State of Play (2009)


That’s what you call damn fine reporting.

— Cal McAffrey

Yesterday, I saw State of Play that is based on the BBC miniseries of the same name. This movie is written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Tony Gilroy and Billy Ray. Directed by Kevin Macdonald.

I heard about this movie a year ago when the writer’s strike was happening. I heard news that Brad Pitt was set to play Cal McAffrey, and Edward Norton was suppose to play Representative Stephen Collins, but they had to drop out of the film. Pitt’s reason was because of the script needing a rewrite and Norton has scheduling conflicts.

The movie opens a possible random act when a drug dealer and bicyclist are gunned down in a dark alleyway by a man with a silencer (Michael Berresse).

The next day, a young Congressional aide, Sonia Baker (Maria Thayer) is found dead after a subway accident. The news travels to Rep. Collins (Ben Affleck) that leads to a media firestorm after their dirty laundry is exposed to the public. The news does not sit well with his wife, Anne (Robin Wright Penn).

A Washington Globe journalist, Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) is an old college friend of Collins. He personally investigates to see if the two murders are interconnected.

The editor-in-chief Cameron Lynne (Helen Mirren) is struggling to keep the newspaper afloat in an ever-changing electronic media age. She assigns a rookie that works for the newspaper’s blog, Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) to Cal. Cal is not happy about it. He thinks that bloggers regurgitates another person’s work that adds their “opinion” to it.

There are twists and turns that kept me engaged with the story to the very end. The movie is showing that newspapers are dying a slow, painful death. Nothing is being done to stop it. In an age of Internet blogging, newspapers are struggling to stay current to the times.

Newspapers rule and blogs drool. That should have been the tag line to the movie.

Judgment: If you are looking for a tight political thriller, then check this movie out.

Rating: ***1/2


About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on April 29, 2009, in 2009, Drama, Mystery, Political, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Nice write up. I’m looking forward to checking this out during the weekend. I’m intrigued by how it explores the losing battle of newspaper reporting most of all.

    • It kinda hammers the point home, but I thought it was a solid movie. Robin Wright Penn was amazing. She was Helen Mirren.

  2. Post writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar
    with after that you can write or else it is complex to write.

  1. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | LAMBScores: State of Play, X-Men Origins: Wolverine & Star Trek

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