“State of Play” Be In the Know

Genres: Drama, Adaptation and Politics/Religion

Running Time: 1 hr. 58 min.

Release Date: April 17th, 2009 (wide)

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content.

Distributors: Universal Pictures


Directed by: Kevin MacDonald


JJ Rating: B+


There is a company hired to do security for Afghanistan and within their company are ex-military personal. Senator Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) thinks that what they have done was wrong and a committee is formed to nail the company’s butt to the wall. But events happen to make this difficult such as the death of a top researcher for the Collins dies in an “accident”. There are two other murders that happen elsewhere. The connection is something that Washington Post reporter Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) stumbles upon and things start to make sense and people start to get very angry. State of Play.


Clocking in close to 2 hours I did not check my cell phone to see what time it was. I was engrossed the entire time about what was going on. However, what was going on was slightly boring. What made the film interesting were the actors. This is a great cast. It was really nice to see Ben Affleck back on screen. Though his character was slightly subdued the entire time he did have some shining moments of emotion that showed he does have some acting chops. I’m always amazed with how emotional people get without speaking a line and their eyes glisten in the sadness of the moment. Affleck had a great moment like that. There’s the blogger by the name of Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) who was snarky and determined to get her job done. McAdams was obnoxious, thrilling and a tiger. She wrapped herself in that character and played well off of Crowe who was a calm, weathered character who kept the story interesting even though he was a few steps backwards from interesting. The strong silent type would nicely sum that character up. Jason Bateman was a depraved character but with his acting charm made the character likable for the moment he was on screen. Bateman is a surprise for me with how well he does come off on screen for the last couple of movies I’ve seen him in. Helen Mirren plays the editor for the newspaper and she has some snippy lines and she delivers them, and all her lines, with bite, ferocity and unsure humor and it works.


State of Play raised some interesting perspectives on similar situation that happens now days with contractors in Afghanistan. This idea that people are controlled by companies and their greed to get as much money as they want is a scary prospect. It’s scary because it’s possible and it makes for a good movie because people understand the possibilities.


There was a bit of action with gun shooting and a parking garage. That was a tad thrilling. But over all there was not a lot of action. It was more verbal action than anything else, as well as verbal sparing. These kinds of movies with the verbal attacking are far more stimulating for my mind. But it is apparent moviegoers enjoy mind numbing action via Fast and Furious because of how much money it garnered.


What I thought about while watching this film was why doesn’t the News Media and the Police work together on crimes? They have so many different resources that they can pull together and solve so many different crimes. I understand that each have different contacts and that one wouldn’t want to get the other in trouble, but I bet if two worked together that there could come about some interesting partnerships.


State of Play isn’t perfection, but it is great entertainment that does two things: it entertains as well as incites thinking. People should be reminded of the possibilities those who have power have. If people are not reminded then such thinking doesn’t come up when certain things transpire. Then people get stuck in their logical loops that don’t venture into other possibilities that exist. The right people were picked for the roles and the story was good. State of Play is a verbal thrill ride that’ll take your mind through a rollercoaster of thought and hopefully leave you with better understanding than when you first started.

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