ReelTalk Movie Reviews  

New Reviews
Jurassic World Domini...
Jazz Fest: A New Orle...
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue ...
more movies...
New Features
Poet Laureate of the Movies
Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks
Score Season #71
more features...
ReelTalk Home Page
Contact Us
Advertise on ReelTalk

Listen to Movie Addict Headquarters on internet talk radio Add to iTunes

Buy a copy of Confessions of a Movie Addict

Main Page Movies Features Log In/Manage

Rate This Movie
 Above AverageAbove AverageAbove AverageAbove Average
 Below AverageBelow Average
Rated 2.99 stars
by 946 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Intelligent and Riveting
by Geoffrey D. Roberts

Breach,  a riveting spy thriller, depicts the downfall of Robert Hanssen, a former double agent who betrayed the United States by giving classified information to the U.S.S.R. over a 15-year period from 1985-2000.

The story follows Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe), a man longing to become a full-fledged FBI agent. Before his involvement in the Hanssen case, O'Neill worked for the FBI in a low-level surveillance position. Naturally, he's pleasantly surprised when  unexpectedly summoned by Special Agent Kate Burroughs (Laura Linney) to work with Hanssen (Chris Cooper) as his aide.

Burroughs tells O’Neill he’s been chosen for this assignment so he can watch Hanssen because the bureau has discovered the man is a sexual deviant who’s been using their computers to access the Internet and download porn. Should Hanssen’s sexual secrets ever become public knowledge, Burroughs believes it could impact negatively on the agency.

Hanssen thinks he’s been promoted by the FBI to oversee a new division called “information assurance.” Unaware of the FBI investigation and that this new department is bogus, Hanssen believes he will be solely responsible for the protection of all classified FBI documents and secrets in his new capacity.

The agency also suspects Hanssen of being a mole who's been selling secrets that could prove dangerous to the United States and the rest of the world. His phony desk job was created in order to keep tabs on him and to prevent him from acquiring any new information that could further damage the United States.

O’Neill cannot understand why Burroughs feels it’s important to track Hanssen and provide her with notes about his movements, conversations and the individuals he phones, as well as any personal quirks. O’Neill also hates the fact he must wear a pager so that Burroughs can reach him 24/7. Thinking Hanssen is just an ordinary person, O’Neill tells Burroughs he’s washing his hands of the case. This forces Burroughs to reveal the shocking truth about Hanssen and why O’Neill was picked to work for him, including Hanssen’s divulging of a list of FBI agents to the Russians which resulted in the killing of two U.S. agents.  

Burroughs knows Hanssen has never met O’Neill and therefore has no data he can access on him. It is now up to O’Neill to develop a relationship with Hanssen based on trust. In the process, he must help Burroughs unearth enough evidence to unmask Hanssen for the coward and traitor he is.

Cooper delivers a commanding performance and plays well off Phillippe’s naive and twitchy O’Neill, luring him deeper and deeper into his web. The talented actor uses facial expressions and body language as well as his eyes to show Hanssen’s lack of depth, emotion and soul.

Kudos also to director Billy Ray for crafting a fast-paced, intelligent thriller and to Adam Mazer and William Rotko for their clever screenplay.

(Released by Universal Pictures and rated “PG-13” for violence, sexual content and language.)

© 2024 - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Website designed by Dot Pitch Studios, LLC