238 user 252 critic

State of Play (2009)

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

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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 »
3,688 ( 489)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
... Cal McAffrey
... Stephen Collins
... Della Frye
... Cameron Lynne
... Anne Collins (as Robin Wright Penn)
... Dominic Foy
... George Fergus
... Robert Bingham
... Detective Bell
... Pete
... Hank
... Gene Stavitz
... Dr. Judith Franklin
... PointCorp Insider
Sarah Lord ... Mandi


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


Who's telling the Lies? 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:




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Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los secretos del poder  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,071,280, 19 April 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,017,955, 18 June 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$87,812,371, 18 June 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Kevin Macdonald considered asking Bill Nighy to reprise his role of Cameron, but decided to make the character a female instead. Helen Mirren was then cast. See more »


While difficult to measure accurately, the film takes place over too short a period of time, for the action involved. From the dates on the newspapers, the timeframe appears to be 3 or 4 days maximum. Yet the evolving nature of the story, the amount of time required to track down leads, etc., probably would require much more time. See more »


Della Frye: I'm not giving up this story! Sorry... If I could just... I just need a few more days with it, I promise I'm not gonna let you down.
Cameron Lynne: Oh for Christ's sake. Don't throw those dewey cub-reporter eyes at me, it's nauseating.
[Rachel McAdams smiles as Mirren is letting her stay on the story]
Cameron Lynne: Fuck you very much.
Cal McAffrey: Pleasure.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.97 (2013) See more »


Born to Be Alive
Written by Patrick Hernandez
Performed by The Flugel Horns
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Decent, If Unmemorable, Political Thriller
21 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

I would label this a "decent-but-unmemorable political thriller," something you'd probably enjoy viewing but a few weeks later had forgotten much of it. Usually, movies which star Russell Crowe are more dynamic, although Crowe still mesmerizes as usual.

I liked the twists and turns at the end, but one has to wait about two hours for those and that's a little too long a wait. As slick a production as it was, and with acceptable acting from actor, it was many of the characters here that seemed more like Hollywood stereotypes than real-life people.

There was Crowe with the hippie looks from 30-40 years ago and who has the daring of James Bond; the Washington newspaper editor being a foul-mouthed Brit (crusty Helen Mirren) who uses profane expresses the Americans wouldn't know; the neophyte blogster (Rachel McAdams) being drop-dead gorgeous and getting her way despite tough bosses; the bad guys being anyone connected with the military (man, is that getting old, from Dr. Strangelove to today's films - it never changes), the professional sniper/assassin conveniently missing the good guy (Crowe) although he could kill anyone else......you get the picture - a few too many liberal film clichés. The most realistic character was probably "Rep. Stephen Collins (D-Pa)," played by the least of the actors, Ben Affleck.

As for minor characters, I thought "Dominic Foy," played by Jason Bateman, was fascinating, as was Robin Wright.

Overall, for entertainment purposes it was okay; not something you'd yawn and fall asleep watching, although you might be confused here and there. Through the gimmicks of hyped-up music and sound effects here and there, the suspense was evident throughout the two-plus hours. It's also an interesting look at today's battle between old and new "media," meaning newspapers and the Internet, respectively.

Overall, it's enough to warrant as a purchase at the rental store but not as a blind buy despite the "name" cast.

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