Universal Pictures | Release Date: April 17, 2009
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 147 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
114
Mixed:
31
Negative:
2
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5
JimFApr 18, 2009
The tension in the newsroom in "State of Play" between the traditional print edition and the online-bottom-line present provides an interesting backdrop for this generally taut, well-directed drama, and the tantalizing suggestion of The tension in the newsroom in "State of Play" between the traditional print edition and the online-bottom-line present provides an interesting backdrop for this generally taut, well-directed drama, and the tantalizing suggestion of post-9/11 conspiracies within the government is potentially provocative. But, unfortunately, the film doesn't follow through on its promise, and the drama eventually devolves into a denouement that looks like it was fabricated by the "Warren Commission"-like agency in Alan Pakula's "The Parallax View". Also, having Ben Affleck's character's fling with an underage girl punished at the end doesn't work as well if Russell Crowe's character is implicitly hitting on a girl (Rachel McAdams) young enough to be his daughter. So much for high-mindedness. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
5
SteveJul 31, 2009
Ninety-five percent of this movie is a smart, engrossing, well-acted thriller. I wasn't crazy about how it was shot -- too much washed out color and hand-held camera for this type of story -- but the script was tight and the Ninety-five percent of this movie is a smart, engrossing, well-acted thriller. I wasn't crazy about how it was shot -- too much washed out color and hand-held camera for this type of story -- but the script was tight and the performances good. Then came the ending. Without giving away what happens, let me just say that it's hard to imagine how a film this big makes it through all the studio execs and test screenings without somebody realizing that the ending simply doesn't make sense. I spent a good amount of time trying to go back through the events and figure out how the various characters knew what they supposedly did, but it doesn't come together. Then I went online and found that it doesn't make sense to anyone else either. It's really too bad, because this could have been a great movie if they'd just left it alone. It didn't even need the extra twist which wound up killing the overall experience. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
4
cameronmorewoodNov 8, 2012
State of Play is a sloppy, incoherent thriller that's too long and seems to forget the fact the its playing to an audience, and rather just drones on.
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5
NormaSApr 18, 2009
It's like they took the original mini-series and accidentally washed it in the pocket of a pair of jeans. Rachel McAdams is operating at her usual old-style-Hollywood level of charisma, but Russell Crowe plays Cal as a cartoon, not as a It's like they took the original mini-series and accidentally washed it in the pocket of a pair of jeans. Rachel McAdams is operating at her usual old-style-Hollywood level of charisma, but Russell Crowe plays Cal as a cartoon, not as a character. And it may be crass to speak thus of the Queen herself, but I liked Bill Nighey better when he was being played by Bill Nighey, not by a watered-down Helen Mirren. I guess you know you're in trouble when the most convincing acting in a film comes from Ben Affleck. Watch the original mini: this is nothing but Cliff's Notes by comparison. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
FirstianA.Sep 11, 2009
It's too long story... the twist is just predicted by half the film. The plot was to slow, no heart beating, no adrenaline paced. 2 hours of boring film, I almost sleep while seeing.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
EliasCSep 23, 2009
"State of Play' is an American adaptation of a BBC 6 hour mini-series. Hollywood should have left well enough alone. Although the performances of Crowe and Afleck are very good, This version of 'State of Play' is no 'All "State of Play' is an American adaptation of a BBC 6 hour mini-series. Hollywood should have left well enough alone. Although the performances of Crowe and Afleck are very good, This version of 'State of Play' is no 'All the President's Men' which it tries at times to emulate. The film unsuccessfully tries to be an adult political thriller. It fails miserably. There is enough of an interesting plot in tis verion that I want to watch the original BBC production. I can only hope that it does not have the same off-the-wall, illogical, and dumb ending, or if it does, that the explanation and logic behind the ending is more understandable than this lame thriller. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
LennyM.Sep 4, 2009
Not a good movie, the story was ok, but the acting was horriable. Russell crowe and bEn should never ever ever do a movie again.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
KellyFApr 19, 2009
I thought that the plot should've created more tension and intrigue, but only found predictable scenes and near boredom. I Can't recall when I looked at my watch so many times during a movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
warfieldJul 15, 2011
A disapointment. Casting mistakes. See the orignal: the British TV show. American version might have been better if done in 6 episodes on cable network
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6
LevelsAndGearDec 27, 2011
"State Of Play" one line review!

Just saw "State of Play". Fairly slow, well acted, ok script. It was above average. Worth seeing, but probably forgettable in the long run.
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6
beingryanjudeSep 1, 2014
A political thriller with all of the right needs: dependable leads (Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams), an interesting script and taunting direction from Kevin Macdonald.
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6
ypomoniJul 5, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A good plot, even though not exactly original, with enough twists and turns to keep you watching without making your head spin. Based on a 5 hour BBC mini-series of the same name, and obviously having to omit a lot to condense into a film, you do not feel like there are unexplained aspects to the story by the end of it.
Kudos to all the actors involved. Crowe carries the film a last minute replacement for Pitt, you get the feeling that this would have been an entirely different film if Pitt were involved. Crowe is excellent as the scruffy, truth-seeking newspaper journalist. McAdams puts on a good performance as the young, talented, somewhat naive and yet ballsy, eager-to-learn newspaper blogger. Mirren is, as always, a treat to watch. Bateman's performance as a bisexual, sleazy "P.R" man is amazing. Why, even Afflect, as congressman Collins, is surprisingly good in this film! I've heard various comments about his performance here, but honestly this was a difficult role to play (many emotional aspects) and he delivered.
The pace of the movie was just right, up to the last minute, where the climatic ending you were probably waiting for never comes, and everything wraps up in a rather anti-climatic way. Still, Crowe typing away as the whole newsroom peer over his head, seems like a befitting ending. The truth has been told. Now it's up to the public to read about, in what appears to be the dying age of the newspaper.
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6
juliankennedy23Oct 26, 2014
State of Play: 6 out of 10: State of Play is two hour plus big budget thriller without one memorable scene and only one memorable performance. The memorable performance is Helen Mirren who brightens up the screen whenever she appears. TheState of Play: 6 out of 10: State of Play is two hour plus big budget thriller without one memorable scene and only one memorable performance. The memorable performance is Helen Mirren who brightens up the screen whenever she appears. The rest of the performances are more stereotypes than individual characters.

Russell Crowe plays a reporter for a Washington Post stand-in. He looks and act like the stereotypical beat reporter. His best friend is Congressman Ben Affleck who is your standard movie congressional representative (Noble but battling demons.) He is caught in an affair with a now dead staffer and his best friend is on the case. Tagging along with Crowe is neophyte cub reporter Rachel McAdams who Jimmy Olsens it up despite the fact she is a lead blogger at a major national newspaper. Robin Wright Penn plays Affleck’s cuckolded wife and seems to be in a different movie than the rest of the cast.

Mirren is the newspapers publisher and gets the films best lines, which she dishes, with aplomb. Everyone else seems to be playing along at half speed. For a thriller there is a strange lack of action or tension. The twists seemed preordained and the characters behave exactly as they are programmed.

The film certainly has star power and a big budget but it simply does not seem to know what to do with it. Part of the problem is that it is condensed from a 2003 British mini-series of the same name. Condensing the 300 minutes of plot into 120 or so minutes leaves little room for character development or nuance. The players seem to be quickly checking of plot boxes.

The films other big problem is that it is a overwrought love letter to the newspaper business, including groan worthy dialogue about the magnanimous printed fourth estate and an end title sequence that can only be described as porn for publishers.

Somewhat entertaining and yet eminently forgettable State of Play is worth a look. Just do not expect that good a time.
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