242 user 245 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.


Kevin Macdonald


Matthew Michael Carnahan (screenplay), Tony Gilroy (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2,351 ( 7)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell Crowe ... Cal McAffrey
Ben Affleck ... Stephen Collins
Rachel McAdams ... Della Frye
Helen Mirren ... Cameron Lynne
Robin Wright ... Anne Collins (as Robin Wright Penn)
Jason Bateman ... Dominic Foy
Jeff Daniels ... George Fergus
Michael Berresse ... Robert Bingham
Harry Lennix ... Detective Bell
Josh Mostel ... Pete
Michael Weston ... Hank
Barry Shabaka Henley ... Gene Stavitz
Viola Davis ... Dr. Judith Franklin
David Harbour ... PointCorp Insider
Sarah Lord 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


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:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site [France]


USA | UK | France


English | Cantonese

Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los secretos del poder See more »


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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Brad Pitt and Edward Norton originally signed on for the movie that would have reunited them for the first time since Fight Club (1999). However, Pitt pulled out before Thanksgiving 2007, when re-writes were made impossible because of the writers' strike. He was replaced by Russell Crowe. Pitt's departure delayed the start of shooting, and made Norton unavailable, as he was committed to start shooting Leaves of Grass (2009) in January. He was replaced by Ben Affleck. See more »


When Cal is driving to Stephen's office near the end of the film, it shows him driving without anything on his right hand, which was heavily wrapped up in obvious white bandages in both the scene before and after his drive. See more »


Cal McAffrey: Do you have a pen?
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Crazy Credits

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


Featured in This Morning: Episode dated 21 April 2009 (2009) See more »


Written by Gergely Nemeth, Zsolt Prieger
Performed by Anima Sound System
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing Hungary on behalf of Anima Sound System
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Intriguing movie about political issues , mass-media and mean private sector security companies
5 August 2010 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

When an assistant to important US Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) dies in which initially appears to be a calamitous accident on the tube of Washington D.C. , two print journalists named Cal McCraffey( Russell Crowe ) well related to Congressmen and Della Frye( Rachel McAdams) an expert on gossips , society news from the Washington Globe newspaper are assigned by their chief (Helen Mirren) to discover when they obtain news that it may not have been a deadly accident. The dead young was the Congressman's aid in hearings dealing with domestic security firm called Pointcorp supplementing the utilization of US Armed Forces around the world and especially in Irak and Afghanistan . The newspapers have just published this piece of news : ¨The shocking truth , Congressman scandal sex , die for love , rumors about death by suicide , Senator cries assistant's death , Congressman implicated murders ¨ . The two reporters have contrasting styles : Cal is a traditional reporter who uses his contacts with the police department Inspector (Harry Lennix) to attain his news while Frye utilizes new media such as Internet , blogging and page web to obtain her information out to the public quickly and as Della writes in her bloc : ¨A crying shame¨ about the dead woman and Congressman's lover . As they delve into the objective of big companies might play in private security , McCaffrey also realizes they have all been deceived into making one intelligent , but fake , assumption . The tracks lead to ¨Medal of Freedom Iniciative ¨ . In a seafood market McCaffrey contacts a member of Pointcorp , a powerful organization of private sector security Inc . Meantime they discover a corruption plot that affects to heart of US politic system .

This thrilling film contains suspense , thriller, intrigue an a lot of turns and twists . It's full of tension and developing a relentless criticism to mass-media and privatization of state security my means of ambitious companies as Pointcorp and Mediacorp , among others . Very good main cast formed by all star cast as Russell Crowe , Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams . They are complemented by an efficient support casting as the corrupt senator Jeff Daniels , the Stephen Collins's wife Robin Wright , Barry Shabaka , Josh Mostel, Viola Davis and special mention to Jason Bateman as drugged sponger . The motion picture is well realized by Kevin McDonald who previously directed ¨The last king of Scotland¨ in which Forest Whitaker won an Academy Award . Kevin McDonald is a good writer , producer and director and expert on documentary such as he proved in ¨Enemy's enemy ¨, ¨Touching the void¨ , ¨Donald Cammell: the ultimate performance ¨ and several others . Rating : Better than average . Worthwhile seeing .

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