Box art for State of Play

State of Play


Academy Award®-winner Russell Crowe leads an all-star cast including Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Helen Mirren in the blistering thriller about deception, manipulation and corruption.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Mature, well-acted thriller mixes violence and politics.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Russell Crowe/Ben Affleck thriller is a mix of violence, political intrigue, and sexual innuendo -- all mature themes that are unlikely to appeal to young viewers. Characters steal, drink, smoke, and lie to the point where it's unclear who's the victim and who's the victimizer. There's some strong language (including a couple exclamations of "f--k"), drinking, and smoking as well. Sexuality is more discussed (including conversations about adultery and three-ways) than shown, except for some flirting between a couple of characters.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's message about the relationship between the media and politics. Do you think real-life politicians try to deceive the press -- and that real life reporters pretend and sometimes outright lie to get a scoop?
  • Teens: Do you and your friends rely more on the Internet than on printfor news? Do you think newspapers are a sinking ship (as depicted inthe movie)?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 2
    see all State of Play reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: It's like a time bomb that's never dismantled but never explodes. The movie is good enough that the ending leaves you ... not angry, exactly. Unfulfilled.

- David Edelstein, New York Magazine, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: It's the kind of slick showstopper that's packed with enough twists, turns and deadly tension to lead the news any day of the week.

- Shannon J. Harvey, Sunday Times (Australia), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

State of Play is a good political thriller with twists coming at you when you least expect them. Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn were absolutely fantastic in this film. They carry the film through some implausible plot twists which left me somewhat confused, but somehow, the film always made sure the audience was following along. They'd stop and say "OK what've we got so far?". Some times the story just felt rushed, like they were making an effort to keep the audience in the loop, but wanting to keep the pace up and complicate the story a bit more.... The script is very intelligent and well-written, and the direction by Kevin MacDonald was good as well. Overall, State of Play left me in a mild state of confusion, but in the end, it all made sense, and kept me involved (even a little breathless at times).

- fb701560354, Friday, March 30, 2012

3 stars

A mediocre political thriller. Unless you're a fan of this genre, you're not missing much. The acting is good but the pacing is awkward and rushed. A very decent film.

- paulkoh110, Saturday, January 7, 2012

4 stars

This movie is great. Excellent plot, excellent cast, excellent directing. Russell Crowe plays his part perfectly, as do fellow actors Ben Affleck, Rachel Mcadams, and Hellen Mirren. If one is just looking for an action-filled, mindless thriller, this is not the movie. State of Play is a thinking movie, for those in the audience who like to use their brain during the film. It's a mind game with great twists and brilliant ending. Obviously, all who took part in it, gave this movie some thought.

- Nathang110, Tuesday, October 25, 2011