State and Main - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

State and Main Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2008
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.
DerekA101
Super Reviewer
½ May 26, 2008
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!!
Super Reviewer
September 9, 2007
David Mamet's most funny, and light-hearted work.
Super Reviewer
June 10, 2007
No one saw this movie. What a shame.
nuheart
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2006
I could rate this higher if Mamet had stayed with his original ending, rather than going for the standard "Mamet-bait-and-switch" trick.
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2012
Passable but disappointing considering that this is Mamet and he has a high wattage of acting power behind him. Snoozy and lethargic at times. Witty in others. Inconsistent.
Super Reviewer
August 18, 2010
A lot of the plot (with the exception of the sexual elements of course), would fit nicely into a Preston Struges satire from the 40s. That kind of zany energy and very on the nose commentary strangely works with Mamet's oddball comedic style and dialogue. Hoffman and Pidgeon are such an unlikely yet wonderful romantic pairing.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2009
It was alright, but it was eriously in need of some fine tuning.
Super Reviewer
September 1, 2011
Starts off with lots of potential, but falls short in the last couple acts.
Super Reviewer
½ January 28, 2008
Good ensemble comedy.
iLeo
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2007
Brilliant!
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2006
one of the 10 worst movies EVER. Even if Julia Stiles begged me to see it again I dont think I could bring myself to do it.
½ November 13, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
September 27, 2007
Between a 7/10 and 8/10, this is probably the funniest Mamet piece to date (but not the weightiest), and it might be destined to take a seat alongside "The Player" and "Sunset Boulevard" in the front row of movieland satires.
August 17, 2012
As usual, David Mamet's writing talents are fully on display here and the characters are more than fun to watch as performed by the cast, but its very selective in what pieces of the puzzle are entertaining and which just feel like filler for an ensemble piece. Its watchable and likable, but doesn't stand to the test of multiple viewings.
January 18, 2012
Decent enough quirky comedy about a Hollywood shoot in a small town. The cast is good even if the plot and some of the jokes don't always feel quite right. But it is hard to find fault in a movie that tries, has such a great ensemble cast, and manages to be be funny (even if it isn't all the time). I would say it is only for the crowd that enjoys quirky comedies.
December 26, 2011
Ten years ago today, I saw State and Main at the now defunct Siegen Village 10 in the 7:00 hour in the "Saving Grace room".
½ September 12, 2011
"Shoot first, ask questions later."

Director David Mamet (Heist, House Of Games) helmed State And Main, and did one hell of a job with this wickedly humorous and snappy slapstick comedy. It's funny as hell from the first scene to the last and filled with Mamet's trademark "Mamet Speak" dialogue and nonstop endless wit. It's stylish, smart, flashy, fun, romantic, sharp, witty, slick and fresh, something that the entire family can enjoy on movie night. A movie about a movie, it doesn't get much better than that. State And Main was a bit of a change of pace for David Mamet, whom normally sticks to brain-bending psychological dramas and reality shifting thrillers like, "The Spanish Prisoner" and "Heist". He's just one of the Directors who just can't seem to miss, he hits the ball out of the park with every film that he writes and directs. One of my personal favorite Director's adds another great film to his very impressive resume. Jam-packed with one-liner galore, razor-sharp storytelling, ultra-snappy dialogue, compelling romance, unending laughs, nonstop randomness and most of all excellent performances.
The cast is epic, and the performances are all great. William H. Macy and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are standouts, these two made the film in my opinion. Other great performances in the film are seen from Julia Stiles, Alec Baldwin, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Paymer an Rebecca Pidgeon. It's worth watching for the sheer amount of talent involved in the casting. Great film. Great comedy.
April 22, 2011
Having seen over a dozen Mamet-written films now, I have certain expectations when I slide one into my DVD player. I anticipate a little bit of overly-timed dialogue and awkward acting. But I also expect great wit from the writing, a complex and layered plot, and I expect to be surprised multiple times. It's difficult to enjoy film after film from the same screenwriter and director once your expectations are so high.

Take the Coen brothers for example. They have created three of the greatest movies I have ever seen, two of which I would venture to say are flawless films. So when they make a movie like "True Grit," which by any other director might be a masterpiece, I can't help but be disappointed. I know they're capable of transcendent films.

Something similar is true of David Mamet. I've cherished "Glengarry Glen Ross" since I was old enough to see it. I could probably recite most of it from memory right now if I tried. I know how brilliant of a writer he can be. So movies like "Edmond" and "House of Games," movies that don't quite meet greatness but might be great in someone else's canon, are again disappointing.

All that said, "State and Main" might be one of the former brilliant films. It delivers everything I'd hoped for from a Mamet movie yet so much more. The lines are smart, one after the other, and they just feel right. Even those that trail off. As Bob Barringer (Alec Baldwin) passes the phone to the director (William H Macy), Bob says, "Here. He wants to talk about..." The director takes the phone and says into the receiver, "I'll call you right back" and hangs up. We never find out what the man on the other end wants to talk about. And it doesn't matter; it makes the moment so authentic I can hardly accept I'm watching a film.

These little moments make up the fabric of "State and Main," they're everywhere. They overlap and intertwine until they've constructed a dynamic, hilarious film with many sustained character arcs.

The acting is almost across the board impeccable. This includes the usually lowly Sarah Jessica Parker, who is not only good-looking in this film, but shows a glimpse of the SJP we might have known: a serious, smart actress. Instead we've lost her to high heels and big-budget stupidity.

"State and Main" is essentially about about big city (immoral) folk finding a place in-- or trashing-- the small town folks (moral). The overriding purity theme borders on pushing the film into meta territory, but doesn't quite break the plane as much as to cause an actor to wink at the camera, which I believe is a good thing. So it's a standard setup, but the conflicts that flourish in the film cause consistent and rising tension, along with a great deal of funny moments. If you like Mamet, you will like State and Main. It shows a "lighter" side of a usually very dark and serious writer.
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