In February, 2001, Robert Hanssen, a senior agent with 25 years in the FBI, is arrested for spying. Jump back two months: Eric O'Neill, a computer specialist who wants to be made an agent is assigned to clerk for Hanssen and to write down everything Hanssen does. O'Neill's told it's an investigation of Hanssen's sexual habits. Within weeks, the crusty Hanssen, a devout Catholic, has warmed to O'Neill, who grows to respect Hanssen. O'Neill's wife resents Hanssen's intrusiveness; the personal and professional stakes get higher. How they catch Hanssen and why he spies become the film's story. Can O'Neill help catch red-handed "the worst spy in history" and hold onto his personal life? Written by
Along with Scott Kroopf of Intermedia Films, the filmmakers brought the project to Universal Pictures, who green-lit the film. Kroopf said: "We agreed that this was a truly interesting story and a great concept for a movie, made all the more fascinating because it was based on a true story. We also believed that Billy [director Billy Ray] was the ideal guy to do this job, that he had the vision needed to pull it all together." With the project green-lit, the production team would turn its focus to casting the talent who would become the key players in one of this country's biggest take-downs. See more »
When Hanssen and O'Neill are cleared in at the DIA, the driveway barriers are backward. Typically, the barrier lip that raises and lowers faces the outside world, not the protected area. See more »
Sunday, the FBI successfully concluded an investigation to end a serious breach in the security of the United States. The arrest of Robert Hanssen, for espionage, should remind us all, every American should know, that our nation, our free society, is an international target, in a dangerous world.
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The history behind the FBI and the CIA have always fascinated me and I have studied this history for many years. I am well aware of the story of Robert Hanssen, and had to see the film because of that. I had my doubts about it, being the avid movie-goer that I am that they would try to "Hollywood-ize" it too much, as is almost always the case when a true story hit the silver screen. This is not the case with "Breach".
Some of the things in the movie are stretched, as is always the case, but it still remains very loyal to the truth. "Breach" does a wonderful job of taking theses slightly exaggerated parts to increase the feeling of drama and suspense, and doing it the right way.
Another bright spot is Oscar Winner Chris Cooper's fantastic portrayal of Hanssen. Cooper does such a great job of capturing Hanssen's intimidation of young Eric O'Neill and his increasing paranoia. There is no doubt in my mind that Cooper's role is Oscar worthy. It would be a shame if he were not nominated.
This film is excellent from beginning to end and is without a doubt the best spy movie I have seen in ages. The film itself, like Chris Cooper, I believe is Oscar worthy.
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