This movie is based on the activities and eventual capture of Robert Hanssen. He is a former FBI agent who spied for the Soviets and then the Russians from 1979 to 2001. He may be responsible for the worst security disaster in US history.

He is played by Chris Cooper who does a thorough job of portraying, well, a conflicted creep. He is a devout believer who pushes his assistant to pray more, but we soon learn that he may be very much into strippers and also turns sex with his wife into amateur porn tapes without her knowledge.

None of this is very interesting. We never learn how he got to be like that. So don’t expect some intense psychological analysis.

What makes the movie is the interaction between him and his young assistant who is being used to catch him.

It certainly helped that I had no idea who Robert Hanssen was prior to watching this movie. So I doubted if they were trying to catch the right man.

Reading about the real Robert Hanssen was somewhat more interesting than watching this movie.

Chris Cooper’s performance is what saves this otherwise stale movie.

The movie also somehow fails to convey the seriousness of the damage Robert’s spying activities are causing. It’s actually a long list of some seriously detrimental shit storms.

And I have definitely seen Matthew Ryan Phillippe in roles that fit him a lot better, such as in the part of the accused rich boy in The Lincoln Lawyer.

I have always liked Chris Cooper and his delivery of a religious nut with shady activities on the side deserved a better plot.

Unfortunately he usually plays meek, tormented characters in supporting roles. Check him out in movies such as Great expectations, The Company Men, The Town, American Beauty, A time to kill and many others.

Come to think of it, he seems to specialize in playing depressed losers… But he’s damn good at it.