State of Play

Theatrical Release: April 17, 2009
State of Play


Oscar winner Russell Crowe leads an all-star cast in a blistering thriller about a rising congressman and an investigative journalist embroiled in a case of seemingly unrelated, brutal murders. Crowe plays D.C. reporter Cal McAffrey, whose street smarts lead him to untangle a mystery of murder and collusion among some of the nation’s most promising political and corporate figures in State of Play, from acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland).

Handsome, unflappable U.S. Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is the future of his political party: an honorable appointee who serves as the chairman of a committee overseeing defense spending. All eyes are upon the rising star to be his party’s contender for the upcoming presidential race. Until his research assistant/mistress is brutally murdered and buried secrets come tumbling out.

McAffrey has the dubious fortune of both an old friendship with Collins and a ruthless editor, Cameron (Oscar winner Helen Mirren), who has assigned him to investigate. As he and partner Della (Rachel McAdams) try to uncover the killer’s identity, McAffrey steps into a cover-up that threatens to shake the nation’s power structures. And in a town of spin-doctors and wealthy politicos, he will discover one truth: when billions are at stake, no one’s integrity, love or life is ever safe.

Dove Review

This film was full of suspense, drama and action; all things that make a cerebral thriller worth watching. Intrigue and mystery are certainly exciting elements in good filmmaking. Unfortunately, the plot twists and turns several times but hey, they had two hours to fill so I guess the director should get some credit for keeping everyone interested. However, language was also a frequent element that was used to generate some nervous laughs from the audience. It is this unnecessary feature that stops us from considering this as a family film.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Two instances of discussions of affairs, not condoned but accepted.
Language: S-10; BS-5; H-8; F-2; JC/C-4; D-2; OG/OMG-2; A-4; Slang for male genitalia-6
Violence: Several instances of sniper shots; some with blood but not graphic; car crash; a few shootings.
Drugs: Drinking; smoking.
Nudity: Cleavage
Other: None


Company: Universal Pictures
Writer: Matthew Michael Carnahan and Tony Gilroy and Billy Ray
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Producer: Tim Bevan
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 127 min.
Reviewer: Donna Rolfe