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Product Overview

Inspired by true events, this takes you deep inside the halls of the fbi for a top-secret investigation to uncover the greatest breach in the history of U.S. Intelligence.


Studio Universal
SKU 204396508
UPC 025193227621
UPC 14 00025193227621
Format DVD
Release Date 6/13/2007
Rating Rating
FBI Agents
Theatrical Release
True Story
Editors Note
Note Chris Cooper (ADAPTATION) gives a remarkable performance as complicated and bitter FBI agent Robert Hanssen in BREACH. Hanssen is a computer specialist who, after 25 years of service, is put under surveillance as a suspected sex offender. Eric O'Neill (Ryan Phillippe, CRASH) is the ambitious young upstart they put on the job, assigning him to pose as Hanssen's new clerk in order to win his trust and keep an eye on his every move. Eric is dismayed to be put on such low-priority detail, accustomed as he is to investigating high-profile terrorism suspects. His reluctance is multiplied as he gets to know the subject of his inquiry; Hanssen is at first harsh towards his young secretary, but as he opens up, Eric gets to know and respect him as a family man of strong Catholic faith. Soon, however, Hanssen is infiltrating Eric's personal life and causing problems between him and his wife, Juliana (Caroline Dhavernas, HOLLYWOODLAND), and just when Eric is about to give up the case, he discovers that it is much bigger than he ever imagined. Eric finds himself in the middle of an investigation into the biggest security breach in U.S. history, forcing him to resort to dramatic and ingenious tactics in order to bring down the suspect. Director Billy Ray's first directorial effort was the dramatization of the Stephen Glass scandal at the D.C. magazine The New Republic in SHATTERED GLASS, and here he once again turns his eye--with great success--to a true story with a complex villain. Cooper's excellent characterization invites pity and horror in equal measure; his performance is well supported in this character-driven thriller by Laura Linney (KINSEY) as the hard-nosed agent leading the investigation, and Phillippe as the resourceful and introspective O'Neill.
New York Times "[A] thriller that manages to excite and unnerve....[Mr. Cooper] rouses our curiosity but never solicits our pity. It's enough that he and Mr. Ray make this monster human." 02/16/2007 p.E12
USA Today 3 stars out of 4 -- "[A]n edge-of-the-seat thriller....BREACH is a compelling, intelligent drama." 02/16/2007 p.3E
Entertainment Weekly "[A] true-life tale of duplicity gone secretly insane..." -- Grade: B 02/23/2007 p.82
Rolling Stone 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[The director] raises the stakes to life and death, and proves himself a filmmaker of uncommon talent and ambition." 03/08/2007 p.96
Variety "BREACH absorbingly zeroes in on how the FBI nailed the most damaging turncoat in American history..." 02/09/2007 p.2
Box Office "[Cooper is a] venerable character actor who inhabits the man completely." 04/01/2007 p.127
Ultimate DVD 4 stars out of 5 -- "Chris Cooper and Ryan Philippe are perfectly cast as the enigmatic, unlikely traitor and his secretive clerk..." 07/01/2007 p.26
Uncut 4 stars out of 5 -- "[At the centre of it is a chilling performance from Cooper as a hunted, lonely man, staring down the barrel of his conscience." 09/01/2007 p.120
Total Film 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's worth catching for Cooper's performance, while its fact-based tale of treachery will strike a chord in today's climate of suspicion." 09/01/2007 p.36
Sight and Sound "BREACH is an intelligent, superior entertainment....Engrossing..." 09/01/2007 p.51
Empire 3 stars out of 5 -- "There's good work from Laura Linney....The film will be remembered for giving Chris Cooper another top-flight role..." 09/01/2007 p.53
Billy Ray
Laura Linney
Chris Cooper
Ryan Phillippe
Kathleen Quinlan
Cast & Crew
Adam Mazer - Based On Story By
Andrew M. Stearn - Art Director
Billy Ray - Director
Billy Ray, et. al. - Screenplay
Caroline Dhavernas - Actor
Chris Cooper - Actor
Dennis Haysbert - Actor
Gary Cole - Actor
Jeffrey Ford - Editor
Jeffrey Silver - Producer
Kathleen Quinlan - Actor
Laura Linney - Actor
Mychael Danna - Original Music By
Ryan Phillippe - Actor
Sidney Kimmel - Executive Producer
Tak Fujimoto - Cinematographer
Tom Barnett - Actor
William Rotko - Based On Story By
Technical Info
Catalog ID 61032276
UPC 00025193227621
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 111 minutes
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English, French Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review No matter how compelling and intriguing a real-life story may be, it doesn't necessarily translate into an equally compelling and intriguing motion picture. Breach is a case in point. Based on the widely publicized case of turncoat FBI agent Robert Hanssen, which dominated headlines in late February 2001, the movie succeeds at being a thriller with few thrills. With an end that is predetermined (and revealed to anyone who might be in the dark in the opening scene, a news clip of John Ashcroft announcing Hanssen's arrest), there's little room for suspense. Billy Ray's chronicling of Hanssen's capture has its high points, but it's a little on the dry side. Thank god for Chris Cooper...Breach is competently made but, aside from Cooper's performance, there's nothing here worth getting excited about.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
Review What possessed Robert Hanssen, a respected FBI agent, professed family man, and fanatical Roman Catholic, to sell state secrets to the Soviets and Russians for 15 years? Was it just the money? Was it festering resentment of FBI colleagues? Or was he driven by something deeper, more unknowable? As Breach, the sharply drawn and rigorously accurate film based on the Hanssen espionage scandal makes so abundantly clear, there is no easy explanation for the man's treasonous acts, which constitute "possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history," according to a 2002 U.S. Department of Justice study. Written and directed with crisp authority by Billy Ray (the criminally overlooked Shattered Glass), Breach is a tautly entertaining, fact-based spy thriller galvanized by Chris Cooper's fascinating, multi-layered performance as Hanssen, the proverbial riddle wrapped in an enigma.
Reviewer Tim Knight
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, English, Spanish, French, Dolby, Dolby Digital (5.1)
Product Attributes
Actor Cooper,Chris
Label Mca Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
David Ansen, NewsWeek A wonderfully taut cat-and-mouse thriller.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times ...a crackling tale of real-life espionage that doubles as a compelling psychological drama.
Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun ...isn't just a solid thriller; it's also an ambitious and engrossing piece of narrative journalism.
Stephen Hunter, Washington Post The acting is superb, particularly from the three principals.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe A compelling and eerily effective little drama.

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