Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story

  • 2002
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama, Spy

Despite a screenplay written by Norman Mailer, this made-for-network-TV movie is a methodical biopicture that never manages to generate any suspense. An FBI agent since 1979, FBI desk jockey Robert Hanssen (William Hurt) is passed over for a promotion after six years on the job and demands an explanation from his boss, Mike Fine (Ron Silver). Fine explains...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Reviewed by Robert Pardi
Rating:

Despite a screenplay written by Norman Mailer, this made-for-network-TV movie is a methodical biopicture that never manages to generate any suspense. An FBI agent since 1979, FBI desk jockey Robert Hanssen (William Hurt) is passed over for a promotion after six years on the job and demands an explanation from his boss, Mike Fine (Ron Silver). Fine explains that though Hanssen's technology savvy is beyond reproach, his people skills need some work. So Hanson decides that if he can't impress the FBI, he'll undermine — for a price. The status-conscious Hanssen sells secrets to the KGB agents lodged at Washington D.C.'s Russian Embassy, and is eventually forced to confess to a priest by his wife, Bonnie (Mary-Louise Parker), who eventually discovers how her husband has been paying the bills. Unfortunately, Hanssen has become hooked on the thrill of spying and KGB specialist Viktor Cherkashin (Alexander Kalugin) is happy to pay his high price — in fact, he considers it a bargain. For over two decades, Hanssen feeds the Soviets top secret tidbits; some of the information he provides leads directly to the execution of American double agents in Russia. Although Hanssen's dangerous hobby raises his self-esteem, it leaves his personal life was a shambles. The end of Cold War hostilities eventually brings Hanssen down; by 1991 he's faced the possibility that a KGB defector will expose him and is trapped by his own boss, Agent Fine. Though Hanssen's story is a potentially engrossing psychological drama, Hurt's glazed-over expression makes him opaque central figure; Hurt's closeted acting never brings Hanssen’s contradictions to life.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Despite a screenplay written by Norman Mailer, this made-for-network-TV movie is a methodical biopicture that never manages to generate any suspense. An FBI agent since 1979, FBI desk jockey Robert Hanssen (William Hurt) is passed over for a promotion afte… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »