based on the true story of Robert Hanssen, the FBI agent responsible for what is considered the worst security breach in US Intelligence history. The story focuses on the short interval of time after the FBI had already begun an investigation into Hanssen. A young agent in training is assigned as his assistant to what is ostensibly supposed to be a sting operation to catch him as a sexual deviant with the true purpose of the operation being unknown to the young agent at the time. Chris Cooper delivers another great performance as the egotistical and domineering senior agent who looks at the entire agency and its personnel as being mentally and technically inferior to him. Ryan Phillippe plays Eric O'Neill and successfully captures the earnest but inexperienced stumblings of an agent in training.
He is tasked by his superiors to keep track of all Hanssen's activities, but at the same time develops a grudging respect for the experienced operative. The story revolves around the bond of trust that develops between the two men and the thin line the young man must tread to fulfill his mission while deceiving an agent who is probably one of the best in the agency at smelling a lie. The story is a fairly slow paced character driven drama, but retains its interest especially since its based on true events. I'm curious as to why they didn't cover more of the 15 years of spying and Hanssen's interaction with the Soviets, as it seems that would have been interesting to see as well. Overall a good espionage story.