State of Play (2009)
Critic Consensus: A taut, well-acted political thriller, State of Play overcomes some unsubtle plot twists with an intelligent script and swift direction.
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|Rating:||PG-13 (for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content)|
|Genre:||Mystery & Suspense, Drama|
|Directed By:||Kevin Macdonald|
|Written By:||Tony Gilroy, Paul Abbott, Matthew Michael Carnahan, Billy Ray|
|In Theaters:||Apr 17, 2009 Wide|
|On DVD:||Sep 1, 2009|
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as Cal McAffrey
as Stephen Collins
as Della Frye
as Cameron Lynne
as Anne Collins
as Dominic Foy
as Senator George Fergu...
as Michael Bingham
as Gene Stavitz
as Dr. Judith Franklin
as PointCorp Insider
as PointCorp Executive
as Chris Kawai
as Andrew Pell
as Sonia Baker
as Greer Thornton
as Officer Brown
as Deshaun Stagg
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Critic Reviews for State of Play
Maybe there's even a point embedded somewhere in there, but it's anybody's guess what that would be.
It's all very "ripped from the headlines" and the characters are more types than people, but at least it doesn't talk down to you. Much.
Journalistic ethics and the scandalous nature of politics are featured in the taut conspiracy thriller, State of Play.
At last, State Of Play is an example of a Hollywood refresh that not only stand up to the source, but builds upon it.
Smart, complex dramas constructed and performed with precision like this are too rare an offering to pass up.
Audience Reviews for State of Play
"You're just seeking the truth. You're a truth seeker. You can't help it, that is just who you are."
A team of investigative reporters work alongside a police detective to try to solve the murder of a congressman's mistress.
"State of Play," directed by Kevin Macdonald, is a smart, topical political thriller whose cast of characters includes a congressional aide who dies under mysterious circumstances; a scandal-plagued Capitol Hill legislator; a seasoned reporter for a mainstream newspaper; an unseasoned cub reporter for that same paper's on-line blog; and a Blackwater-type quasi-military organization that will seemingly stop at nothing, even murder, in its effort to privatize the War on Terror for power and profit.
Ben Affleck is the congressman from Pennsylvania whose affair with the murdered woman threatens to bring to light some serious behind-the scenes skullduggery on the part of the company that is currently under investigation by Affleck's committee for alleged acts of brutality and terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Russell Crowe is the journalist for the fictional "Washington Globe" who's investigating the case even though his lifelong friendship with both the congressman and the congressman's beautiful but long-suffering wife (Robin Penn Wright) may represent a major conflict-of-interest for the paper. Rachel McAdams is the wet-behind-the-ears blog reporter who joins Crowe in his investigation, and Helen Mirren is the no-nonsense editor-in-chief responsible for making sure that the two mutually antagonistic reporters work in tandem, rather than at cross purposes, in their effort to get the story. The script (based on a six-part British series) is complex but relatively easy to follow as it deftly twists and turns its way to its irony-drenched conclusion. As a sidebar, the movie examines how compromise has become the order of the day in journalism, now that an ever-dwindling number of "legitimate" newspapers are being forced to compete with sensationalistic tabloids and blogs for readership and revenue. A film for thinking adults.
State of Play is a good political thriller with twists coming at you when you least expect them. Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn were absolutely fantastic in this film. They carry the film through some implausible plot twists which left me somewhat confused, but somehow, the film always made sure the audience was following along. They'd stop and say "OK what've we got so far?". Some times the story just felt rushed, like they were making an effort to keep the audience in the loop, but wanting to keep the pace up and complicate the story a bit more.... The script is very intelligent and well-written, and the direction by Kevin MacDonald was good as well. Overall, State of Play left me in a mild state of confusion, but in the end, it all made sense, and kept me involved (even a little breathless at times).
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