7.1/10
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236 user 251 critic

State of Play (2009)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 17 April 2009 (USA)
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When a congressional aide is killed, a Washington D.C. journalist starts investigating the case involving the congressman, his old college friend.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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3,543 ( 177)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Anne Collins (as Robin Wright Penn)
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Robert Bingham
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Pete
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Gene Stavitz
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Dr. Judith Franklin
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PointCorp Insider
Sarah Lord ...
Mandi
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Storyline

A petty thief is gunned down in an alley and a Congressman's assistant falls in front of a subway - two seemingly unrelated deaths. But not to wisecracking, brash newspaper reporter Cal McAffrey who spies a conspiracy waiting to be uncovered. With a turbulent past connected to the Congressman and the aid of ambitious young rookie writer Della Frye, Cal begins uprooting clues that lead him to a corporate cover-up full of insiders, informants, and assassins. But as he draws closer to the truth, the relentless journalist must decide if it's worth risking his life and selling his soul to get the ultimate story. Written by The Massie Twins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Who's telling the Lies? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

17 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los secretos del poder  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,071,280 (USA) (19 April 2009)

Gross:

$37,017,955 (USA) (18 June 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, and Ben Affleck; and one Oscar nominee: Rachel McAdams. See more »

Goofs

Midway through the movie, when a character takes the Washington Globe off of a news rack, it is a tabloid. In the final scene, it's a broadsheet. See more »

Quotes

Rep. George Fergus: [to Cal] You are going to be out of a job even before the devil can even say your name... SON!
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Crazy Credits

The printing process of a newspaper is shown as the ending credits start to show up. See more »


Soundtracks

Peter and the Wolf
Written by Sergei Prokofiev (as Serge Prokofieff)
Performed by The Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony (as The Czechoslovak Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Conducted by Ondrej Lenard
Courtesy of Boosey & Hawkes on behalf of Naxos Rights International Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Ideal Thriller
18 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

So I gave this movie a 10, but that's coming from a thriller fan. With most thrillers, this movie has it's faults. Some exaggeration, implausibilities, annoying twists, but the film transcends other thrillers on all other levels. Even with the overly dramatic plot and scenarios, I felt this film was a very realistic portrayal of journalism and posed an interesting argument between old fashioned print journalism and the new age of the internet. Of course, for the "thrills" they'll have to make some cliché twists, but it goes beyond the generic nonsense thriller to making a mild statement about the media today. In addition, the cast was fantastic. I couldn't be more relieved that Russell Crowe took over Brad Pitt's role, Pitt would have been a terrible choice. Russell was a much better fit for Cal. However, I kind of wish Edward Norton remained with the role of Senator Collins... Affleck and Crowe didn't have the greatest chemistry. However the many supporting players were fantastic. Rachel McAdams did a fine job. Not exactly the meatiest role but she played the revised role of Della as a young popular blogger greatly. Rachel brought that playful naivety but at the same time made Della intelligent and respectable. Helen Mirren was perfect, and perhaps a little underused. There is also a plethora of strong performances from the minor supporting players. Jason Bateman gave my favorite performance out of all of them, Harry Lennix was another who was underutilized, and Robin Wright Penn continues her reputation as one of the most consistent supporting actresses.

But as a thriller, it really was a fantastic and entertaining movie. I've never seen the BBC series and could only imagine how much better it could be with more time to develop characters and stories, but the film does the best it could and that's enough. It isn't your typical mindless thriller though, which is what I respect about it most. It is paced well but if you don't pay attention you may get lost, but seeing as the film really does keep you on your toes, it shouldn't be that hard. What makes this thriller so much better though is that it makes you think, even after leaving the theater. It isn't just some formulaic story with mindless twists and turns, it's actually saying something about the world today that is very relevant, which not only makes a great thriller, but a great film as well.

I've read some complaints about the ending, but I don't understand what the big deal was. I don't want to give anything away, but I think it's an ending that could be taken in different ways depending on the viewer.


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