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State of Play

Mystery . Drama . Crime . Action

Handsome, unflappable U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins is the future of his political party: an honorable appointee who serves as the chairman of a committee overseeing defense spending. All eyes are upon the rising star to be his party's contender for the upcoming presidential race. Until his research assistant/mistress is brutally murdered and buried secrets come tumbling out.

Actors: Josh Mostel , Harry Lennix , Michael Berresse , Jeff Daniels , Jason Bateman , Robin Wright , Helen Mirren , Rachel McAdams , Ben Affleck , Russell Crowe
Directors: Kevin Macdonald
Country: USA , UK , FRANCE
Release: 2009-04-17
More Info:
  • Rob Calvert

    This is a smart script. There is a wealth of twists, but none of them have to beat you over the head.

    Premiere Full Review
  • Chris Kaltenbach

    Nothing is as it seems in State of Play, a crackerjack political thriller in which no individual, profession or institution gets away clean.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Spins a thorny tale of political corruption laced with personal sleaze.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Acting-wise, the showstopper is Jason Bateman, with a diabolically entertaining turn as a smarmy PR man remarkably free with confidential information.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Jason Buchanan

    A rare treat for cinema lovers starved for the days when scruffy newspaper reporters fearlessly sniffed out corruption, State of Play delivers the kind of conspiratorial thrills that would have made Pakula proud.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    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.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Until State of Play slips into its small cascade of improbabilities near its end, it proves a thoroughly engaging and professional enterprise.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Scott Mendelson

    It is a refreshingly traditional star-driven thriller.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Dan Jolin

    Once you get over the unlikelihood of Affleck and Crowe as buddies, State Of Play stands as a sterling thriller, benefiting from admirable convictions and an arguable return to form by Russell Crowe.

    Empire Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    An intelligent adult thriller about the death of newspapers. Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Affleck may strike you as off-putting at first, hitting wrong emotional notes, but hang on. State of Play keeps the twists coming.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    The movie never quite attains altitude. It has a great takeoff, levels nicely, and then seems to land on autopilot. Maybe it's the problem of resolving so much plot in a finite length of time, but it seems a little too facile toward the end.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    State of Play isn't a kinetic fireball like the second or third "Bourne" installment; like its protagonist, it's defiantly old school, "Three Days of the Condor" bleeding into "All the President's Men."

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    Co-written by Tony Gilroy, who penned the tricky "Michael Clayton" and the even trickier "Duplicity," State of Play displays its savvy without being quite so showy.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    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. The movie appears to be all but over - and likely to stand as one of the best films of 2009. And then the filmmakers add one last embellishment, and they blow it.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Intelligent and engrossing saga.

    USA Today Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    There's no question that State of Play feels a little rushed and the density of plot can be daunting, but 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.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    State of Play is far from a great movie, but it's sentimental in all the right ways.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    The result is a paper-thin alliance between the old-school Cal and the new-media Della. Crowe, husky and whisky-voiced, is warm amidst all the plot mechanics, and McAdams, perky and efficient, is a smart foil for him.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    In the end, though, it's Crowe who must carry the most freight, which he does with another characterization to relish. Still bulky, although not as much so as in "Body of Lies," long-tressed and somewhat grizzled, he finds the gist of the affable eccentricity, natural obsessiveness and mainstream contrarianism that marks many professional journalists.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Features a handsome production and terrific performances.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    It neither embarrasses the original, nor is superior to it in any way.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Though solidly plotted and executed all around, the film, too, 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.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    The overall lack of subtlety is a riot - there's even a cautionary production of "Peter and the Wolf" happening in the background during one journalist-politician showdown at a Beltway gala. Still, it's a pleasure watching this cast make the most of the material.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    It's tricky, it's surprising, and it's largely faithful to the original mini-series, but in context it's a nonevent. 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.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    An effectively involving journalism-cum-conspiracy yarn with a bang-bang opening and a frantic closer.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Denby

    Crowe has an animal quickness and sensitivity, a threatening way of penetrating what someone is up to, a feeling for weakness in friends as well as opponents. He seems every inch a great journalist; it's not his fault that the filmmakers let the big story slip through their fingers.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Kirk Honeycutt

    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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    Those Hollywood tricksters have managed to shorten the story while slowing the pace -- all of a sudden, minutes are passing like hours.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Somehow when State of Play should be at its stomach-clenching best, the tension simply evaporates.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    After a bracing first hour, State of Play defaults on the most basic promise of the conspiracy thriller. Instead of luring us down an ever-darker and twistier path, it strands us in a tedious and ill-designed maze.

    Slate Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    The film's director, Kevin Macdonald, who did "The Last King of Scotland," is not a flair fellow. The chase scenes interpolated into this version have no special oomph; the encounters no residual kick. Paging Ridley Scott? Oh, sorry, too late. So there it is: another film that can't compete with a TV show.

    Time Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    This manages to make the real seem generic, rather than the other way around.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    A superficially clever, self-important and finally incoherent thriller.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    There's simply too much stuff for a two-hour feature, and three writers, including Tony Gilroy, haven't figured out how to boil it down into a readily comprehensible narrative, or how to solve the problem of an ending that goes blah rather than bang.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    State of Play is bordered by the states of absurdity and cliché.

    New York Post Full Review
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