Hi Im the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
What do you do when you mix the guy who wrote the Bourne movies and directed Michael Clayton, some of the best actors in Hollywood (in the form of Hellen Mirren, Ben Affleck (circa 2008), Russel Crowe and Rachel McAdams) and a really intriguing thriller plot all revolving around journalistic truth? You get State of Play.
Russel Crowe plays Cal, a reporter who lives on junk food and dies by the pen. He is a devout journalist, not a fluff story guy but someone who will take months to get to the bottom of everything before posting something. He is pretty much the guy who shouts question everything from the rooftops. McAdams is a local blogger who gained fame after starting a political blog that is followed round the country. She is very in your face and someone who likes to get something done quick. Oddly enough she gets partnered with Cal. Mirren plays their boss, a sassy woman who doesnt take no for an answer and gives everyone crap. Deep down though its because she cares. Meanwhile Affleck plays senator Collins, someone who was just caught in an Elliot Spitzer kind of office romance that garnered much media coverage.
But Cal doesnt care about that. What he cares about is two guys who were killed by an assasain with a silencer. He believes that is the real story. Besides, Collins is his good buddy. But as Cal digs deeper into the murders he finds out that maybe these two stories (the affair and the murder) have a lot in common.
All the acting in this film is phenominal and should hopefully get some nominations soon here. Affleck and Crowe especially should be noted as being really good. They both get into their characters and dont rely on their star power to be good. The biggest surprise in this movie comes in the form of a cameo appearance from Jason Bateman. He is mentioned in the movie a lot and you see pictures of him but it isnt until deep into the third act do we see him. Bateman tries to be an evil guy in this movie, a real jerk, but comes off as being hillarious. Its funny without feeling misplaced. When he is really freaking out and getting pissed though he pulls through but it is a real surprising job done by him and its worth seeing the movie just to see his bit part.
Its a really intriguing story and for anyone who was a fan of Michael Clayton or the Bourne movies will instantly love this film. Its deep, engaging, and has so many twists that you are doing a few double takes and "WHAT!!"s while your watching. It never gets confusing though and the movie does a nice job tieing everything together without having to stand there for twenty minutes and describe it to us. Usually its in a debrief room and it only lasts a minute or two.
Overall the film is really good and does a great job giving us great acting and a fufilling story. It also has a great message of journalistic integrity...I think every member of Fox News needs to see this movie. Maybe they will learn something.
MY VERDICT: OWN IT