Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 99 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: 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. McAffrey has the dubious fortune of both an old friendship with Collins and a ruthless editor, Cameron, who has assigned him to investigate. As he and partner Della try to uncover the killer's identity, McAffrey steps into a cover-up that threatens to shake the nation's power structures. And in a town of spin-doctors and wealthy politicos, he will discover one truth: when billions are at stake, no one's integrity, love or life is ever safe. (Universal Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Rob Calvert
    This is a smart script. There is a wealth of twists, but none of them have to beat you over the head.
  2. Reviewed by: 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.
  3. Reviewed by: 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 67
    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.
  6. 60
    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.
  7. 0
    State of Play is bordered by the states of absurdity and cliché.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. CRL
    Jul 26, 2011
    This movie is exceptional, and even with its crazy twists it manages to entertain and mystify for its entire running time. The characters are amazingly acted, and most of them knock 'real' straight out of the ballpark, while Russell Crowe delivers an Oscar-worthy performance. Well-written and executed on all fronts, State of Play is a movie I will definitely come back to time and time again. Expand
  2. Sep 23, 2010
    Very good movie. Some incredible performances by Russel Crowe and Rachel McAdams, plus a complex and interesting story, make this one of the best movies of this genre i've seen. Expand
  3. Mar 22, 2011
    Sensational film based upon the BBC series of the same name. Russell Crowe is magnificent as journalist Cal McCaffrey while Ben Affleck is convincing as congressman Stephen Collins. The supporting cast are incredible also with Helen Mirren as a ruthless head editor and Rachel McAdams as rookie, up and coming Della Frye. State of Play focuses upon Stephen Collins (Affleck) a rising star of his political party until his lead researcher Sonya Baker is murdered. Her death leads to lies, conspiracies and secrets spilling out. Investigative journalist Cal McCaffrey is old friends with Collins and is handed the story by his ruthless editor Cameron (Helen Mirren) Cal and his partner Della find themselves involved in a cover-up that threatens to shake up America's power structure. They soon discover that with billions of dollars at state no ones life is ever safe. A very well written script by Billy Ray, directed brilliantly by Kevin McDonald State of Play is a political thriller you simply cannot afford to miss! Collapse
  4. Apr 30, 2011
    I think it's gonna be great political thriller if still 'keep low'. State of Play deliver slow-paced, twist and well-acted but I think a little cliche. Expand
  5. Nov 16, 2013
    State of Play is a fresh concept.
    The acting is decent, but the script is exceptional. Well paced, well directed and extremely entertaining.
    The characters are all humanized with their own personalities, and flaws making them all feel real. A very good thriller, a few plot holes here and there, but nothing easily noticeable. Expand
  6. Jul 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.
  7. Nov 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.

See all 35 User Reviews