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State of Play

521 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Academy Award®-winner Russell Crowe leads an all-star cast, including Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams & Helen Mirren in the blistering thriller about deception, manipulation and corruption. When D.C. Reporter Cal McCaffrey (Crowe) is assigned to investigate the murder of an assistant to an up-and-coming politician (Affleck), he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to bring down the nation’s power structures. In a town of spin-doctors and wealthy power brokers, he will discover one truth: when fortunes are at stake, no one’s integrity, love or life is safe. From director Kevin Macdonald of The Last King of Scotland, State of Play brings together gripping performances, riveting suspense and is “sophisticated, intelligent and powerful” (Shawn Edwards, Fox-TV).

The superlative British miniseries becomes a smart, soap opera-free film courtesy of The Last King of Scotland's Kevin Macdonald. His writers, including Tony Gilroy (the Bourne series) and Billy Ray (Breach), haven't simply condensed and Americanized the six-hour series--they've reinvented it. Now set in Washington D.C., veteran journalist Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe, replacing Brad Pitt, who dropped out over script changes) still collaborates with editor Cameron Lynne (a delectably imperious Helen Mirren) and junior reporter Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) on a story involving Cal's politico pal, Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck), but there's a new subtext behind their plunge into sex scandals and corporate malfeasance, since this State of Play also eulogizes old-school beat reporting, and in interviews, Macdonald has acknowledged the influence of newsprint classics like All the President's Men (the Watergate Hotel even shows up as a location). So, while Cal and Della, the Globe’s blogger, try to determine whether the congressman’s aide Sonia (with whom he was having an affair) died at her own hands or the hands of another, they're also fighting for their careers and the survival of their ailing paper. Stephen's political rival Senator Fergus (Jeff Daniels), does his best to stymie their efforts, but PR flack Dominic Foy (Jason Bateman) becomes a reluctant ally. Though fans of the series may miss a few characters, like Cameron's son (played by James McAvoy in the BBC version), Oscar-winning documentarian-turned-filmmaker Macdonald remains true to its spirit. Be sure to stay through the poignant end credits, during which he returns to his doc roots. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from State of Play (Click for larger image)

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Making of State of Play

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Harry J. Lennix
    • Directors: Kevin Macdonald
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: September 1, 2009
    • Run Time: 128 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (521 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B002DU39GW
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,600 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "State of Play" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    163 of 173 people found the following review helpful By J. White on August 16, 2009
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Finally a great adult suspense film about several timely subjects . It 's about the dying newspapers and political corruption.
    Russell Crowe is excellent as an overweight ,slightly shabby journalist ,who is flawed personally,but an excellent journalist.
    Helen Mirren is good as his stressed boss.Ben Afflek is surprisingly good as his old friend and US congressman. Rachel
    McAdams is fine as the new face of the news,a blogger for the newspaper. There is suspense, that grabs you and holds you til the end. I saw it with friends and discussed it through and after dinner. Always a sign of a good movie. How in the world does Crowe manage to be so appealing in messy clothes and overweight? I highly recommend this movie.
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    31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mom of Sons VINE VOICE on May 16, 2010
    Format: DVD
    My husband brought home this DVD and I'd never even heard of it. Why wasn't this a huge hit? Was it only in theaters for a minute, or what? My theory: this is another movie that fell victim to a terrible, awful title. I challenge you to remember the title "State of Play" while you are watching it, without cheating and looking at the DVD case.

    As for the movie, five hearty stars, two thumbs up, GREAT suspenseful, smart thriller with a terrific all-star cast. A love letter to the dying/ changing newspaper industry, a nod to the Watergate era and the movie "All the President's Men" (a great movie title!), and a taut political drama. I actually hugged my fleece throw at a few places, it was very tense.

    Recommendation: Absolutely. Our whole family watched it (two teenagers, two parents) and enjoyed it. Great movie led by stellar cast.
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    53 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Woopak VINE VOICE on September 2, 2009
    Format: DVD
    Based on the BBC mini-series, director Kevin McDonald's "STATE OF PLAY" blends the two most reliable, favorite ingredients of an effective thriller; a political-conspiracy thriller mixed in with a journalism drama with a touch of a murder mystery mixed in. The film's direction can be taut, clean and energetic that plays on the moralities of politics and the responsibility of credible reporting. Kevin McDonald maneuvers the film's script in a meaty web of intrigue and suspense that is nicely acted and honest in its execution.

    Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) is a seasoned reporter working at a struggling newspaper called "The Washington Globe". When the research assistant (played by Maria Thayer) and lover to a congressman named Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is killed, her mysterious death provokes a lot of speculation for a high-profile story. Cal has a history with Collins and his wife Anne (Robin Wright Penn), so he is the natural pick to tackle this story. But Cal becomes conflicted with what story he wants to tell the longer he digs for the truth; which leads him to team up with a young inexperienced reporter named Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) to sort out the mystery full of political intrigue to avoid further bloodshed and uncover the real story behind all the rumors and deceptions. Cal now finds himself face to face with his own `crisis of conscience' as his own proven investigative skills may not coincide with the needs for profit and that the real story may alienate his own friends.

    "State of Play" is a thriller that tries to keep its toes by mixing in elements of a political thriller that touches on some real world events after the tragedy of 9/11 and the responsibilities of credible fact-finding.
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    14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By TREND700 on December 29, 2009
    Format: DVD
    A solid entertaining, mature thriller. As usual Crowe and Mirren are their absolute best. McAdams and a surprising Affleck are also good. Some good plot twists, an interesting story, exceptional acting, and witty dialogue make this a winner through and through.
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    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Slevin VINE VOICE on October 8, 2009
    Format: DVD
    You are taken on quite a ride with 'State of Play' where Ben Affleck and Russell Crow play friends, Affleck a very involved Congressman and Crow a very active Journalist who seems on the last legs of a career with the paper he works for going more to the web. His editor, who is attempting to squeeze every dollar out of the paper gets more and more delirious about McAffrey (Crow) as he tries to track down the truth behind a scandal involving congressman Collins (Affleck).

    There are a few twists and you get a feel of the issues that the News Media faces with balancing getting the story, versus getting the truth. (See the Book 'Losing the News'). Then you have a congressman who is overseeing the committee for reviewing a new national security consulting firm. The plot thickens as McAffrey pulls back the layers of information using all of the sources he can dig up. Great bit on investigative journalism. I think it gives a little of a sense of what went on in the Watergate era with Deep Throat and Woodward and Burnstein.

    The junior reporter/blogger Della Frye, played by Rachel McAdams, is vying for getting noticed in her career giving us a sense of play between Generation X and the quickly getting behind the times Baby Boom Generation.

    You have a couple of interesting threads blending marvelously into one, issues of Government and corruption, Journalistic excellence and the current state of the News Print medium and internal generational differences.

    This really makes for keeping you on the edge of your seat and having to really stay in tune with what is going on. Interestingly, everyone is questioning everyone elses integrity throughout and you really feel for McAffrey when everyone questions his motives for his approach in digging and digging for the truth.

    Definately one of my favorites for 2009, State of Play is a must for the DVD library.
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