237 user 250 critic

State of Play (2009)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 17 April 2009 (USA)
2:29 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

When a congressional aide is killed, a Washington D.C. journalist starts investigating the case involving the congressman, his old college friend.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2,862 ( 814)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married couple's life is turned upside down when the wife is accused of a murder.

Director: Paul Haggis
Stars: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson
Body of Lies (2008)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong
The Insider (1999)
Biography | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a "60 Minutes" expose on Big Tobacco.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer
Proof of Life (2000)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Alice hires a professional negotiator to obtain the release of her engineer husband, who has been kidnapped by anti-government guerrillas in South America.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse
Broken City (2013)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In a city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart seeks redemption and revenge after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure: Mayor Nicholas Hostetler.

Director: Allen Hughes
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Robin Hood (2010)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 12th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Macfadyen
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Inside Man (2006)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
The Town (2010)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the FBI agent looking to bring him and his crew down.

Director: Ben Affleck
Stars: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm
Safe House (2012)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd
A Good Year (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Russell Crowe, Abbie Cornish, Albert Finney


Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Collins (as Robin Wright Penn)
Sarah Lord ...


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Find The Truth See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los secretos del poder  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,071,280 (USA) (17 April 2009)


$36,965,395 (USA) (12 June 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Edward Zwick was originally attached to direct but backed out in early stages of development. See more »


When McAffrey leaves the office he is shown putting his briefcase over his shoulder. As he next enters the Chili Restaurant, we cannot see the briefcase. Yet, after he orders he looks down next to him and realizes the briefcase is missing. It wasn't there to begin with as it should have been. See more »


Rep. George Fergus: What's up? How did you find me?
Cal McAffrey: I followed the trail of crumbs, congressman.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The printing process of a newspaper is shown as the ending credits start to show up. See more »


Walking on Sunshine
Written by Kimberley Rew
Performed by Priddis Music Studio Band
Courtesy of Priddis Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Pleasant Throw Back to Early Pressburger/Powell Espionage and a Pakula Classic
16 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Whether you loved em' or hated em', espionage thrillers made up a generous portion of cinema from the 1940-50's. With fast paced, edge of your seat story lines, plot twists, political undertones and dramatic personal struggles with morality, nobody did it better than Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell. Their attention to character detail and it's purpose in conjunction with the narrative gave heart and humanity to this new string of movies which could have fallen into similar (yet shallower) alpha male characters such as James Bond. Never the less, we cannot forget that ultimately if it weren't for their vision and invention of the genre, Hollywood may have never capitalized on the staggeringly profitable Bond franchise that's still going strong today.

In the mid 70's, due to the heat of the political environment at that time, the genre decided to go in the same direction. All The Presidents Men, brought to light the investigative strategies of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and tackled the Watergate scandal from the perspective of the Washington Post. As audiences, we shared in the thrill of being able to follow the case as it unfolded, interviewing witnesses and piecing together clues in order to make a 10 O'clock print deadline. We were part of the chase, the scandal and always privy to the evidence necessary to solve the mystery at hand...that is until a new piece of evidence arose and bashed in all of our original assumptions.

State of Play may be the first film to pay homage to this Pakula classic while dually creating more poignant themes for today's political atmosphere. Crowe plays a reporter for the Washington Post and McAdams, an internet blogger, serving as our Woodward and Bernstein clones on the case of a Senator, Affleck, whose mistress succumbs to a rather untimely death VIA train tracks. To add insult to injury, it turns out that our reporter and senator are practically best friends. The plot unfolds, relationships falter and the real truth, to our pleasant surprise, blindsides us like a drunk driver on a narrow road.

Director Kevin Macdonald clearly knows what he's doing here and along with a well written screenplay by Tony Gilroy, carefully crafts a neat, sharp and extremely entertaining thrill ride of a movie whose run time is 2 hours and 15 minutes, but feels like 30. State of Play never fails at keeping you guessing, does a fine job of throwing in a few curve balls, and leaves you with a clean taste in your mouth come end credits. What more do you want? Sure. It isn't the next Best Picture and Crowe won't take home an Oscar, but you'll enjoy some nail biting action scenes and there are much worse things to look at than Rachel McAdams on the big screen for a few hours.

Helen Mirren is delightful in what little screen time she is given. Affleck is "good", although decided to play it completely safe in a role that even he really can't screw up. Lets face it, he needed to gain even a small amount of points since Hollywoodland and the flops that followed in his footsteps.

Overall, you'll be as pleased and refreshed as I was to see a picture that has the finesse of an espionage thriller, the entertainment value of an All The Presidents Men political drama and the edginess that we should expect from a modern day piece of cinema that doesn't star Miley Cyrus.

129 of 182 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Not a patch on BBC version betterthanronaldo
Has Stephen Collins done anything to land him in jail? boweasel
No one but Bill Cosby... BitterBlue911
4 deaths? Zebblin
Jason Bateman... dukemdm
Is this the movie I'm thinking of??? moviebuf-11
Discuss State of Play (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: