Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 100
    You may want to revisit this profanely hilarious Hollywood satire. . .just to catch the zingers the audience often drowns out with laughter. Hollywood corrupts absolutely, and Mamet turns the toxic process into the year's best and smartest comedy.
  2. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    100
    Writer/director David Mamet, who's built a career in both theater and film by being a hyper-manly sort of writer, has crafted a film that is laugh out loud funny and dinner-conversation smart.
  3. 91
    Bouncing giddily from subplot to subplot and wisecrack to wisecrack, Mamet and company (and this is one of the truest ensemble works in years) satirize the slippery morals of the film racket and the surface-only decency of small town America.
  4. A quintessentially wised-up insider comedy, ideally cast and filled with sharp writing from start to finish.
  5. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    90
    A bona fide populist laugh riot.
  6. 88
    Hilarious sweet and sour David Mamet comedy.
  7. A snarling satire of Hollywood single-mindedness and its lack of any moral underpinning.
  8. 80
    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.
  9. Relentlessly funny satire.
  10. I laughed a lot at the anti-Hollywood humor and generally had a fine time, in spite of the holier-than-thou hypocrisy that makes this movie easily and even intentionally Mamet's most Hollywoodish picture to date.
  11. Mamet does a shrewdly skillful job with these Tinseltown terrors.
  12. 75
    It's Mamet in a lighthearted mood, playing with dialogue, repeating phrases just because he likes them, and supplying us with a closing line that achieves, I think, a kind of greatness.
  13. Mamet's screenplay is full of savvy satire and the cast couldn't be better.
  14. 75
    A surfeit of farce and fast-talking makes up for a lack of plot.
  15. His (Mamet) direction is unobtrusive, unflashy, and always willing to allow the hilarious cast all the room it needs.
  16. Mamet finds an angle just new enough to be fresh.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    As close as anything could be to a light Mamet comedy.
  18. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    Good clean dirty fun.
  19. 70
    Mamet's jabs at Tinseltown's silken ruthlessness are quietly pointed, and the ensemble cast -- even the brittle and sometimes annoying Pidgeon (Mamet's wife) -- is brilliant.
  20. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    63
    Mamet's movie has its moments of wit and warmth, but here he's mostly behind, not ahead of, the curve.
  21. 60
    At its best, State and Main is fast and sharp, but when a movie like this goes off the rails, it's more disappointing than when a bad movie does.
  22. 58
    For all its wit and sharp casting, State and Main is way too pleased with itself to be funny or endearing.
  23. 50
    State and Main is a Hollywood satire as cynical and thickheaded as its supposed targets.
  24. A surprisingly unpolished piece of work that plays as though it were written for the stage and only slightly modified for the screen.

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