Congressman Stephen Collins is the rising star of his political party – until his research assistant/mistress is murdered, and buried secrets come tumbling out. Investigative journalist, Cal McCaffrey has the dubious fortune of both and old friendship with Collins and a ruthless editor, Cameron who assigns him to the story. As Cal and his partner Della step into a cover-up that threatens to shake the nation’s power structures, they discover one truth – when billions of dollar share at stake, no one’s integrity, love or life is ever safe.
Top Class Thriller
- State of Play review by CP Customer
This superior political thriller was originally a hugely influential and groundbreaking BBC series at the time of its original broadcast. Now we have the Hollywood treatment, with many aspects being condensed or excised to allow a reasonable running time of two hours. The end result remains surprisingly enjoyable and thrilling. Of course the whole environment has been uprooted to Washington DC, and while its sad to see another British idea transplanted, Kevin MacDonald has done a tremendous job. Russell Crowe is excellent as the grizzly reporter, caught between loyalties to his friends and those of his profession. Ben Affleck despite some criticism suits the clean-cut ex-military hero, turned congressman. As Cal, Crowe slowly pieces together random murders with a pending scandal that looks set to shock the political scene on the hill. Helen Mirren is underplayed as the ruthless newspaper editor, with Rachel McAdams arguably in her breakout role as a blogger turned proper reporter. State of Play is thoroughly recommended, it harks back to an era of classic thrillers that relied on the storyline (with accompanying twists) rather than any lavish stunts, explosions or bedrooms scenes. This makes it extremely refreshing, especially as it shows how to adapt a television series without alienating what made it popular originally.
An uplifting detective crime drama. Crowe as the main character is an experienced hack. Affleck an ambitious politician and old flatmate of Crowe's and McCaffray a junior colleague. The plot is interesting, the direction smooth and the product glossy. This is a Hollywood break no rules film. The only surprise is that Mirram's performance is poor. The comic fine line between funny and flimsy was crossed, I felt she looked amateur. She was much better with Willis in Red. The others were great.
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Loved it, despite Helen Mirren.
- State of Play review by DW
I try hard to avoid anything that includes Helen Mirren but I was told that this US tribute to the original BBC version was well worth a watch. And so it was, including an unexpected ending which concluded with the simple use of newspaper headlines to show us the aftermath of this investigation, nice touch.
So, apart from the unwelcome presence of HM, I thoroughly enjoyed this one & I hope you do too.