Writer/Director Billy Ray proves once again that he's one of the most gifted directors around, following his impressive "SHATTERED GLASS" with one of the best thrillers of recent memory, "BREACH." It's the kind of intelligent drama that leaves the viewer on the edge of their seat throughout the entire film, without a single shot ever being fired! Chris Cooper stars as FBI Agent, Robert Hanssen, the scumbag responsible for various American sympathizers being killed over his period of spying for the Russians. The plot focuses on a FBI clerk assigned to Hanssen, in the crucial stages of a sting operation to uncover exactly what he's doing and how. Ryan Phillipe is terrific, but then again, everyone is here. There's not one scene that feels wasted and the film moves at a gripping pace all the way to its powerful climax.
UNIVERSAL has provided a 1080p/VC-1 transfer with the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The film has an intentionally cold atmosphere, so colors aren't meant to be vibrant. However, the image is flawless, with perfectly rendered colors, albeit desaturated ones, and wonderful detail. There's great depth throughout and darker scenes are perfectly rendered. When compared to the standard dvd on the opposite side, the hd-dvd is notably superior. The standard dvd suffers from minor artifacting. Also, detail is severely hindered when compared to the hd-dvd.
UNIVERSAL has provided a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix. While not an aggressive mix, it is effective. Surrounds kick in at appropriate moments and bass is utilized more than we'd expected it to be. The music is well complimented throughout and dialogue is perfectly rendered.
When compared to the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the dvd, the Plus 5.1 mix offers better bass and dynamic range, however surrounds are just as limited.
UNIVERSAL has included numerous great extras, including a terrific audio commentary, deleted scenes and a "must-see" segment carried over from "DATELINE NBC" about the real-life traitor.