the film into a bit better of a category. I also felt with the subject matter being involved, it could have been a little more intense and moving. After the film I was impressed, but not totally moved like that of a 4 star or more film.
All that being said, fantastic performance from Cooper, and a damn good one by Phillipe make this movie an absolute recommendation.
The true story of the sequence of events that lead to the arrest of Robert Hanssen for espionage in 2001. Hanssen (played by Chris Cooper) was a senior agent at the FBI. An agent-in-training, Eric O'Neill (Ryan Phillippe), is hired as Hanssen's assistant, in order to keep tabs on him. O'Neil is initially not told of the true nature of the investigation. Once he finds out, however, the layers of deception increase and he soon finds himself in danger.
An interesting, well told story, directed by Billy Ray, director of the even-better Shattered Glass. Starts quite dryly and in bit unfocused a fashion. This is probably deliberate, as initially O'Neill is not too sure of his mission and nothing really happens. However, after a while the pieces fall into place and we have a reasonably tense drama.
Solid performances from Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillippe in the lead roles. Good supporting cast that includes Laura Linney, Gary Cole and Kathleen Quinlan.