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".
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Strictly Come Dancing results: Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan sent home
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Why are the words 'mongol', 'mongoloid' and 'mongy' still bandied about as insults?
Tom DeLonge compares streaming music to killing elephants
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage of Lana Del Rey rape video
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services