Directed by Kevin Macdonald
A newsman investigates a scandal surrounding a congressman.
State of Play “spins a thorny tale of political corruption laced with personal sleaze,” said Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly. While most conspiracy thrillers “hit us with the shock of revelation” at the end, director Kevin Macdonald piles up “enough layers of insidious surprise” to constantly keep us guessing. When two seemingly unrelated deaths turn out to be connected, star reporter and resident curmudgeon of the Washington Globe (Russell Crowe) is forced to team up with the paper’s blogger (Rachel McAdams) to uncover the truth. The film tries to recall the “gritty conspiracy pictures of the mid-’70s,” said Dana Stevens in Slate.com, most notably All the President’s Men. In fact, it’s an adaptation of a six-hour BBC miniseries, and thus crammed with too many conspiracies for a standard-length feature film. But one central idea—that “journalism has to find a way to survive into the next generation”—makes this timely stuff, said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. Besides being a thrill ride, State of Play is a “rallying cry for newspapers to rethink and retool everything, fast.”