Must see

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I’m a big fan of spy thriller movies: “The Bourne Identity” was awesome, and even older films like “Three Days of the Condor” (1975) and “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962) were very good.

“Breach” is a very compelling, but serious film, as it is based on the true story of FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who took part in what’s considered the most damaging security breach in U.S. history. It’s on my must see list.

Filled with tension, deception and bravura acting, “Breach” is a crackling tale of real-life espionage that doubles as a compelling psychological drama. Its core is not the minutiae of spying but the push-pull complexities of intricate human relationships, and in Ryan Phillippe, Laura Linney and especially the formidable Chris Cooper, it has the cast to bring it all intensely alive.

Good as all these aspects are, however, it is Cooper as the infinitely complicated and contradictory Hanssen who dominates “Breach” the same way the man he portrays ran roughshod over his own world, setting the rules and demolishing them with equal aplomb.

It is part of Cooper’s success with Hanssen’s character that he, in a sense, plays all his contradictions as if they don’t exist, casually creating layers of complexity as if they were the most natural things in the world.

As his past work, including his Oscar for “Adaptation,” demonstrate, Cooper has a great gift for bringing a fierce reality to his characters, and his bear of a performance here more or less leaps off the screen and throttles you. As much as we thought we knew how good an actor this man is, “Breach” makes us think again.

From the Los Angeles Times.

Watch the trailer on the official site; it’s excellent.

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