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Subtitled: John has figured out how to capture frames on his DVD player.

Here’s the problem with Breach: Ryan Phillippe isn’t convincing as a person so how could he fool Robert Hanssen, a man who can sniff out a lie a mile away? I don’t think Phillippe’s a very good actor and he wasn’t very good here. So when his character manipulates Hanssen I’m thinking, “I’m not even falling for this, how are you??”

With some early buzz Chris Cooper got for his work as Hanssen I went back and rewatched Breach. I found him to be really terrific in this, especially as I was able to really take in his performance instead of worrying about the plot since I’d seen it already. Hanssen is a very guarded man and Cooper manages to convey a lot of emotion with a quick frown or furrow of the eyebrow. The guy is also a total creep and a jerk and Cooper gives us the right level of creepiness and jerkiness. I’d be surprised if there isn’t a Best Actor nominee I find inferior to Cooper.

I'm so disgusted I'm going to spy for the Russians

Despite this being my second viewing, it held my attention surprisingly well. I also enjoy a movie set in my hometown so seeing all the DC scenes was fun. The Memorial Bridge: as seen in Breach! And Laura Linney can do no wrong.

So back to Phillippe. A warning: I’m about to point something out that may ruin every other Ryan Phillippe movie for you for the rest of your life (if he doesn’t do so already). Read ahead at your own peril.

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February 2020
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