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
In the scenes where Cal McAffrey goes to the hospital towards the end of the movie, the building that is used as the hospital is actually the headquarters for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. See more »
When Anne is looking out the window of her home to look at the news vans across the street, there is a WHYY microwave truck between the other vans. WHYY TV has no such trucks. See more »
The newspaper article he types reads: Three Deaths Tied to Gulf War Army Associate New evidence links Rep. Stephen Collins with the suspect in the killings of three people, including Sonia baker, the congressman's political researcher. When confronted by the Washington Globe with information tying him to suspect Robert Bingham, Collins admitted he had directed his former Army associate to follow Baker after learning that she was secretly on the payroll of military contractor PointCorp. Collins,...
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The printing process of a newspaper is shown as the ending credits start to show up. See more »
State of Play, see the feature film, but be sure to see the BBC miniseries, too
I attended a pre-release screening of the new film, State of Play, with anticipation of seeing both quality work from actor Russell Crowe and screenwriter Tony Gilroy. I also entered the theater with a degree of apprehension about how well this feature length film would measure up to the brilliantly acted and crafted six-part BBC series that was the basis for the film. Crowe well-embodied the tenacious old-school investigative journalist that we've come to know from classics, such as "All the President's Men." However, the multifaceted ensemble of journalists, portrayed by a rich range of actors from the BBC series (John Simm, Kelly MacDonald, James McAvoy), is missing from this feature film where Russell Crowe does all the work. The complexity of the plot, which includes the competing professional interests and emotional needs of the characters in the British miniseries, is largely eliminated in this big screen version. Ben Affleck and Robin Wright Penn do not seem to appreciate and respond to the high stakes events that could turn their lives inside out and upside down. What this film shares with the miniseries is the glimpse into the mechanics of running a journalistic investigation under the pressure of time and editorial interference, but the personal stories suffer from not being fleshed out and made to feel real and compelling to watch. It is not fair to compare one piece of art to another, but when two productions are related, and you've seen the original, it is difficult to view the second production without prejudice. It is like trying to unring a bell.
The new film, State of Play, is a convincing thriller, but it fails to also deliver as a richly defined character drama.
Curiosity will drive those who saw the BBC series to see this film, and the rich pedigree of the film production will draw in those who know nothing about the original miniseries. Everyone will ultimately be satisfied by seeing both productions (miniseries is on DVD) so that they can make the comparisons and connections that any thinking film-goer will want to do.
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