Combustible Celluloid
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With: Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney, Caroline Dhavernas, Gary Cole, Dennis Haysbert, Kathleen Quinlan, Bruce Davison, Jonathan Watton, Tom Barnett, Jonathan Potts, David Huband, Catherine Burdon, Scott Gibson, Courtenay J. Stevens
Written by: Adam Mazer, William Rotko, Billy Ray, based on a story by Adam Mazer, William Rotko
Directed by: Billy Ray
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language
Running Time: 110
Date: 02/16/2007

Breach (2006)

3 Stars (out of 4)

F.B. Spy

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Following up his directorial debut, Shattered Glass (2003), writer/director Billy Ray comes up with an equally compelling piece of fictional journalism, blending real elements and storytelling with a rare finesse. In February of 2001, a young FBI agent, Eric O'Neill (Ryan Phillippe) is assigned as a glorified office boy for a gruff veteran Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper). His contact, Kate Burroughs (Laura Linney), tells him to look for child pornography, but it turns out there's much more at stake. Hanssen is actually the biggest spy in FBI history, regularly delivering inside information to the Russians. A fascinating battle of wits follows. Hanssen is a very crafty adversary, and Ray never drops the intelligence level so that one combatant can obtain an upper hand; they fight on an even playing field. Breach also manages a shifty governmental atmosphere full of contradictions and juvenile behavior. Ray has a knack for seamlessly blending events that seem like they could have happened with events that probably never happened, not to mention his gift for commanding performances. Peter Saarsgard was a surprise standout in Shattered Glass, and Breach contains several great turns. Caroline Dhavernas from TV's "Wonderfalls" co-stars (with an accent) as O'Neill's wife. Breach

DVD Details: Universal's DVD comes with the original 20-minute "Dateline" report on this case, which aired in March of 2001. It also comes with 12 minutes of deleted scenes and 5 more minutes of alternate scenes, both with optional commentary tracks. "Breaching the Truth" is a 10-minute making-of featurette, plus there's "Anatomy of a Character" (6 minutes) and a feature commentary track by Billy Ray and the real agent Eric O'Neill. The movie is transfered in anamorphic widescreen (1:1.85) and is available in English and French, with optional English, Spanish and French subtitles.

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