BREACH (2007) Movie Review

"Breach" stars Ryan Phillippe & Chris Cooper, in a story about Eric O'Neill (Phillippe), a low-level surveillance expert with the FBI, believes he is accomplishing his dream of becoming a full-fledged agent, with his unexpected promotion and assignment to work with renowned agent Robert Hanssen (Cooper). However, he soon learns the reason for his promotion is to gain Hanssen's trust and find proof that he is a traitor to the country.

The film is directed by Billy Ray, whose work includes "Secret In Their Eyes," "Captain Phillips" and "The Hunger Games." Before "Breach," his other films included "Flightplan" and "Suspect Zero."

This film is based on the true story of Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent who spied on and gave United States secrets away for 22 years. Yea, a long time. And he sold us out and that content is still classified. His betrayal caused the deaths of several assets over seas.


There are a few other character players in the story, but the near total focus of the film is watching O'Neill working the task of observing and gathering data on Hanssen, in the hopes of getting the evidence necessary to arrest and convict Hanssen.

The story is put together in such a way that the tension in the air can be cut with a knife while you worry about O'NMeill's safety as he takes risks getting intel for the FBI.

Meanwhile, as our intrepid agent is gathering information, we learn how Hanssen portrays himself, and that image is one of a religious and righteous man, an expert at the top of his field, with the confidence and arrogance that comes with that kind of tenure.

Throughout the film, both actors deliver great performances and have you believing what you're watching. This is one of the first films I've watched and liked, and the story doesn't end up culminated by a third act filled with violence.

I must be getting older, or wiser... I'm not sure which.


"Breach" is a very good, captivating and entertaining film. No matter what you spend on it, whether it be rental or purchase because you're a fan of Ryan Phillippe or Chris Cooper,

If you want to know more:

Robert Hanssen on Wikipedia,

An interview with the agent who set Hanssen up.

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