State of Play

State of Play

DVD - 2009
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When D.C. reporter Cal McCaffrey is assigned to investigate the murder of an assistant to an up-and-coming politician, he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the nation's power structures. In a town of spin-doctors and wealthy power brokers, he will discover one truth: when fortunes are at stake, no one's integrity, love, or life is safe.

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a
akirakato
Jun 24, 2018

Directed by Kevin Macdonald in 2009 based on the six-part 2003 BBC television serial of the same name, this American political thriller proves into the suspicious death of a congressman's (Ben Affleck) mistress.
It also explores the topical subject of privatization of American Homeland Security.
Although the theme seems intresting, the plot turns out too complicated for the sake of complexity.
It appears too ill-contrived and unrealistic.

u
U_Yongsterz
Jun 18, 2018

"The Last King of Scotland director Kevin McDonald teams with screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan for this American adaptation of the hit British miniseries concerning the suspicious circumstances that set a rising congressman and a dogged reporter on a dangerous collision course. U.S. congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is handsome, unflappable, and ascending the ladder of power with unprecedented speed. He's the future of his political party, and as the chairman of a committee assigned to oversee defense spending, he's got all the right connections. As the presidential race draws near, Washington insiders begin to speculate that Collins will earn his party's nomination for the country's top job. The prospect of Collins becoming president seems less and less likely, however, when his research assistant/mistress is viciously murdered, and some unsavory truths begin to surface. Collins was once a close friend to Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe), now a top reporter in the nation's capital. Assigned the task of investigating Collins by his ruthless editor, Cameron (Oscar winner Helen Mirren), McAffrey recruits fellow reporter Della (Rachel McAdams) in order to track down the truth and identify the killer. But McAffrey has just walked into a cover-up of unprecedented proportions, and in a game where billions of dollars are at stake, life, love, and integrity are luxuries that simply cannot be afforded." ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

"The Last King of Scotland director Kevin McDonald teams with screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan for this American adaptation of the hit British miniseries concerning the suspicious circumstances that set a rising congressman and a dogged reporter on a dangerous collision course. U.S. congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is handsome, unflappable, and ascending the ladder of power with unprecedented speed. He's the future of his political party, and as the chairman of a committee assigned to oversee defense spending, he's got all the right connections. As the presidential race draws near, Washington insiders begin to speculate that Collins will earn his party's nomination for the country's top job. The prospect of Collins becoming president seems less and less likely, however, when his research assistant/mistress is viciously murdered, and some unsavory truths begin to surface. Collins was once a close friend to Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe), now a top reporter in the nation's capital. Assigned the task of investigating Collins by his ruthless editor, Cameron (Oscar winner Helen Mirren), McAffrey recruits fellow reporter Della (Rachel McAdams) in order to track down the truth and identify the killer. But McAffrey has just walked into a cover-up of unprecedented proportions, and in a game where billions of dollars are at stake, life, love, and integrity are luxuries that simply cannot be afforded." ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

m
mr_chocolate
Jun 18, 2018

I had forgotten that I had seen this film, but was impressed with it and the actors including Russell Crowe (Gladiator: 2000; Les Miserables: 2012; Winter's Tale: 2014), Helen Mirin (Women in Gold, Trumbo: 2015; Winchester: 2018), Rachal McAdams (True Detective - tv: 2015; Spotlight: 2015; Doctor Strange: 2016), Ben Affleck (Gone Girl: 2014; Batman vs Superman: 2016; The Accountant: 2016), and Robin Wright (Forrest Gump: 1994; Unbreakable: 2000; Blade Runner 2049: 2017).
This is a fine film that reminds me of All the President's Men (1976), and more recently with The Post (2017).
Impressive homage to the newspaper industry and news reporting, with good bonus material with the director and actors.

o
Onewhoissaved
Mar 27, 2017

The acting overall is good. The probability of the story line unfolding this way is predicated on a single character's morality or is it lack of morality. The American public loves conspiracy and we are willing to believe that the people in Washington bath in tubs of it. I have never been a fan of Ben Affleck and this movie bears it out. He's too stiff and aloof to be electable by people: all elections are popularity contests and popular he isn't. Jeff Daniels is a Congressman and he too presents a persona of "can't touch me". If these two represent Washington at its' core then give me an island of 25 inhabitants where the tide rules our lives. Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, and Rachel McAdams are good here but I don't know any real reporters to know how to compare them to them. More interesting than the all the actors here and the story itself is the actual author of State of Play: Paul Abbott. Paul Abbott comes from the most dysfunctional family I have personally heard about. His experiences in life go beyond 'beyond'. I dare normal thinking people who come from a non-traumatic life to come up with the stuff that Abbott can.

c
capitalcity
Aug 17, 2015

Pitiful and pathetic. An incoherent, inarticulate, attention deficit disorder script (six hours compressed into two) that serves as a make work scheme for actors/actresses in dire neeed of a paycheque. Result: a sleepwalking effort. State of Play, nothing more than a hackjob copy production of the splendid BBC series, merely underlines the creative bankruptcy that Hollywood is mired in today.

Marinetti Jul 24, 2015

Sloppy Hollywood remake of an infinitely superior British version ( made in 2008 with Bill Nighy ). Russell Crowe gives a decent performance.

v
vv8
Jul 09, 2015

This twisty, suspenseful movie easily held my attention and kept me guessing!

n
Nursebob
Dec 13, 2014

A newspaper team investigating the suicide of a prominent senator’s mistress realize they have more on their hands when the clues they uncover seem to link her with the murder of a petty thief a day earlier. Following the trail a conspiracy theory begins to emerge involving bribes, crooked politics, and a sinister defense contractor currently under investigation by the dead woman’s lover. As the team continues to flesh out the story the head reporter begins to have a conflict of interest for not only is he a personal friend of the senator, he also has a romantic history with the man’s wife. Kevin Macdonald has fashioned a tightly paced potboiler simmering with adrenaline and mounting paranoia, and with stars Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck playing off each other it’s certainly easy to watch. Too bad he expects us to accept a string of convenient coincidences, a rather lame twist, and an ending awash in genre clichés. This is the type of thriller the admen like to label as pulse-pounding and breathless, I just found it tired but still watchable.

atomix Sep 27, 2014

Strong start, but the intensity falls off quickly. Crowe is solid. Rachel Macadams plays her role all wrong. Bad direction or writing, or both.

p
pegasus71
May 09, 2014

This is a slick Hollywood thriller which despite an A-List cast including Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, Robin Penn Wright, and Rachel McAdams ends up being a convoluted plot mish mash fusing Congressional double dealing, corporate espionage, intertwined sexual relationships, and various murders, all of which is lodged within a framework of highly charged yet stereotypical newspaper politics. It’s a movie version of a BBC series and probably suffers from trying to pack too much within the much shorter confines of a feature film. Nevertheless, it does hold one’s attention and is, I would say, entertaining. Something to watch for relaxation in between more heavy duty cinematic fare.

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Teyfor8Wyoma
Jun 06, 2011

Teyfor8Wyoma thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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aaa5756 Oct 08, 2013

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” -Winston Churchill

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