A petty thief is gunned down in an alley and a Representative's assistant (Maria Thayer) falls in front of a subway, two seemingly unrelated deaths. But not to wisecracking, brash newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe), who spies a conspiracy waiting to be uncovered. With a turbulent past connected to the Representative and the aid of ambitious young rookie writer Della Frye (Rachel McAdams), 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 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 »
WHYY is a non-commercial educational TV station licensed in Wilmington, Delaware, and a PBS station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. See more »
Tried to avoid having much in the way of expectations for STATE of PLAY, but it was hard to be oblivious to the all the general good buzz. Also, hard not to know beforehand that the cast is exceptional and that it's getting relatively high ratings and strong reviews. Still, other than that, didn't really want to find out any more! Watching a solid, well-done film like STATE, is like watching a good athlete or an outstanding performerThey all make it look SO EASY!
Just take an interesting, dynamic story; convert that into a cohesive, believable sounding screenplay; do your casting well, so you get a cast that can breathe life into the characters; craft the music to heighten the mood/ambiance at hand; edit the scenes for maximum impact and always know where you're going and be sure you take the movie in the direction of your vision! Easy-PeasyJapanesey! Those are some of STATE's pluses.
Like any movie it did have some minuses. I'll try and go over both. A powerhouse cast, that doesn't disappoint: Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman, and Jeff Daniels WOW! Did the A-list want IN on this project, or what?!? Although Crowe does a fine job, he falls a little short of true excellence. A difficult task, attempting to shine when surrounded by ALL that talent! One surprise: Ben Affleck, not exactly on my favorite "actors" list, turns in a deviously devilish performance as the congressman who is keenly aware of his media image and how to protect it.
But the big jaw-dropper here is Jason Bateman. His characterization fooled me completely! Had to wait for the credits to see who he was! His Uber- creepy-bottom-feeder-sleaze-ball was the film's real revelation! STATE falls down a bit because it is very light in the new and original Department. Still, it is a very well-crafted, entertaining movie! How's this for a chillingly ironic 10 year Date of authoring this review? SEP/11/11 --
Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
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