State of Play

A new review from The Bleacher Bum

State of Play: Political thrillers are a huge genre with nonfiction books. However, there have not been many political thrillers as movies in recent years. State of Play is a big budget movie that focuses on Capitol Hill, mega-corporations, and the relationship between politicians and the press. The movie is based on the 6-part British television serial of the same name.

Russell Crowe (L.A. Confidential) is a superstar investigative reporter in D.C. working for a newspaper that is in the process of being bought. Ben Affleck (Chasing Amy) is an up-and-coming congressman from Pennsylvania that is chairman of a military spending committee. Rachel McAdams (Midnight in Paris) works for the newspaper as the on-line gossip columnist. Robin Penn-Wright (The Princess Bride) is Affleck’s wife. Crowe’s, Affleck’s and Penn-Wright’s characters were good friends in college. Helen Mirren (The Queen) is Crowe’s and McAdams’ editor. Mirren gives an award-winning performance as a boss that is being pulled in a thousand directions that wants to do the just thing and get the story right.

The good congressman is having an affair with one of his staffers, until she is murdered. Crowe and McAdams uncover the story and learn that many influential people and companies are involved. The story and dialogue are very good. The director did a very good job. The story covered a lot of angles, but was constantly moving, twisting and turning. Crowe and Penn-Wright were extraordinary in their roles. McAdams and Affleck were good, but they seemed a little outmatched when they shared the screen with Crowe and Penn-Wright.

Bleacher Bum Movie Scale: Homerun, Triple, Double, Single, Strikeout

State of Play: Triple that just beats the throw from right field

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