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.
Enthralling, brilliantly acted, if ultimately underwhelming, political thriller. Adapted from the BBC miniseries; 'State Of Play' sees grizzled investigative journalist Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) stumble upon a labyrinthine political conspiracy involving old friend: Representative Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) and criminal factions of 'The Military Industrial Complex'. Russell Crowe is on fine form as the old school reporter who takes umbrage at being paired up with young blogger Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) whilst Helen Mirren (reprising her role from the series) blusters around the newsroom issuing deadlines and ultimatums. The talented, and unjustly maligned, Ben Affleck turns in another powerful performance that can't quite escape the script's surprisingly unstructured final act and baffling, wholly unnecessary, attempt to cram in a last minute twist.
I agree with it's core message about the need to re-establish 'The Forth Estate' (i.e. journalism) as a serious, independent contender to those in government; one empowered with the confidence to convey truths which help channel and define a moral imperative amongst the people. 'Good Night & Good Luck' is still my favourite film about journalism, though 'State Of Play' had all the right ingredients to eclipse that and industry favourite; 'All The President's Men'. I've not yet seen the BBC series from 2003, but intend to seek it out as soon as possible to make a comparison. As it stands: Kevin Macdonald's movie is 90% masterpiece, and 10% work-in-progress.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. Oscar winner Russell Crowe stars in this nail-biting thriller from acclaimed director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland"). When reporter Cal McCaffrey finds himself embroiled in a series of murders, his skills of deduction lead him to sources at the top of the U.S political system. 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. McCaffrey 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, McCaffrey 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. Actors Russell Crowe, Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn & Ben Affleck Director Kevin Macdonald Certificate 12 years and over Year 2009 Screen Widescreen 2.35:1 Languages English - Dolby Digital (5.1) Additional Languages Czech ; Hungarian Subtitles English for the hearing impaired ; Finnish ; Arabic ; Hungarian ; Czech ; Iclandic ; Danish ; Norwegian ; Swedish Duration 2 hours (approx)
Political thriller based on the acclaimed 2003 BBC mini-series. With the action transposed from Westminster to Washington, the film follows the investigations of journalist Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) as he probes into the suspicious death of the mistress and former research assistant of ambitious up-and-coming Congressman and potential presidential candidate Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck). As he works alongside the police on the case, McAffrey becomes romantically involved with the Congressman's estranged wife, Anne (Robin Wright Penn).