DVD State of Play [DVD] [2009] [1 disc] [Region 1] (DVD 4676910),
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State of Play [DVD] [2009] [1 disc] [Region 1]

  • PG-13
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Director Kevin Macdonald moves from documentaries and the Idi Amin drama THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND to this fictional thriller that feels all too real at times. Based on the BBC miniseries of the same name, STATE OF PLAY stars Russell Crowe as Cal McCaffrey, an old-school-style journalist working for the Washington Globe. He begins to investigate the death of a young woman who was the research assistant and mistress of his friend Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck), an ambitious congressman whose career is likely ruined when his affair is revealed. Joined by young political blogger Della Frye (Rachel McAdams), Cal races against time and deadlines to solve the murder, which may be only a small part of a much larger crime.

    Like ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, STATE OF PLAY is a thought-provoking thriller that manages to be both timely and timeless. It reflects its 2009 release date with a plot that questions the validity and existence of newspapers in the face of bloggers and the 24-hour news cycle, as well as addressing the efforts of a Blackwater-like group working in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Macdonald's film should also age remarkably well; Crowe's Cal must reconcile his personal life with his professional one, and ethics lie at the heart of the movie. Crowe gives a get-noticed performance in the middle of a packed cast that also includes Affleck, McAdams, Helen Mirren, Jeff Daniels, and Robin Wright Penn. Jason Bateman steals scenes--and adds a bit of much-needed comic relief--in his small part in the film.
    • Rating - for some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 61104845

  • Credits
    Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels, Josh Mostel, Joshua Mostel, Michael Weston, Barry Shabaka Henley, Viola Davis
  • Critic Reviews
    Take ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN, add liberal doses of potboiler melodrama and existential journalist angst, and youve got the foundation for STATE OF PLAY...

    "[T]his efficient, admirably coherent thriller about reporters digging down to where politics and murder meet in Washington, D.C., has a wistful air about it..."

    3 stars out of 5 -- "STATE OF PLAY is a smart, ingenious thriller set in the halls of Congress and the city room of a newspaper not unlike the Washington Post."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    3 stars out of 4 -- "[A] well-crafted political thriller....Several high-caliber performances give the film its vibrancy, under the capable direction of Kevin Macdonald. Crowe is excellent, and Helen Mirren is superb..."
    USA Today

    "STATE OF PLAY features handsome production and terrific performances....Mirren has some especially choice moments..."
    Washington Post

    "Macdonald and his cast shepherd STATE OF PLAY through a number of surprising twists and turns..." -- Grade: B-
    A.V. Club

    3 stars out of 5 -- "[Crowe delivers] a performance of grizzled credibility as a newspaper journalist....STATE OF PLAY is, more than a topical alarm bell, an efficient, pulsating exercise in thriller mechanics."
    Box Office

    4 stars out of 4 -- "This is a smart script...[with] a wealth of twists..."

    3 stars out of 4 -- "It's juicy stuff, made juicier by the actors....STATE OF PLAY keeps the twists coming."
    Rolling Stone

    4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] storming thriller....The fesity veteran/rookie relationship is made believable thanks to the actors' spot-on chemistry..."
    Total Film

    "Crowe is fantastic as a grizzled, old-school D.C. reporter....The story's twists and switchbacks keep coming." -- Grade: A-
    Entertainment Weekly

    4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's very successful, gripping from start to finish..."

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