“State of Play” is a first rate drama of cloak and dagger corruption at the highest levels of government; it will make you think of “All the President’s Men” and that is a compliment.
The acting is splendid, with Russell Crowe doing his usual excellent work, this time as a risk taking Washington, D.C. reporter, who knows where most of the bodies are buried. Rachel McAdams is an up and coming journalist, learning from Crowe. Jeff Daniels is solid as a powerful congressman. Jason Bateman almost steals the show as a sleazy go between for crooked dealings in the nation’s capital. Harry Lennix is really in the groove as the veteran police detective, who understands that there are big power brokers behind the crimes he is
discovering, even if it seems to involve just a common street shooting.
This a very intelligent thriller, that mixes romance, intrigue, mendacity, murder and patriotism and brings it all to a boil. The one flaw in the movie is a sudden rush to wrap up all the elements in the last few minutes, this does not ring true to the earlier pace of the story.
The ending is contrived and weak, but so much of the film is compelling, the poor ending can be forgiven.
I also wonder what another actor would have done with the Ben Affleck role.
THIS MOVIE IS BASED ON A BRITISH TV SHOW.