A petty thief is gunned down in an alley and a Congressman's assistant falls in front of a subway - two seemingly unrelated deaths. But not to wisecracking, brash newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey who spies a conspiracy waiting to be uncovered. With a turbulent past connected to the Congressman and the aid of ambitious young rookie writer Della Frye, Cal begins uprooting clues that lead him to a corporate cover-up full of insiders, informants, and assassins. But as he draws closer to the truth, the relentless journalist must decide if it's worth risking his life and selling his soul to get the ultimate story. Written by
The Massie Twins
State of euphoria? Well, that's a bit too strong but this is a terrific film with a great cast!
Cal (Russell Crowe) and Stephen (Ben Affleck) have been buds since their college days. They still stay in touch, but their lives have taken two different paths. Stephen is an up-and-coming politico who has acquired the beautiful wife, Anne (Robin Wright Penn), the spiffy mansion, wealth and prestige. On the flip side, Cal works as a respected but hardly rich reporter for the Washington Globe, where publisher Cameron (Helen Mirren) reigns supreme. One day, as Stephen, who has been investigating the possibly nefarious doings of a Blackwater-type marines-for-hire group, is about to give a press conference, the gallery informs him that one of his committee members, Sonia, has been found dead near the DC subway. Beginning to cry, Stephen stumbles out of the press talk in a daze. That's because, it seems, red-haired, pretty Sonia was having an extra-marital thing with Stevie. Cal and fellow reporter, Della (Rachel McAdams) begin to investigate the case and also the death of two other gentlemen in the region whose demises may be connected. But, will the personal relationship and past that Cal has with both Stephen and Anne get in the way of the search for truth, especially when it comes to the billions of funds made by the "hired guns" Stephen was trying to explore? This is a top-notch thriller which may put fans of the genre into a state of euphoria. The script is flat-out terrific, based on a British miniseries, especially in its uncanny skill in blending a great deal of humor amid the chills and thrills. Likewise, the cast is most wonderful, with Crowe, McAdams, Affleck, Mirren, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels, Penn, and many others delivering strong, strong performances. Special words of praise should go to Crowe, for his head-turning but carefully nuanced role as a man caught in the middle. As for the movie's production, the sets, costumes, camera work and direction are nearly flawless, except for a ruffled blouse that some fashion diva thought would enhance McAdams' look but which hits 100 on the hideous meter. But, that's small peanuts, as they say. All in all, if you love thrillers, especially ones that include the juicy realms of politics and secret government operatives, you would be wise to head to the nearest theater and fork over some cash for this one. It is a definitely one fertile "playground" for the cinematic enthusiast.
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