Breach : Movie 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.

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