State of Play - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

State of Play Reviews

Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Wally Hammond
Time Out
April 24, 2009
Despite the clichéd nature of much of the dialogue and the derivative thriller set-ups, 'State of Play' provides sufficient old-fashioned entertainment value to justify the ticket.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
April 20, 2009
The three screenwriters may have been trying to work too many plot strands into two hours; in any case, State of Play is both overstuffed and inconclusive.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 20, 2009
It's sentimental in all the right ways.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
April 20, 2009
As a former reporter and a fervent believer that we need good, independent newspapers to do their jobs keeping government and business in check, I think they got the journalism right.
Top Critic
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
April 20, 2009
I want to see more films like this.
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
April 17, 2009
A meandering movie that sometimes hits dead center and sometimes misfires dismally, resulting in a drama more tangled than taut.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
April 17, 2009
It's a film in a hurry. In the scant minutes between plot twists, we get treated to bite-size nuggets of character development and a few juicy nibbles of acting from a cast almost universally committed to going large.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
April 17, 2009
Giving new meaning to movie magic, those Hollywood tricksters have managed to shorten the story while slowing the pace -- all of a sudden, minutes are passing like hours.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
April 17, 2009
This rote paranoid thriller was adapted from a 2003 BBC miniseries, with a few topical headlines folded in and some cursory attempts to make newspapers seem au courant.
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
April 17, 2009
State of Play is bordered by the states of absurdity and cliché.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 17, 2009
Holds together in proper, conspiracy-thriller style, providing general audiences with a few good surprises and some crackling performances.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
April 17, 2009
State of Play makes you wonder where we'll be in a decade; more importantly, it makes you wonder where we are now.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
April 17, 2009
State of Play does get a little creaky in its last third -- at that point it needs to be more streamlined, more concise. But Macdonald and the screenwriters manage to weave their ideas through a sturdy-enough plot, so we never feel we're being preached to
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
April 17, 2009
This conspiracy thriller, starring Russell Crowe as an investigative newspaper reporter and Helen Mirren as his fire/ice editor, comes at us like the proverbial bat out of hell and keeps up a brisk rhythm built for intelligence.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
April 17, 2009
For about 115 minutes, State of Play tells an alarming, tightly constructed story, with serious things to say about journalism and the state of the country.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Christopher Kelly
Dallas Morning News
April 17, 2009
The movie doesn't quite work, but even when it's misfiring it has an old-fashioned appeal.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
April 17, 2009
For a handy compare-and-contrast, check out the small- and big-screen versions of State of Play. You'll see the difference between a vital work of popular art and a patched-up retread.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
April 17, 2009
The chance to explore the swiftly changing culture of Web-age journalism is one of several intriguing possibilities that State of Play squanders.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 17, 2009
Directed by Kevin Macdonald, it's a capable if convoluted 'B' movie about government corruption, with an 'A' cast furiously pounding the pavement and keyboard.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
April 17, 2009
[A] film that has spent an hour and forty-five minutes puffing itself into a battle for the Soul of American Democracy feebly hisses its way to a deflated conclusion.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 17, 2009
The kind of acting Crowe does here won't win awards and doesn't scream for attention. Yet it serves the thriller conventions as well as the old-warrior-journalist cliches in style.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 16, 2009
State of Play keeps the twists coming.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 16, 2009
A busy thriller that moves between the worlds of newspapers and politics, Kevin Macdonald's State of Play zips along smoothly.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 16, 2009
Though it is a well-crafted political thriller, State of Play may actually have more to say about the beleaguered state of print journalism than about governmental shenanigans.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
April 16, 2009
Based on a hit BBC miniseries, State of Play features a handsome production and terrific performances from its aforementioned stars.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
April 16, 2009
It's a pleasure watching this cast make the most of the material.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 16, 2009
The journalist in me loved State of Play. The moviegoer in me even more so.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
April 16, 2009
It's Bateman who adds juice just as too many conspiracies threaten to spoil the stew. His cameo as a hustling scuzzball is the film's most memorable performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 16, 2009
A solidly constructed thriller that recalls the paranoid conspiracies of the 1970s.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
April 16, 2009
Though solidly plotted and executed all around, the film feels like a quaint relic from another era, aping the form of journalistic thrillers like All The President's Men while missing much of their urgency.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
April 16, 2009
Instead of luring us down an ever-darker and twistier path, it strands us in a tedious and ill-designed maze.
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly
April 16, 2009
An unrepentantly mature suspense flick; there're no jokes, no breasts and no explosions. Even as the secrets spill out, the sense is of a world compressing, not unraveling.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
April 16, 2009
You've seen it all before, including the paunch Russell Crowe sported in Body of Lies, but with one exception: One intrepid reporter here is a blogger.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 16, 2009
Crowe turns in a strong performance as the conflicted McAffrey. McAdams is equally convincing as Frye, who gets a quick education in journalistic basics.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
April 16, 2009
Its depiction of a newsroom is so realistic you'll be surprised to learn the scenes were filmed on a set.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 16, 2009
A smart, ingenious thriller set in the halls of Congress and the city room of a newspaper not unlike the Washington Post.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
April 15, 2009
The resulting tale unfolds with an urgency and sense of verisimilitude that will keep most viewers intrigued and involved without losing many along the way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
April 15, 2009
[An] excitingly twisty and topical new politics-and-media conspiracy thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 15, 2009
As dense as a Watergate era newspaper and as immediate as a blog, State of Play is an absolutely riveting state-of-the-art "big conspiracy" thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
April 15, 2009
State of Play, based on the outstanding British television series, is a first-rate political thriller, but it's also something more.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
April 15, 2009
State of Play is the latest incoherently written, mass-entertainment gibberish by the overrated Tony Gilroy.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
April 15, 2009
It is Mr. Crowe who lends State of Play a sense of perpetual urgency as he traverses the corridors of power in search of massive wrongdoing at the risk of his own life.
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
April 14, 2009
An effectively involving journalism-cum-conspiracy yarn with a bang-bang opening and a frantic closer.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 14, 2009
Despite the quaint depiction of a packed newsroom bustling with activity, the debates about quick online hits vs. hard-hitting investigations, between selling papers with fluff vs. offering actual substance, feel relevant and real.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
April 14, 2009
There is nothing we haven't seen here before in terms of chases, intrigue and betrayals, so for all its A-list cast and production values, the film comes off as routine.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
April 14, 2009
This efficient, admirably coherent thriller about reporters digging down to where politics and murder meet in Washington, D.C., has a wistful air about it as regards the fourth estate at a time when the profession is dangling by a thread.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 13, 2009
It's like a time bomb that's never dismantled but never explodes. The movie is good enough that the ending leaves you ... not angry, exactly. Unfulfilled.