State of Play - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

State of Play Reviews

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½ September 19, 2017
Watch this the first time last night decent movie a good Tuesday night at home flick !
September 2, 2017
State of Play manages to generate some decent thrills with a few believable performances. Other than that, a pretty formulaic political thriller
½ June 17, 2017
run of the mill thriller
May 26, 2017
Favorite political, journalistic thriller. Great cast. Great pace and colour, Great music. I love this movie and have seen it like 5 times now.
April 28, 2017
Far from a classic edge of the seat thriller but watchable none the less.
½ March 3, 2017
Personally realized I love investigative journalism films and this was an excellent example. Spotlight, All the President's Men come to mind. The acting was stellar, the tension thick.
March 3, 2017
An edgy political thriller that offers a nostalgic eulogy to the good old days of print journalism (read All The President's Men), while anticipating its demise.
January 2, 2017
It's good movie to watch
December 13, 2016
A genuinely gripping thriller with an engaging and intriguing story, and a cast who do a good job. The best Russell Crowe has been for a long time.
July 22, 2016
It's kind of hard to follow at points, and has some pacing issues, but overall 'State of Play' is an acceptable mystery thriller, which is helped by good performances from all the main cast.
July 22, 2016
Great movie! don't miss , if you have.
½ July 9, 2016
Robust direction, clever script, well-aimed dialogues, humour, well-shot scenes, very good performances by all, action, and, generally, everything that comprises an excellent political thriller.
June 27, 2016
The 84% rating is questionable.
Super Reviewer
June 20, 2016
Great cast, but it runs out of steam very quickly
June 18, 2016
A boring political drama that is meant to be thrilling but isn't. I found it confusing and poorly made. (First and only viewing - January 2010)
April 13, 2016
I liked a lot the twist. Great dialogue and performances.
March 28, 2016
Its plot is bloated, but Kevin McDonald's "State Of Play" is a solid, well acted political thriller with fine writing and direction.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2016
Not something I usually watch or would even consider watching but I eventually did and although I never found it great I did it get gripped into the story that's full of twists, Some were good, Some were a little confusing, Brilliantly acted by a strong cast that makes the film watchable, It's not a film you could view multiple times but the film itself is clever at times and worth watching if you can get your head around over complicated plot.
February 28, 2016
The rich tradition of a corrupt disillusioned political thriller intertwined with over-the-bounds hard-boiled investigative journalism is a still alive. Think All the Presidents Men, The Killing Fields and The Year of Living Dangerously. Obviously striving to be one of the greats, Sadly for State of Play the stars did not align.

Inspired (and overshadowed) by the BBC's 2003 six-part mini-series, the newly relocated across the Atlantic and compressed to feature length gets off to a strong start.

We follow a young purse snatcher's desperate attempt to flee through grimy back alleys of Washington DC, however once safe he is shot execution style for his troubles and surprisingly so is a passing Pizza delivery boy.

The two murders draw the attention of Washington Globe's old-school investigate reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crow). Cunningly utilizing his easy rapport with familiar cops squeezes out extra information playing games like confirm or deny.

Also in news is the apparent suicide of a congressional aid to rising-star congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) who coincidentally is the college room mate of Cal McAffrey.

When Collins overreacts after being informed of the aide's death, assigned to the case perky and ambitious blogger Dela Frye (Rachel McAdams) overzealously approaches McAffrey for any dirt on his friend.

When the pair are thrown together by The Globe's editor to find the real story behind what happened with Collins and the intern, pieces being to start aligning the two journalists seemingly unrelated cases.
In an attempt not to give away too much of the interweaving plot threads, here are some of the basics. McAffrey has previously bedded his friend Congressman Collins wife Anne (Robyn Wright Penn), Collins flagship case is centered around one companies dealing with privatizing homeland security and McAffrey illegal ideas of interrogation cross the line between journalist and detective (but in films like these no one ever remembers to look at the lines)

The story, although cleverly done is awfully stereotypical and predictable. From the start it is clear as to which direction you will be taken and if you observe the characters interactions in the first 20 minutes there is no more intrigue.

Noticeably the second choice picks of soft-around-the-waste unkempt Crow and polished wet-behind-the-ears Affleck only half worked (initially Brad Pitt and Edward Norton respectively). Jeff Daniels short performance as one of Collins' advisers is strained, and Jason Batemans cocaine addicted PR smart ass routine is overdone.

Mirren's sex changed character originally played by the wonderful Bill Nighly has certain unresponsiveness delivering obviously male orientated lines and the grossly under utilized talents of Robyn Wright Penn and clichéd idealistic character by Rachel McAdams simply leaves the film lacking.

The Verdict: The lack of stomach-clenching tension is clear; the filmmaker's inability to adapt a tight script and the actor's fruitless attempt to salvage what is left leaves the conclusion that this type of film unless made properly should be remembered as the style of the 80's, it just doesn't cut it anymore.

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 05/06/2009
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