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Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright ... see more see more... , Jason Bateman , Jeff Daniels , Michael Berresse , Harry J. Lennix , Josh Mostel , Michael Weston , Barry Shabaka Henley , Viola Davis , David Harbour , Sarah Lord , Tuck Milligan , Stephen Park , Brennan Brown , Maria Thayer , Wendy Makkena , Zoe Lister Jones , Michael Jace , Rob Benedict , Ladell Preston

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 ... read more read more...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. D.C. reporter Cal McCaffrey has the dubious fortune of both an old friendship with Collins and a ruthless editor, Cameron, who has assigned him to investigate the murder. As he and partner Della try to uncover the killer's identity, McCaffrey 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.

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73% liked it

123,095 ratings


84% liked it

205 critics

DVD Release Date: September 1, 2009

Stats: 8,862 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (8,862)

  • May 17, 2014
  • July 1, 2012
    "You're just seeking the truth. You're a truth seeker. You can't help it, that is just who you are."

    A team of investigative reporters work alongside a police detective to try to solve the murder of a congressman's mistress.

    ... read morek">REVIEW
    "State of Play," directed by Kevin Macdonald, is a smart, topical political thriller whose cast of characters includes a congressional aide who dies under mysterious circumstances; a scandal-plagued Capitol Hill legislator; a seasoned reporter for a mainstream newspaper; an unseasoned cub reporter for that same paper's on-line blog; and a Blackwater-type quasi-military organization that will seemingly stop at nothing, even murder, in its effort to privatize the War on Terror for power and profit.

    Ben Affleck is the congressman from Pennsylvania whose affair with the murdered woman threatens to bring to light some serious behind-the scenes skullduggery on the part of the company that is currently under investigation by Affleck's committee for alleged acts of brutality and terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Russell Crowe is the journalist for the fictional "Washington Globe" who's investigating the case even though his lifelong friendship with both the congressman and the congressman's beautiful but long-suffering wife (Robin Penn Wright) may represent a major conflict-of-interest for the paper. Rachel McAdams is the wet-behind-the-ears blog reporter who joins Crowe in his investigation, and Helen Mirren is the no-nonsense editor-in-chief responsible for making sure that the two mutually antagonistic reporters work in tandem, rather than at cross purposes, in their effort to get the story. The script (based on a six-part British series) is complex but relatively easy to follow as it deftly twists and turns its way to its irony-drenched conclusion. As a sidebar, the movie examines how compromise has become the order of the day in journalism, now that an ever-dwindling number of "legitimate" newspapers are being forced to compete with sensationalistic tabloids and blogs for readership and revenue. A film for thinking adults.
  • March 30, 2012
    State of Play is a good political thriller with twists coming at you when you least expect them. Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn were absolutely fantastic in this film. They carry the film through some implausible plot twists which... read more left me somewhat confused, but somehow, the film always made sure the audience was following along. They'd stop and say "OK what've we got so far?". Some times the story just felt rushed, like they were making an effort to keep the audience in the loop, but wanting to keep the pace up and complicate the story a bit more.... The script is very intelligent and well-written, and the direction by Kevin MacDonald was good as well. Overall, State of Play left me in a mild state of confusion, but in the end, it all made sense, and kept me involved (even a little breathless at times).
  • March 9, 2012
    "State of Play". A very similar movie to this is "Body of Lies"... it also stars Russell Crowe! They are very similar like this: "State of Play" was engaging and brings the audience through the plot. We become interested in what will happen... but there is almost 0 character deve... read morelopment. We are uninterested in what happens to the characters. Don't get me wrong, this movie was a fun time... but what else could we say? "State of Play" does not stick in our minds and the plot doesn't carry enough emotional weight for it to be an issue that we would stress over in real life. I liked it, but didn't love this movie.
  • January 7, 2012
    A mediocre political thriller. Unless you're a fan of this genre, you're not missing much. The acting is good but the pacing is awkward and rushed. A very decent film.
  • October 25, 2011
    This movie is great. Excellent plot, excellent cast, excellent directing. Russell Crowe plays his part perfectly, as do fellow actors Ben Affleck, Rachel Mcadams, and Hellen Mirren. If one is just looking for an action-filled, mindless thriller, this is not the movie. State of Pl... read moreay is a thinking movie, for those in the audience who like to use their brain during the film. It's a mind game with great twists and brilliant ending. Obviously, all who took part in it, gave this movie some thought.
  • October 15, 2011
    My predicted rating: 3.5

    The U.S remake of a British Drama Series, told with a realistic edge and great performances all around, Russell Crowe gives a show stealing performance.

    A story of Political conspiracy, friendship, murder, loyalty and power. A fast paced story with ma... read moreny twists and turns.
  • September 9, 2011
    I don't think I've enjoyed a Russell Crowe performance as much as this so far in his career. It's nothing like the BBC series, which is a good thing, as I didn't think much of it. Kevin Macdonald is a diverse director too, certainly not a one trick pony, he's just as good at thri... read morellers as he is at documentaries!
  • August 15, 2011
    A amazing crime thriller. First thing you need to know the acting in this movie was great, but I found Afflecks performance the most powerful. The plot was understandable and well crafted. There is no action in this movie so don't be expecting ANY gun fights or car chases, jus... read moret a simple crime movie. This movie had me smiling at the end it was so good, makes me mad it wasn't a bigger hit at the box office.
  • August 12, 2011
    Smart, exciting and well-paced political thriller! Nice turn of events and a very intriguing plotline (although I'll admit that a lot of it went over my head). Great music score as well, which helped boosting the already high suspense. The kind of movie that proves you don't need... read more a bunch of explosions or car chases to keep things interesting. Because although the action scenes are few in number, it never once got boring. Mainly thanks to the superbly written script, and the great lead actors. Even Ben Affleck, whom I normally dislike for his banal acting, pulls off a pretty good performance. Definitely one of the best films of its kind that I've seen in recent years.

Critic Reviews

Wally Hammond
April 24, 2009
Wally Hammond, Time Out

Despite the clichéd nature of much of the dialogue and the derivative thriller set-ups, 'State of Play' provides sufficient old-fashioned entertainment value to justify the ticket. Full Review

David Denby
April 20, 2009
David Denby, New Yorker

The three screenwriters may have been trying to work too many plot strands into two hours; in any case, State of Play is both overstuffed and inconclusive. Full Review

Peter Rainer
April 20, 2009
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

It's sentimental in all the right ways. Full Review

Ben Mankiewicz
April 20, 2009
Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies

As a former reporter and a fervent believer that we need good, independent newspapers to do their jobs keeping government and business in check, I think they got the journalism right. Full Review

Ben Lyons
April 20, 2009
Ben Lyons, At the Movies

I want to see more films like this. Full Review

Betsy Sharkey
April 17, 2009
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

A meandering movie that sometimes hits dead center and sometimes misfires dismally, resulting in a drama more tangled than taut. Full Review

Amy Biancolli
April 17, 2009
Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle

It's a film in a hurry. In the scant minutes between plot twists, we get treated to bite-size nuggets of character development and a few juicy nibbles of acting from a cast almost universally committe... Full Review

Rick Groen
April 17, 2009
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

Giving new meaning to movie magic, those Hollywood tricksters have managed to shorten the story while slowing the pace -- all of a sudden, minutes are passing like hours. Full Review

J. R. Jones
April 17, 2009
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader

This rote paranoid thriller was adapted from a 2003 BBC miniseries, with a few topical headlines folded in and some cursory attempts to make newspapers seem au courant. Full Review

Kyle Smith
April 17, 2009
Kyle Smith, New York Post

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

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    • Detective Donald Bell: Whatever you're sellin', I ain't buyin'.
    • Congressman Stephen Collins: You're just seeking the truth. You're a truth seeker. You can't help it, that is just who you are. You're such a hypocrite. You're not interested in me. You come in here, it's all about you and you getting your story. I trusted you. You're my friend! You were supposed to be my friend anyway.
  • Nothing is off the record.
  • Find the truth.
  • Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond) was originally attached to direct, but backed out.

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