State of Play
Category Thriller , Drama , Crime/Spy
Year: 2009
Time: 127 minutes
Production: Andell Entertainment
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels
MPAA PG-13 / UK12
Our Rating 4/10 - the music tries to up the beat in places, but it's still largely very dull
Watchability 2/10 - not likely to sit through this one again
Contributed by WB
Tag-line Find the truth

Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) is an investigative journalist for the Globe on the case of two recent murders which leads to higher political powers and corporate wrongdoings. Congressman Stephen Collins is a rising politician overhearing a case involving a National Defence contractor when he learns that his research assistant (and mistress) has apparently committed suicide - and breaks down live on air. As an old friend of Stephen's, Cal is sent on the case with new recruit Della (Rachel McAdams) and steps into a government cover-up of epic proportions.

So, how does it end?

I lost interest in this one as soon as there is a scene with Ben Affleck talking to Harry from Dumb and Dumber and the guy from the Orange Cinema adverts.

After Cal confronts Dominic the PR guy (Jason Bateman) and offers him protection in a motel in exchange for his words on what has happened, he learns that Sonia was working as a mole for PointCorp and was on the books of Dominic's firm. She was recommended to Stephen's staff by someone on the Hill who said she was an old family friend.
  Cal phones Stephen, finds out that it was Fergus who recommended her, and tells him to get over to the motel. Stephen is sat down in front of a monitor to hear that Sonia was pregnant with their baby. He goes into the other room and beats up Dominic, before being pulled away.

Cal then confronts Fergus (Jeff Daniels), who doesn't give too much away, but doesn't know the names of Sonia' parents so its obvious they weren't old friends.

Cal and Della are debating running the story without much evidence when Stephen and his wife walk into the office and give them a full interview. At the end Anne says something about forgiving her husband as Sonia was paid $26,000 a month to sleep with him.

Cal and Della share a drink, but then Cal stops - he looks at the picture of Stephen from his army days and sees that Robert Bingham, the killer, is next to him - and the t-shirt panther logo is behind them. He also asks how Anne knew that Sonia was paid $26,000?

He races over to Stephen's office to confront him. The congressman spills the beans that he thought Sonia was a spy, so hired Bingham to follow her - not knowing how much Bingham hated PointCorp, and that Bingham likely killed her.

Cal tells him he has phoned the police and he has 3 minutes to get his stuff together. Cal walks to his car and is confronted by Bingham, in army gear, as the cops show. Bingham raises his rifle and is quickly gunned down.

Cal returns to the office and types up the story, leaving Della's name before his in the credits and asking her to send it. He then walks out the Globe to earn a hard-earned rest, while we see the newspaper being printed BBC-documentary style (which actually is a bit of a highlight of the movie!!)

Apparently Brad Pitt was first choice for the role of Cal McAffrey. When he turned it down it went to Nicholas Cage, Tom Hanks and about eleven others until Russell Crowe grabbed it. Crowe just looks like a chubby hippy in this one with no on-screen presence. Just 14 refusals?? The studio shouldn't have given up so easily!
8.33/10 ( 3 Votes )
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