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State and Main (2000)


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 115
Fresh: 99 | Rotten: 16

Critics Consensus: State and Main offers plenty of wit and laughs in its lampoons of the movie industry.

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: State and Main offers plenty of wit and laughs in its lampoons of the movie industry.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 8,156



Movie Info

Walter Price is directing a movie that has gone over budget. Having been kicked out of his New Hampshire filming location, Price must quickly find a new, low budget location that can quickly pass as a 19th Century village. He soon comes across the quaint town of Waterford, Vermont. According to the brochure the town is equipped with a firehouse, a mill and a population eager for the glitter of Hollywood - Price thinks he has it made. However, he soon finds out that the mill, a crucial piece in … More

R (for language and brief sexual images)
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Jun 19, 2001
Box Office:
Fine Line Features - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for State and Main

All Critics (136) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (99) | Rotten (16) | DVD (23)

Hollywood corrupts absolutely, and Mamet turns the toxic process into the year's best and smartest comedy.

February 6, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

State and Main might be the perfect David Mamet movie for people who don't like David Mamet movies. The nice thing about it, though, is that it won't disappoint the rest of us.

Full Review… | January 12, 2001
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

An amusing trifle.

January 12, 2001
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

A surfeit of farce and fast-talking makes up for a lack of plot.

January 12, 2001
Miami Herald
Top Critic

As much fun to listen to as it is to watch.

January 12, 2001
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

retains a lightheartedness that pokes fun at the film industry and gives some memorable performances

Full Review… | June 20, 2012
Old School Reviews

Intriguing characters, good movie for older teens.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

David Mamet, that president emeritus of hard-consonant profanity, often seems as comfortable with softer stuff as a man wearing wool in July. But this on-the-nose Hollywood satire played like Preston Sturges absolved of Production-Code limitations.

Full Review… | October 8, 2010

One giant testimony to unmet potential.

Full Review… | February 15, 2010

David Mamet tones it down a second time in the relaxed State and Main.

Full Review… | February 2, 2009

...a fine comedy that represents grown-up moviemaking at its very best.

Full Review… | January 1, 2004


Full Review… | August 1, 2003
Reel Film Reviews

Mamet's most easy going and fun-loving film to date.

Full Review… | April 16, 2003

[State and Main] has been heralded as the second coming of Preston Sturges. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall any of that comedic master's films ever revolving around a statutory rape charge.

Full Review… | December 8, 2002
Film Threat

In the end, State and Main is little more than a pleasant diversion, but it is one that is accomplished with a degree of wit and grace and a healthy respect for its putative audience.

Full Review… | October 30, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...without a doubt one of the most well written scripts in the past few years.

Full Review… | June 28, 2002

Those who read the tabloids regularly will enjoy speculating about which real-life personalities Mamet may have provided the inspiration for these daffy characters.

Full Review… | June 10, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

The well-spoken scumbags are still there, but now they're funny.

Full Review… | February 28, 2002
Goatdog's Movies

Like the good magician, Mamet plays some tricks on us which cause bristles of amazement.

Full Review… | October 24, 2001
Flipside Movie Emporium

This is exactly the kind of intellectual in-joke movie that a few people will adore with all their hearts, and a zillion people will go, "ehhh."

Full Review… | June 14, 2001

It's a treat to see a movie that rewards its viewers for paying attention.

Full Review… | April 1, 2001
Lawrence Journal-World

Funny, satirical, and touching

February 27, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

...manages to be one of the most brilliant films of 2000: a satirical, edgy and sweet comedy in which every person, detail and camera shot is of complete significance.

Full Review… | February 7, 2001

Mamet loves the interplay of words, rife with sharp exchanges and ready witticisms

Full Review… | February 7, 2001

Devilishly wicked if occasionally slight, Mamet's third film in as many years, is, alas, one of his weakest (but still strong compared with the rest of the holiday film pack).

Full Review… | February 7, 2001
Nitrate Online

Audience Reviews for State and Main

The performances are good and the idea is very sharp but it's the quick paced and witty script that really makes State and Main. David Mamet is a great writer, a better writer than director but I thought he did a great job here, especially as he never once makes it easy for himself. He avoids all cliches and even when the plot may seem predictable, he follows it up with something unexpected. Intelligent and feelgood, a winning combination although deadpan doesn't seem to go down well these days, the dumbing down has commenced.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

WORTHLESS. I'm slowly coming around to the fact that Mamet's stilted patois might work, but definitely not when he writes and directs. The actors pause and repeat without motivation, as if they were just following stage directions. Rebecca Pidgeon is TERRIBLE. She breathes no life into the whimsical lady love. But hey, she's banging the director so why would she need to? I also get the impression that Mamet didn't even do much research for this film. His representation of small-town America is a mish-mash of idyllic stereotypes.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

This is a complete waste of time. A lame movie chalk full of many great actors. Did all these guys owe the director a favor??? I'm really not fond of movies about making a movie, especially when they're supposed to be "comedy" but with a some what serious tone. It was extremely tedious.

I just didn't get it... avoid this crap fest!!

Derek A

Super Reviewer

Walt Price: How are we coming with the dead horse scene?
Marty Rossen: You can't actually kill the horse.
Walt Price: Aw, fuck me!

Writer/Director David Mamet uses his style of dialog in a new fashion, comedy. This is a very funny movie with a great ensemble cast.

The movie revolves around a movie crew who was recently kicked out of a small town during production for some sketchy circumstances, and have now just arrived in a small Vermont town, where they will now upset their ways.

Amidst the movie crew there is Philip Seymour Hoffman as the writer, William H Macy and David Paymer as director and producer, and Alec Baldwin and Sarah Jessica Parker as actors.

Among them, Hoffman is great as a writer unfamiliar with the ways of Hollywood. At one point he is forced to simply create a new title and settings for the film, because the movie which is called "The Old Mill," cannot film at the old mill, because it burned down.

Meanwhile, Macy and Paymer have to struggle with more funding through product placement involving somehow having "" mentioned in an 18th century period film.

Town Man: What happened to his finger?
Ann Black: It was burned, then it was really hurt.

What makes everything work so well is the Mamet style dialog, which I enjoy. Even though it is still laden with profanity, the movie glides along so smoothly with the little talking rhythms between the actors.

It is a very funny movie, with quirky characters, and fun stuff involving Hollywood vs. Small town society.

Ann Black: And here's some hydrogen peroxide.
Joseph Turner White: I don't drink.
Ann Black: It's for your finger.

Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

State and Main Quotes

Bob Barrenger: Only second chance I know, is the chance to make the same mistake twice.
– Submitted by Melissa H (3 years ago)

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