Six years almost to the day of the actual events, "Breach" tells the story of the most infamous spy in American History and how he was eventually exposed and arrested. Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent of the highest order was eventually tried and convicted to a life sentence for selling secrets worth billions (not to mention a few lives lost as well) to the Russians. The film opens with footage of Robert Ashcroft's press conference about Hanssen's capture and then moves back in time to reveal how he was brought down.
Chris Cooper plays Robert Hanssen without a false note. Mr. Cooper is one of our finest character actors working today and "Breach" is one of his best performances. Playing the FBI "agent" that wins his trust but ultimately gets him caught is Ryan Phillippe, who continues to grow as an actor. His work in "Flags of Our Fathers" and now "Breach" show a new level of maturity on his part. Together they make "Breach" a great game of cat and mouse (even though you already know the outcome). Co-starring in this cerebral thriller is Laura Linney and Dennis Haysbert as the FBI agents building the case.
The film moves at a leisurely pace and is devoid of the usual spy movie "car chase" moments but there are still plenty of tense scenes. A taut script and solid acting makes "Breach" an exception to the usual Hollywood leftovers released this time of year.