State of Play

State of Play

(2009)

This much anticipated remake of the BBC TV series (of the same name), is a political thriller about a team of investigative reporters who work alongside a police detective to solve the murder of a congressman's mistress. ... More

A top notch cast includes Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck and Helen Mirren. If that's not enough to blow your socks off, just look at the impressive bunch of people who made it... Director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) helms a scipt co-authored by Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Ultimatum), Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom) and Billy Ray (Shattered Glass). Shot by Rodrigo Prieto (Brokeback Mountain), produced by Tim Bevan (Atonement). Hide

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Flicks Review

This sophisticated thriller is a throwback to old-fashioned filmmaking. Actors and storyline take priority, technical trickery is non-existent, whilst a myriad of Watergate references reinforce the shadow of history. Wedded to this style are contemporary concerns such as the war on terror and the decline of print media.... More

The A-list names in the lead cast bring convincing performances to their roles, but it’s the supporting players that are the scene-stealers. Helen Mirren is unsurprisingly great as the hard bitten newspaper editor while Jason Bateman is the epitome of cashed-up sleaze. It’s their colourful turns that inject some punch into the clipped, economical storytelling style of the script. That's not to say State of Play doesn’t contain its fair share of plot twists. In fact, it probably contains one twist too many with the finale adding an unnecessary turn to a narrative that already feels complete. It takes some oomph out of what had been a savvy treatment of political conspiracy.

This is a very adult, sophisticated thriller that you’ll either find smartly traditional or quaint and lacking in immediacy. The answer probably lies somewhere in between with this solid but unspectacular example of the genre.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 1 ratings, 1 reviews
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For a die-hard Russell Crowe fan this movie was disappointing. He should have stayed at home and watched the Rabbitohs.

Russell Crowe and Helen Mirren are "over-cast". The roles are too slight. Anyone could have played them. There is no room for their characters to develop or show a range of emotions or even act.

Ben Affleck fitted his part, but there was not much to that either.

All in all, this movie doesn't go anywhere. Not exciting . Not dramatic.
Very littte plot development. Very... More shallow characters.

I will not be adding this to my collection of Russell Crowe movies.Hide


The Press Reviews

84% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • 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. Full Review

  • If you are of a mood for a well-put-together and absorbing thriller, you should not be disappointed. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

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

  • A twisty substantial thriller, faithfully adapted from a standout BBC mini-series. It’s not as exceptional as its source but the changes implemented mostly enhance rather than harm the story. Full Review

  • With such a great story forming the backbone of this, it would have been a travesty to get it wrong. While it lacks the slow build of tension, and the character and relationship texture and back-story that six hours of television has the time and freedom to build, the film manages to condense State of Play into a pretty compelling few hours in the cinema. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

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