MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 141 this week

State of Play (2009)

 -  Drama | Mystery  -  17 April 2009 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 103,115 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 225 user | 248 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 27 Sep 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 20 Oct 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 21 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "State of Play" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: State of Play (2009)

State of Play (2009) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of State of Play.
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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 | Thriller
    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 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
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
Tenderness (2009)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A policeman works to figure out whether a violent teen murdered his family.

Director: John Polson
Stars: Russell Crowe, Jon Foster, Sophie Traub
Fracture (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An attorney, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute.

Director: Gregory Hoblit
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn
Robin Hood (2010)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 13th 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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story centers on a year in the life of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company - and how that affects them, their families, and their communities.

Director: John Wells
Stars: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones
State of Play (TV Mini-Series 2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A thriller set in London, in which a politician's life becomes increasingly complex as his research assistant is found dead on the London Underground and, in a seemingly unrelated incident, a teenage pickpocket is shot dead.

Stars: John Simm, Kelly Macdonald, Bill Nighy
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
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A law firm brings in its "fixer" to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multi-billion dollar class action suit.

Director: Tony Gilroy
Stars: George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl's kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally. Based on the Dennis Lehane novel.

Director: Ben Affleck
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Casey Affleck
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Anne Collins (as Robin Wright Penn)
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
PointCorp Insider
...
Mandi
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Find The Truth See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los secretos del poder  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£1,513,951 (UK) (24 April 2009)

Gross:

$36,965,395 (USA) (12 June 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening scene, Russell Crowe is shown singing "The Night Pat Murphy Died". In 2008, the band Gaelic Storm released a CD with a track titled "The Night I Punched Russell Crowe", based on what they claim to be a true story that happened to their lead singer, Patrick Murphy. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Rep. Stephen Collins: Am I talking to my friend now or am I talking to a reporter?
Cal McAffrey: I gotta be both.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Remake of State of Play (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Born to Be Alive
Written by Patrick Hernandez
Performed by The Flugel Horns
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A tense thriller with top-notch acting and writing
26 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

About a month before State of Play came into theaters, I read an article in The Washington Post (I live in the D.C. area) about the realism of the news industry as portrayed in the movie. One of the Post reporters served as a consultant on the set and I must say that he seems to have done his job. Almost every aspect, from the constantly chaotic state of the newsroom to the reporter-lingo, feels authentic and true to reality. While there are occasional times when the movie's main character, the reporter Cal McCaffrey, strays from the usual ethical and professional guidelines, there are logical explanations for such instances that are given in the movie. At one point, Russell Crowe even ad-libs a line about the outdated technology he has compared to the state-of-the-art computers given to Della Fry, Rachel McAdams's gossipy blogger: "I've been here fifteen years, I've got a sixteen year old computer. She's been here fifteen minutes and she's got enough gear to launch a f***ing satellite." This line was inspired by the feud between print journalists and their online counterparts that, according to the Post reporter, exists in real-life. Because journalism is so crucial to the story of State of Play, every minute detail contributes greatly to the believability of the film as a whole and it is this attention to detail that really elevates State of Play above the average political thriller.

The cast, which includes three Oscar winners, though Ben Affleck won for screen writing, could not be more perfect. With his long, shaggy hair, bulging belly and old, trash-littered car, Russell Crowe looks appropriately scruffy and he disappears into his role, becoming one of the most convincing journalists on screen in recent years. It is impossible to imagine anyone else in the role, especially Brad Pitt, who was originally signed on for the part. As his partner on the story, Rachel McAdams delivers, giving her character a very energetic yet idealistic flavor. Della Fry is, at least in the beginning, a rather obnoxious woman but, in large part due to McAdams, she gradually becomes more likable and we learn to accept her for who she is. Helen Mirren is splendid as Cameron, McCaffery and Fry's insistent boss, and every time she appears, the screen comes alive (not that it's dead when she isn't there). Ben Affleck once again proves that he can act when given the right material. He gives his character, a promising congressman, an air of detached arrogance mixed with frustrated vulnerability. Representative Stephen Collins certainly has his principles but throughout the film, that sense of morality is largely shrouded in secrets and mystery and the audience is forced to constantly guess and re-guess his true intentions. Aside from the main actors, the supporting cast does a terrific job with a slightly comedic, almost delightfully over-the-top performance by Jason Bateman as a pretentious PR agent. Also worth noting is Viola Davis, who plays a contact of McCaffrey's in the morgue, and even though she only appears in one scene, she makes the most of that short screen-time that, in turn, makes us remember her well.

Other than the superb cast, one of the most impressive things about State of Play is the script, which was written by Tony Gilroy, Billy Ray and Matthew Michael Carnahan and based on the 2003 BBC mini-series of the same name. However, it bears Tony Gilroy's distinctive mark not only because it involves corporate conspiracies and unending twists, but the witty dialogue could have been written by almost no one else. Occasional instances of humor help lighten the otherwise rather dark mood. Also, the writing is highly intelligent and makes the audience actually think rather than simply go along with the complicated plot. This can also be contributed to the direction of Kevin MacDonald who, after winning an Oscar for his documentary One Day in September in 1999 and directing the Oscar-winning feature film The Last King of Scotland, proves that he has loads of talent and hopefully, will remain prominent in the film-making industry.

Other noteworthy aspects of the movie are the cinematography and the score, both of which help carry the tension throughout the entire two-and-a-half hour film, even during quieter scenes. However, State of Play is not quite perfect. The main, and perhaps only, flaw is the minor plot holes that, while virtually unnoticeable during the actual viewing of the movie, become more obvious upon dissecting the movie afterwards. It is impossible to discuss these errors in detail without giving anything away, but they do make the conclusion a little less satisfying.

Nonetheless, the movie is so good in all other areas that it is still easy to overlook the implausibility of the ending. From the virtually flawless cast and writing to the authenticity of its portrayal of journalists and the thought-provoking political themes, State of Play stands out among all the conventional political thrillers churned out by Hollywood in recent years. Go see it!


65 of 83 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
Jason Bateman... dukemdm
No one but Bill Cosby... BitterBlue911
4 deaths? Zebblin
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:
?