Affairs of State (2018) Poster

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A Tawdry State of Affairs
lavatch25 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"Affairs of State" is a "House of Cards"-style film with a set of malevolent and power-hungry politicos in Washington, D.C. The action is set in motion by the team of Michael Lawson and his roommate Callie, who, unable to pay the rent on their apartment, engage in a string of dastardly acts, setting in motion a conflict for the rising political star John Boland Baines.

Baines has started a new, conservative political party, and Michael sleeps his way into the position of campaign assistant. Nearly all of the characters are sleazy with everyone looking for an angle. The one breath of fresh air would appear to be Baines' daughter Darcy, who takes an instant liking to Michael. Her only flaw is that she may have an out-of-control temper, as apparent when she stabbed her stepmother. Unfortunately, Michael has already begun an affair with the stepmother, a Mrs. Robinson-type character. Michael is confused, especially when Darcy asks him never to betray or embarrass her father.

Michael's roommate Callie is a specialist in technology and a super paparazzi, secretly recording trysts with the politicians and judges, then selling the footage to the tabloids. It is inevitable that Callie will eventually come around to betraying her roommate by filming him with Mrs. Baines.

The film builds some good tension with the major dramatic question of whether Michael will be able to redeem himself in the eyes of Darcy. While "Affairs of State" lacks the imagination and devious nature of "House of Cards," it nonetheless has some intriguing characters and builds good suspense.
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7/10
I enjoyed this movie.
natcalgary7 July 2018
Ignore all the bad reviews. Most of them are upset because of their political views. I am not political at all and was able to watch this movie not really caring about political views but focusing on the story. It wasn't great, but at the same time it was not bad. Some people were expecting a thriller. Not sure why as it was clearly listed as a drama. The acting was good, and the story line very believable. The ending a bit sad and left me wanting a bit more. Overall I give it a 6.2
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4/10
Not The West Wing, mind you; but the LEFT Wing
filmklassik16 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Good looking, ambitious young politico sleeps and blackmails his way onto a Conservative presidential campaign and quickly reaps the whirlwind.

This ultra-low-budget (it looks like it was shot with a camcorder), pseudo-sophisticated wanna-be thriller wears its politics on its sleeve. Once again, the Right is inherently evil. At one point a black character - a wealthy, hip hop impresario - tells a man of the Right that even if many blacks do share his Conservative values, "We still just n*****s to you." And the right-wing guy agrees with him! (He does everything but twirl a mustache)

Another character - moderately selfish, yes, but compared with the others, a voice of reason - - has an extended riff about how the United Party (a stand-in for the GOP) is a bunch of "fascists" in favor of "selling guns to 7-year-olds and laughing while the cops shoot people in the street."

Swell.

Now, are there unsympathetic Progressives in this movie? Sure. A few. But their POLITICS are never questioned.

But of course, no professional critic so far has mentioned this. Why? Because critics are Progressive themselves (most of them), and fish don't know they're wet. In their minds, it's simply a GIVEN that the Right is evil - duh! - so portraying them as such is simply hewing to reality, and hardly worth the mention. But I'll lay odds that if the LEFT was being portrayed this way, they'd definitely be writing about it. And deducting points accordingly.

So I'll deduct points myself for the shameless bias ... as well as the threadbare production values, the incredibly lame plotting (a clandestine meeting in an underground parking structure? Are you kidding me??), the sometimes-good/often-mediocre dialogue, and the utter lack of suspense.

Credit where it's due, though: It's refreshing to see a woman over 60 (Mimi Rogers) playing a sexually vital character, and the young lead (David Corenswet) gives a good performance.

C-
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1/10
50 Shades of Junk
toneybrooks200325 June 2018
Just too much amateurism to handle. The "young campaign aide" actor needs to stick with after shave commercials.
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4/10
Simply sensational
meme-3613719 June 2018
Has a few good actors such as Thora Birch and Adrian Greneir, the lead has a flat performance throughout with his character written as a highly irrational man who easily gives into his desires without realizing the personal risks involved and hence the movie revolves around his irrational decisions. Would have been a more interesting movie if it only revolved around Thora Birch and Adrian Greneir, but it would not have been sensational then, a lack of intelligent writing to put it simply.
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7/10
It reminded me of the indie films of my youth
cmartinelli-12-6631606 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
It felt nostalgic watching this film. The rough and ready quality, the noir feeling, the cynical attitude about every bit of the political spectrum, the feeling that parts were cut to leave the audience thinking: I was transported bact to the 70s-80s.

The actors were all good, but Mimi Rogers was great. I suspect the negative reviews here are from younger viewers who missed the 70s retro homage bits. So be it.

I liked it, even if I would have loved for more sleezy intrique toward the end, that seemed to be hinted at but cut for some reason: incest between the candidate and his daughter whom the step-mother sent away to school to protect from the father; the father revealed as having driven the car that killed the mother because she learned of the incest and his daughter saw him. The daughter totally bonkers from all that. You know, a "Chinatown" sort of ending.

The ending was ambiguous in two things: did he live, did his letter to his friend include everything we saw and heard in the voice-over and they players get busted? But 70s films always left ambiguities, so I can live with them.

It transported me to my youth. Thanks for that!
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10/10
Terrifc, '70s-style throwback: an intelligent political thriller
Alwood18 June 2018
AFFAIRS OF STATE is a smart, brutal, and often very funny throwback to the '70s style of political thrillers that were written with smart adults in mind. David Cornswet plays an ambitious Washington DC climber who tries to sleep his way to the top of a leading Republican contender's campaign. The young man quickly finds out that he is not the spider he thought he was, but the fly who keeps getting caught deeper in a web of deceit, sociopathic culture and murder. Director Eric Bross and writer Tom Cudworth deliver one of the best films of 2018, and it deserves a wider release.
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5/10
Le Rouge et le Noir
potterundstone18 April 2020
Warning: Spoilers
It's actually a modern American version of Stendhal's classic novel Le Rouge et le Noir.

"Michael Lawson" reminds me "Julien" in so many ways - his ambitions, he slept with older women to get into DC high society etc.

I don't know why the director didn't make it clear (it's adaptation of THE RED AND THE BLACK) , well, that would make this movie more sense.

Anyway, it's not a masterpiece, neither as bad as some reviews said.
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10/10
Solid, gripping and gruelling
lightbeing-4826118 June 2018
State of Affairs was well received, it had a strange detachment to it where one felt a fly on the wall... pretty much one becomes a spy camera in the movie and it's definitely immersive. The strangest thing about the movie was it felt like being in the moment, as all good writer's director's and producer's aim to be, to create an atmosphere whereby one feels connected to the sentiments and drives or hopes and of course fears of the human condition. Usually, when a film makes you face certain truths, this can inspire one to reassess one's own life and, particularly relating to greed and sexual corruption. I think this movie can be undervalued by many when not realising that with so much power that can come to one, one becomes fragile and transparent. This is where truth illuminates us all. How do we transcend the depravity of sex, drugs and rock and roll? State of Affairs makes a generous expose of who we are behind the mask...
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6/10
Pretty good and steamy political drama
siriusly198617 June 2018
Pretty good and steamy political drama. But as usual anything coming from Hollywood the movie leans Left and the corrupt and conniving characters in the film are actively a conservative belonging to a third way, quasi-Republican political party called, the United Party. However the movie steers away from hammering rhetoric and instead revolves on the characters and their actions which is quite decent and surprising considering the reactions and political climate we are in today in the United States.
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1/10
Horrible
stephend226 August 2018
I only made it about 20 minutes into this pig. Good thing I got it free from the library. I am only out 20 minutes of my life.
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1/10
It's the script, stupid.
castingqueenla95 August 2018
Every director and producer knows (or at least should) that any decent film starts with a decent script. The best actors in the world can't save crappy writing. Not that this film had uber acting talents splashed across the screen anyway, but just saying. There is no shortage of stupidity in Hollywood. None so more obvious and on full display than in Affairs of State, an exercise in such blatant mediocrity and bland storytelling that it makes one wonder if anyone even bothered reading the poor writer's material prior to filming. If you like yourself, heed the advice of everyone who has reviewed this manure.....it REALLY is that bad.
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10/10
GREAT MOVIE
george-207-43040719 June 2018
GREAT ACTORS AND DIRECTING, MUST WATCH MOVIE, LOVED THE MAIN ACTOR DAVID CORENSWET, HAS A HUGE PRESENTS ON SCREEN.
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Dreck by any other name is still dreck.
AgentAsst21 June 2018
The filmmakers were obviously attempting to piggyback on the current political environment but unfortunately this film fails in nearly all areas. The lead actor, David Corenswet, does an abysmal job and is not one bit believable in the role. The other characters come off like caricatures and the dialogue is endlessly littered with cliches. Most annoying was the cinematography which makes it appear like it was shot with an inexpensive camcorder. The film's budget was likely in the $100-150k range and it shows throughout. This is C-level straight to Netflix dreck that should be missed.
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COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. Boring, slow, and poorly written.
Downndirty33324 June 2018
Let me save you 97 minutes of your life that you can't get back. The writing is derivative, trite, and predictable. The performances lacked any sort of cohesiveness. The directing felt uneven and the pacing absurdly sluggish. The music didn't help the story at all, in fact it was downright annoying at times. The shots were clumsy and to be honest it wouldn't surprise me if this was made on some sort of smart phone or similar. Unfortunately I can't say anything redemptive about this or I'd be lying.
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10/10
Scintillating and Erotic
nancybrookscappsamazon21 August 2019
Purely entertaining. Glanced at a few of the more scathing reviews and have concluded that these individuals may have hoped for a more cerebral type of discourse focusing on critical legal theory. Perhaps auditing an upper division course at an Ivy covering that subject matter may have been more to their liking? Also, I noticed that the word "abyssmal" was misspelled.
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1/10
How to say something about nothing?
mtvbhjn3 November 2020
About 55 minutes into the film the plot starts to develop..... The story is as one dimensional as a flattened can of beer. They tried to make it interesting with some tawdry sex scenes, lots of cussing, and a little blood, but it didn't work. It's a shallow muddy mess of a movie. The actors were pretty good, but the characters are totally underdeveloped and lack personality. Even the dialogues were nonsensical. You can't draw a straight logical conclusion anywhere in the storyline. It reminded me of those drinking games where one person says one sentence, and the next person has to continue the story with another sentence, until finally you get sick of it and end it abruptly with one outrageous final line.

To sum it up - a naive guy goes to DC, meets some disturbed people, and says and does nothing about it and something predictably bad finally happens... in the last few minutes.
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Most boring film of 2018. Maybe ever!
CarolUnivProf8923 June 2018
I was expecting a thriller. Instead my hubby and I sat through a horribly made drama that had us dozing off throughout. The writing was very weak and tries to lecture you about how greedy and corrupt Conservative politicians are in D.C. This felt more like a very low-grade Lifetime movie for TV.

If you put aside the politics, the story was completely unispiring and uninteresting, poorly crafted and absurd. Like others have mentioned, the production values were subpar. The acting was fairly flat across the board. The lead actor, an unknown, didn't have much range unless you call bending down to remove your pants, range.

When the credits rolled (which was the best part), we actually felt quite sorry...not for ourselves for sitting through this hot mess...but for the people who actually spent time and money making it. Poor souls...perhaps they should've become politicians instead. Giving this 1 star out of 10.
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9/10
Politics as they probably are...
psbarnett39 July 2018
This was a good story. The actors were well chosen. They sure look like the types we see around politicians now. There was a lot of political rhetoric that was shallow and tawdry. Could be that's how it is today. Sad, but possibly true. Maybe politics was always like this and we just didn't know it. It's crazy that this is what we've come to.
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Wish I could rate this ZERO stars
williamstoneman30 June 2018
Irrelevant actors and actresses in this couldn't make this feeble script come to life...surprise, surprise. I'll occasionally pick an obscure title with a no-name cast to watch when no other decent titles are out. And sometimes some of them are half-way watchable. But this title had me rolling my eyes five minutes in.

So I experimented and started muting the sound and turned on sound bites from various stand-up routines. It made this fractionally more bearable as I was able to at least chortle through parts and get my mind off of how godawful this thing was to sit through. Without the sound, those poor actors in this looked a little detached like they weren't overly compelled by the material. Talk about a time waster...
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Snails pace boring drama with boring actors
PRWizardNY21 July 2018
Political drama with no new ground covered. Stale dialogue and forced performances relegate this to the level of garbage found within the lowest rated video titles crammed on to sites like netflix. Adrien Grenier and Mimi Rogers careers have gone nowhere lately and this effort most certainly won't help their cause. I can't see any point in making mediocre films like this. Avoid 1/10.
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Totally Lame
Bulldoggy-069210 July 2018
Rating this 1 star out of 10. Couldn't even finish the film, it was that bad. The picture quality and sound gave it an amateurish feel. Looks like it was shot super low budget. Skip this one.
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10/10
Made me think.
stephenisrael21 June 2018
I'm not usually a reviewer here but I was reading a couple of the reviews and wondered if I'd seen the same Movie!

The politics in this were pretty even handed: everyone's a bit morally suspect - except for the idealistic conservative senator who's gives really great speech about conservative values without being a raging fascist. I'd vote for him over the current crop of lunatics, anyway.

Adrian Grenier plays a totally believable Machiavelli - but thats got nothing to do with his politics.

It was refreshing to see a film that DIDNT embrace the usual left wing tropes, even if it paid lip service to some of them.

Politics aside, I really enjoyed it. A nice variety of characters you don't often see (Mimi Rogers as a sexually actively older woman in the vein of Lady Macbeth just kills it!) and the last 30 minutes or so really is a thrill ride.

Pretty much al l the acting was great.

Technically the film looked and sounded great; I'd love to see it in a theater.

If I have to pick a negative the music didn't do much for me and there were a couple of scenes where I felt they were a bit short of extras - but at this point I feel like I'm quibbling.
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1/10
Amateurish execution & insanely dull script sink this turd from the get-go.
sales-8706626 June 2018
Whoa, no wonder every single reviewer is trashing this thing. It's difficult to fathom how this drastically flawed script ever got greenlit by any producer. They must be imbeciles. This was so poorly written and produced that I can only guess that the writer and/or director were in some way related to the geniuses throwing money into this. Maybe it was a blackmail situation. Or maybe worse than that. Adding insult to injury, the "acting," if you can call it that, was embarrassingly amateurish. This lame-ass effort isn't even worthy of a b film classification. File this one away under "Nobody except twelve people will bother to watch this."
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2/10
HOLY CRAP DID THIS SUCK!!!!!!!!
EditByNumbers20205 July 2018
Thriller? NOPE! Boring? YEP! Compelling writing? NOPE! Horribly directed? YEP! (although even a competent director couldn't have save this POS). Good performances? NOPE! Wishing I never saw a 70 year old actress trying to have sex? YEP! Waste of ninety minutes and endless brain cells? DOUBLE YEP!
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