4.0 5
Director: Billy Ray

Cast: Billy Ray, Mary Jo Deschanel, Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe


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Shattered Glass director Billy Ray directs Chris Cooper and Ryan Philippe in this fact-based drama concerning the FBI traitor who carried out what many historians refer to as the most notable national security breach in U.S. history. A key member of the FBI's elite Soviet Analytical Unit, Robert HanssenSee more details below


Shattered Glass director Billy Ray directs Chris Cooper and Ryan Philippe in this fact-based drama concerning the FBI traitor who carried out what many historians refer to as the most notable national security breach in U.S. history. A key member of the FBI's elite Soviet Analytical Unit, Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper) would, for 15 years beginning in 1985, sell thousands of pages of classified documents to the Soviets. After making roughly 600,000 dollars on his clandestine endeavor and compromising everything from the identities of KGB spies working for the American government to nuclear war contingency plans, Hanssen was eventually transferred to a newly created position at the FBI's Washington headquarters and assigned the task of guarding his country's most sensitive secrets. It was while working in this capacity that a young agent named Eric O'Neill (Phillipe) was assigned the task of keeping tabs on Hanssen by suspicious higher-ups. Later, after being arrested while delivering a cache of secret documents to a "dead drop" spot in a Virginia park, the notorious traitor was arrested and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Following the well-received Shattered Glass (2003), screenwriter Billy Ray continues his transition into a noteworthy directing career with another fact-based account of a con man whose web of lies caused calamitous damage to a venerable institution. Breach (2006) is touted as the true story of "master spy" Robert Hanssen, an FBI functionary whose sale of intelligence secrets over 22 years at the end of the Cold War constituted American history's single worst violation of government security. In truth, Ray's film is not really about Hanssen, who is a supporting character; the film's protagonist is Eric O'Neill, the baby-faced intelligence gatherer assigned to pose as Hanssen's assistant during the intense month-long investigation that resulted in his boss' arrest. Breach suffers slightly from its focus on the less-interesting of its two main characters, but less so because the bland rectitude of O'Neill is wisely presented as exactly the quality that allows him to succeed in ensnaring Hanssen, whose many self-delusions include the notion that he is highly moral. Ray's directing style is restrained but intelligent, yielding center stage to his actors, whose performances are exceptional. Chris Cooper chooses the route of conveying the essence of Hanssen without overly imitating the man's specific traits; his work is a study in subtlety and nuance, outwardly embodying a man whose contradictions are almost completely internal. Laura Linney verges on parodying the secret-agent stereotype in a straight-razor style that would fit equally well in a Bureau training film or a cheeky episode of The X-Files. As the moon-faced, mouth-breathing O'Neill, star Ryan Phillippe is batted about by his co-stars like a pair of lethal jungle pumas toying with their cub, but this quality is, like the film itself, clearly intentional and thoroughly enjoyable. Breach is a low-key, quietly attenuated film that represents masterful work of substance over style by everyone involved.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Over 18 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes; Breaching the truth: Get an insider's look at how Robert Hanssen's story was brought to the screen; Anantomy of a character - brought to you by Volkswagen: A powerful look at how Chris Cooper became Robert Hanssen for the film; "The Mole" as originally aired on Dateline 3/05/01: Uncover more intriguing facts about double agent Robert Hanssen in this in-depth profile; Feature commentary: With writer/director Billy Ray and former FBI operative Eric O'Neill

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mary Jo Deschanel Actor
Chris Cooper Robert Hanssen
Ryan Phillippe Eric O'Neill
Laura Linney Kate Burroughs
Dennis Haysbert Dean Plesac
Gary Cole Rich Garces
Caroline Dhavernas Juliana O'Neill
Bruce Davison John O'Neill
Kathleen Quinlan Bonnie Hanssen

Technical Credits
Billy Ray Director,Screenwriter
Rudy Braun Set Decoration/Design
Mychael Danna Score Composer
Jeffrey Ford Editor
Richard L. Fox Asst. Director
Tak Fujimoto Cinematographer
William Horberg Executive Producer
Sidney Kimmel Executive Producer
Scott Kroopf Producer
Cassandra Kulukundis Casting
Michael Madden Set Decoration/Design
Adam Mazer Original Story,Screenwriter
Adam Merims Executive Producer
Brad Milburn Set Decoration/Design
Bobby Newmyer Producer
David Michael O'Neill Associate Producer
Bill Rotko Original Story,Screenwriter
Luis M. Sequeira Costumes/Costume Designer
Jeffrey Silver Co-producer
Andrew M. Stearn Art Director
Scott Strauss Producer
Wynn P. Thomas Production Designer
John J. Thomson Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Breach
1. A Dangerous World [5:24]
2. Tasked to Headquarters [4:31]
3. Meet the New Boss [5:21]
4. Five Things [6:14]
5. FBI Culture [3:14]
6. Protocol [3:19]
7. Godliness [5:43]
8. Testing People [5:28]
9. In the Middle [4:16]
10. Read In [5:03]
11. Thinking of Quitting [6:04]
12. Dangerous Download [8:09]
13. Power Play [8:56]
14. Is It Worth It? [5:35]
15. Being Isolated [4:42]
16. Can I Trust You? [10:05]
17. A Sad Day [5:56]
18. Why Spy? [2:08]
19. Walk Away [4:10]
20. End Titles [5:31]


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