Friday 31 August 2007
Director Billy Ray is attracted to portraits of men with something to hide. In his first movie, Shattered Glass, he picked apart a New Republic journalist's paper trail of bogus news stories. In Breach he addresses another real-life case involving the rather more serious deception of selling government secrets to the Russians. Ryan Phillippe plays Eric O'Neill, an ambitious FBI trainee assigned to lead a covert investigation of the agency's top Soviet analyst Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper), a cantankerous right-wing Catholic who's suspected of dabbling in internet porn. When O'Neill finds himself succumbing to a respect for his quarry he is then told the real reason for his brief: Hanssen is an unscrupulous spy who has been trading with Moscow for years. A sombre game of cat-and-mouse ensues, and what it lacks in genuine tension it amply compensates in the understated performances of the two leads: Cooper projects the hawkish, haunted look of a career double-dealer superbly, and Phillippe is a surprise package as a rookie investigator who gets in over his head. Laura Linney is the bonus as O'Neill's FBI controller, a woman so committed to the job she doesn't have a partner "or a cat".
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
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'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture