Kevin Macdonald’s State of Play, starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, said Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly, is an “excitingly twisty and topical new politics-and-media conspiracy thriller.” If a movie with such “verve, fire,” and “timely substance” can’t attract a large audience, “movies for grown-ups may well prove to be as endangered as newspapers.” (watch the trailer for State of Play)

State of Play is “well assembled and has some good performances,” said Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. “It has a great takeoff, levels nicely, and then seems to land on autopilot”—but maybe that’s the trouble with trying to resolve “so much plot in a finite length of time.”

That’s not the only problem, said Kirk Honeycutt in the Hollywood Reporter. State of Play “lacks credibility throughout.” And there’s “nothing we haven't seen here before in terms of chases, intrigue, and betrayals, so for all its A-list cast and production values, the film comes off as routine.”