[An] excitingly twisty and topical new politics-and-media conspiracy thriller.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
The chance to explore the swiftly changing culture of Web-age journalism is one of several intriguing possibilities that State of Play squanders.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
State of Play rattles along very satisfactorily, and Crowe brings to the role a relaxed self-possession and even charm.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
Though it is a well-crafted political thriller, State of Play may actually have more to say about the beleaguered state of print journalism than about governmental shenanigans.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Based on a hit BBC miniseries, State of Play features a handsome production and terrific performances from its aforementioned stars.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
It's a pleasure watching this cast make the most of the material.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
An effectively involving journalism-cum-conspiracy yarn with a bang-bang opening and a frantic closer.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
It's Bateman who adds juice just as too many conspiracies threaten to spoil the stew. His cameo as a hustling scuzzball is the film's most memorable performance.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
It's a film in a hurry. In the scant minutes between plot twists, we get treated to bite-size nuggets of character development and a few juicy nibbles of acting from a cast almost universally committed to going large.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
The movie doesn't quite work, but even when it's misfiring it has an old-fashioned appeal.
Christopher Kelly - Dallas Morning News
This conspiracy thriller, starring Russell Crowe as an investigative newspaper reporter and Helen Mirren as his fire/ice editor, comes at us like the proverbial bat out of hell and keeps up a brisk rhythm built for intelligence.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
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
The three screenwriters may have been trying to work too many plot strands into two hours; in any case, State of Play is both overstuffed and inconclusive.
David Denby - New Yorker
A smart, ingenious thriller set in the halls of Congress and the city room of a newspaper not unlike the Washington Post.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The kind of acting Crowe does here won't win awards and doesn't scream for attention. Yet it serves the thriller conventions as well as the old-warrior-journalist cliches in style.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
This rote paranoid thriller was adapted from a 2003 BBC miniseries, with a few topical headlines folded in and some cursory attempts to make newspapers seem au courant.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
The journalist in me loved State of Play. The moviegoer in me even more so.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
A solidly constructed thriller that recalls the paranoid conspiracies of the 1970s.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
State of Play makes you wonder where we'll be in a decade; more importantly, it makes you wonder where we are now.
Tom Long - Detroit News
State of Play, based on the outstanding British television series, is a first-rate political thriller, but it's also something more.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
State of Play is the latest incoherently written, mass-entertainment gibberish by the overrated Tony Gilroy.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
It is Mr. Crowe who lends State of Play a sense of perpetual urgency as he traverses the corridors of power in search of massive wrongdoing at the risk of his own life.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
This efficient, admirably coherent thriller about reporters digging down to where politics and murder meet in Washington, D.C., has a wistful air about it as regards the fourth estate at a time when the profession is dangling by a thread.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
State of Play is bordered by the states of absurdity and cliche.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
As dense as a Watergate era newspaper and as immediate as a blog, State of Play is an absolutely riveting state-of-the-art "big conspiracy" thriller.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Directed by Kevin Macdonald, it's a capable if convoluted 'B' movie about government corruption, with an 'A' cast furiously pounding the pavement and keyboard.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Giving new meaning to movie magic, those Hollywood tricksters have managed to shorten the story while slowing the pace -- all of a sudden, minutes are passing like hours.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
State of Play does get a little creaky in its last third -- at that point it needs to be more streamlined, more concise. But Macdonald and the screenwriters manage to weave their ideas through a sturdy-enough plot, so we never feel we're being preached to
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
Instead of luring us down an ever-darker and twistier path, it strands us in a tedious and ill-designed maze.
Dana Stevens - Slate
The resulting tale unfolds with an urgency and sense of verisimilitude that will keep most viewers intrigued and involved without losing many along the way.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
There is 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.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Despite the quaint depiction of a packed newsroom bustling with activity, the debates about quick online hits vs. hard-hitting investigations, between selling papers with fluff vs. offering actual substance, feel relevant and real.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
For a handy compare-and-contrast, check out the small- and big-screen versions of State of Play. You'll see the difference between a vital work of popular art and a patched-up retread.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
State of Play keeps the twists coming.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
A meandering movie that sometimes hits dead center and sometimes misfires dismally, resulting in a drama more tangled than taut.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
It's all very "ripped from the headlines" and the characters are more types than people, but at least it doesn't talk down to you. Much.
Dave White - Movies.com
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
Journalistic ethics and the scandalous nature of politics are featured in the taut conspiracy thriller, State of Play.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
At last, State Of Play is an example of a Hollywood refresh that not only stand up to the source, but builds upon it.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
Smart, complex dramas constructed and performed with precision like this are too rare an offering to pass up.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Quite a stew of 'relevance'
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Just couldn't get enthusiastic about the twists and turns in this story of an investigative reporter on the trail of political bad guys. It just made me long for "All the President's Men."
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
Kevin Macdonald's State of Play has, in fact, everything you need to tell a great journalist's story, except a great story.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO
Well played sirs. Well played
Kamal 'The Diva' Larsuel - 3BlackChicks Review
Boasting a cracking cast and a deliciously clever script, State of Play is a polished political thriller not to be missed.
Anders Wotzke - Cut Print Review
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
Un thriller rutinario e intrascendente, que pretende hablar de temas importantes como la corrupcion, la etica periodistica y los abusos del corporativismo pero se queda en la superficie.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
tate of Play is a smoothly written, almost instantly forgettable procedural featuring people we have trouble caring about.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
It's really a story about the romance of newspapers and a good one - part of a tradition that goes all the way back to Ben Hecht and The Front Page. It may also mark the genre's end.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
State of Play succeeds as mainstream entertainment to the point where it hardly makes sense to complain about its pulled political punches.
Jake Wilson - The Age (Australia)
The film held me a fair way in, because it's well paced and the actors are competent. But finally, the plot took one or two big twists too far.
Julie Rigg - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Director Kevin Macdonald attacks the material with aggression and panache, simultaneously decrying the fading stocks of serious journalism while marking out the shadow zone where government and big business seal their dirty deals.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Newspapers may be changing, but accessible adult movies of this quality are certain to keep Hollywood alive and kicking well into this century.
Des Partridge - Courier Mail (Australia)
It hits the ground running, and - while never remotely innovative - manages to be unpredictable and labyrinthine enough to generally hold our attention.
Mark Demetrius - FILMINK (Australia)
I suspect that "State of Play's" minor faults will be easily forgivable by audiences just looking for some adult-level dramatics before they're banished for the summer movie season.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
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)
Represents mainstream Hollywood filmmaking at its best.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
This is a well executed, compelling political thriller with plenty of relevance in today's warring world, where war to some means an opportunity to get very rich. Power and money are always an explosive combination
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
An engrossing tale with fine performances and is at its most enjoyable without too much plot analysis
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
A political thriller that eventually loses its enjoyable thriller aspects as it meanders off into propaganda for the once mighty newspaper biz.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
It doesn't have anything particularly profound to say, but its old-fashioned virtues make its depictions of dark dealings along the Potomac feel all too possible.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Click for full review
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
a vivid and provocative excursion into the juxtaposition of ideals and the profit motive.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
The movie State of Play is equal to its brilliant source (the BBC television program aired in 2003). Until the end. Then it gets contrived and caves in. This article compares and contrasts the two.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
Both work and play--camerawork and screenplay--elevate Kevin Macdonald's State of Play from the usual conspiracy flick into a smart thriller.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
First and foremost, State of Play is a love letter to the now dying print/newspaper industry. Remember that and you'll get the gist of the film.
Kit Bowen - The Movie Kit
Scottish director Kevin Macdonald specializes in making historic or potentially dry material seem as urgent as an ambulance siren.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
...a rather conventional political thriller with a terrific cast...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
An homage to investigative reporting with Crowe playing a likable protagonist whose methods will be seen by some as virtuously dogged and others as unequivocally unethical
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Though satisfying as throwaway suspense, State of Play is framed with fondness for the American newspaper and sadness for its presumed demise.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
I almost loved STATE OF PLAY
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
The film is ultimately sunken by a shaky and ugly handheld visual style, as well as a contrived, convoluted plot with perhaps one twist too many.
Stephen Silver - The Trend
When the newspaper thriller's obituary is written, State of Play may well be cited as the genre's last gasp.
Maitland McDonagh - Miss FlickChick
For all its success in the thriller arena, State of Play's real worth can be found in its attitude toward the newspaper industry.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
State of Play is enjoyable, but this is not a great thriller. It's a cold film that has no emotional drive, no defining mood of tension or paranoia.
Cosmo Landesman - Sunday Times (UK)
This intelligent, gripping film, like the small-screen version, ultimately places the greater moral blame on fallible human beings rather than larger political forces. This rather weakens the denouement.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Scots director Kevin MacDonald has created a film for our times with a smart conspiracy drama which quietly reels you in.
Dean Essner - Sunday Mail [UK]
Intelligent, intricate thriller. http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/drc/entertainment/movies/stories/DRC_State_of_play_rev_0416.de7b8ef8.html
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
It's very successful, gripping from start to finish in the way that Michael Clayton almost but not quite did.
Chris Roberts - Uncut Magazine [UK]
Enjoyable even to audiences with fond memories of the TV series, State Of Play could give brainy big-screen drama a good name.
Charles Gant - Heat Magazine
This is the best thriller of the year so far. Exciting, interesting, gripping and impossible not to get sucked into, this is a great movie.
Simon Thompson - Heart 106.2
State Of Play is a good, old-fashioned thriller. It has believable characters and credible situations. It alternates dogged investigation with scenes of sweaty tension that Alfred Hitchcock would have been happy to orchestrate.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
This is a smart, knowing addition to the great tradition of 1970s paranoid political thrillers, and as such includes several references to Watergate as well as featuring, as it had to, a tense sequence in an underground car-park.
Karl French - Financial Times
Once you get over the unlikelihood of Affleck and Crowe as buddies, State Of Play stands as a sterling thriller, benefiting from admirable convictions and an arguable return to form by Russell Crowe.
Dan Jolin - Empire Magazine
While the drama surrounding the murder is not especially gripping, the drama on the journalism side of the story is palpable.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
It's a prestige picture all the way, supercompetent, polished, watchable - but oddly unexciting.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
This is exhilarating, compulsive storytelling and looks likely to be one of the year's cinematic highlights.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
The dialogue deficiencies are less easy to forgive, but neither these nor the sadly missed subplots can detract from the fact that State Of Play in any form is a damn fine yarn.
Richard Luck - Film4
Pacy, thought-provoking entertainment. Not perfect, but well worth the admission.
Alan Mack - Little White Lies
It might lack the political depth of All The President's Men, but this is a cracking tale for a new era... as conspiracy tales go, it is pretty darn impressive.
Mark Adams - Sunday Mirror [UK]
State Of Play's portrayal of the fine art of hackery gets it just right which, welded to a cracking storyline, makes for a first-rate movie.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
This is an enjoyable, well made and intelligent political thriller of the kind that Hollywood really ought to be churning out more often.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Deliciously twisty and featuring a fiercely fun performance from Russell Crowe at its core, the picture is a welcome addition to the conspiracy-mad thriller genre.
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
State Of Play is that rarest of movie happenings-a case of the PERFECT line-up of cast and behind-the-lens talent lining up in a great big cosmic doodah thingy of brilliance.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
A pulse-quickening political thriller that manages the neat trick of rewarding an observant viewer while also keeping the stragglers up to speed.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
How it plays out makes, in the hands of an excellent director such as Macdonald, a taut and clever thriller - even if it's not as modern as it likes to believe.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Nerves will be racked and I guarantee genuine edge of your seat moments. You may even wonder if Crowe will make it through to the bombshell twist of an ending. This State of Play is excellent.
Dean Essner - Scotsman
Whether you saw the TV programme or not, State Of Play remains a great murder mystery which should not be missed.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
Despite the cliched nature of much of the dialogue and the derivative thriller set-ups, 'State of Play' provides sufficient old-fashioned entertainment value to justify the ticket.
Wally Hammond - Time Out
State of Play doesn't betray its source material. It's not a huge let-down. It's a perfectly satisfactory evening's entertainment. But I wish it could have been more than that.
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
It's a grown-up film that doesn't feel the need to bury its real-world resonances beneath layers of comic-book movie subterfuge or action film theatrics.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
twisty substantial thriller, faithfully adapted from a standout BBC mini-series. It's not as exceptional as its source but the changes implemented mostly enhance rather than harm the story.
Philip Kemp - Total Film
Like all good journalists, Macdonald works to the theory that 'How' is less important than 'Why' and keeps us wanting to know more.
Stella Papamichael - Digital Spy
Even if you don't normally bother with movies, cheer yourself up by seeing this. There hasn't been a more engrossing or intelligent political thriller in the past three decades.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
The pros, including sharp dialogue from a triumvirate of writers including Bourne scribbler Tony Gilroy, outweigh the cons in a polished, engrossing whydunnit you'll want to see more than once.
Rob Daniel - Sky Movies
A solid, intense, entertaining work that dares to ask its viewers to think while they watch.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
...a well crafted political thriller that's one part "All the President's Men" and one part "The Pelican Brief."
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
State of Play wants to remind us that good investigative reporters are still out there in a world dominated by gossip sheets and undisciplined bloggers.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
It's as much a funeral procession for a dying art as it is a celebration of its ideals.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
'24' stole some of its plot but the movie's twists and turns are still something to Crowe about.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
State of Play is like a very filling meal. As it appears to end, one sighs with satisfaction. It was an exciting thriller with a viable resolution. ... But wait. There's more. The meal has been reheated, and thrown back slapdash on the screen.
Tony Macklin - Fayetteville Free Weekly
The changes make for a well-made, well-paced thriller, but one that is ultimately merely okay at best without the impact that comes from something deeper.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
While the miniseries is undoubtedly a richer and more fulfilling dramatic experience, the film still manages to be exciting, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
A brisk old-fashioned political thriller with a modern look.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Crowe's terrific performance carries the movie.
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
This movie is a love letter to old school reporters. It's more about the journey than the mystery. One of the year's best films.
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
It's sentimental in all the right ways.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
'State of Play' is the ideal movie for those hankering to watch a tense political thriller like the ones that seemed to appear regularly during the 1970s.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
I want to see more films like this.
Ben Lyons - At the Movies
As a former reporter and a fervent believer that we need good, independent newspapers to do their jobs keeping government and business in check, I think they got the journalism right.
Ben Mankiewicz - At the Movies
Writing about a movie that acknowledges the demise of traditional media for an online magazine could be its own ironic verse in an Alanis Morissette song. Just like rain on your wedding day.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
In this new universe where facts are mutable and ends are means, so-called ethical triumphs can only be short-term.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
You know the bad guys and you know the why. Without some much-needed plot punch and places where you really worry about the characters, the concept fizzles.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
A heck of a roller coaster ride, even if the rabbit-out-of-the-hat resolution is likely to leave you feeling cheated. Sometimes, getting there is all the fun.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
Like a brief in USA Today, complete with colorful infographics and a really cool map. (In a good way!)
Gina Carbone - Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
Sinister but somewhat incoherent, lacking in credibility.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
My bias is about to show. And I'm not talking about the fabric of my skirt.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
A thriller framed with the blessings of contemporaneity, State of Play is smart, taut, packed with top-flight performances and tremendously entertaining.
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
Affleck comes across as stellar in this film; I think this is one of his best performances.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
A serviceable thriller -- one that's tensely paced and enjoyable before the script betrays audience trust.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
...the movie suffers from a sporadic lack of context and character development that's compounded by the relentless manner with which the story unfolds...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
State of Play mixes murders and mergers, foot-chases and fact-checking, gunshots and cutting cynicism; it's the rare suspense film with style, muscle and brains.
James Rocchi - AMCtv.com
While State of Play doesn't work all the time, it never fails to entertain and engage, retaining palpable substance and relevance.
Brandon Fibbs - Christianity Today
State of Play is still the sort of smart movie that expects you to pay attention from the get-go. It then rewards you for that focus.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
It was refreshing to see a well-done thriller with great performances and intriguing twists that keep you guessing throughout.
Kevin McCarthy - WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)
The film is a veritable litany of torn-from-the-headlines issues, yet they all dovetail nicely within a thriller format. And this is the rare film that sends you out of the theater feeling a bit smarter than when you entered.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
It won't change your life, but you won't feel you wasted your time %u2013 or your money %u2014 either.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
[A] film that has spent an hour and forty-five minutes puffing itself into a battle for the Soul of American Democracy feebly hisses its way to a deflated conclusion.
Christopher Orr - New Republic
Explosive political thriller with a top-notch cast keeps you in its grip all the way. Russell Crowe's best performance since "A Beautiful Mind".
Pete Hammond - Hollywood.com
Christopher Orr - The New Republic
This thought-provoking movie will leave audiences with a wealth of issues to ponder about our future.
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
The attempt to examine a decaying print world overrun by the sensationalist-driven blogosphere sadly gets lost in ham-fisted scenes, with Affleck decrying 'I thought you were my friend!'
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
State of Play isn't as intelligently woven or rewatchable as last year's superb murder mystery, Tell No One, but at least it has solid performances and enough surprises, thrills and tension to keep you at the edge of your seat.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
The kind of film that really would benefit from a release later on in the year to receive award consideration along with all the other November-December contenders.
Jeffrey Lyles - Gazette (MD)
It's a detail-oriented movie, and the details feel right, and that means we believe it, and that makes State of Play even more gripping.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Foremost an intelligent, adult genre film -- the thriller antidote to Fast & Furious. It traffics in brainy old-school suspense, courtesy of a twisty plot that holds up under scrutiny.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
There's still an undeniable satisfaction to be had in an intelligently executed thriller.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
It would be funny if the surprise ending was that the newspaper just folded so the reporters had to abandon the case. I mean, someone still has to pay for their efforts. Exposing conspiracy and defending the public interest isn't free.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Macdonald shifts the emphasis to highlight a moment when declining readership and corporate bottom lines threaten the tradition of print journalism.
Peter Canavese - Palo Alto Weekly
Mature, well-acted thriller mixes violence and politics.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
I'd still encourage viewers to check out the series, but the movie is an above-average Cliffs Notes version.
Ethan Alter - Giant Magazine
The movie is tensely directed and it does have the kind of cast that can keep us interested throughout.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
State of Play is the best newspaper/journalism movie since Shattered Glass (2003).
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
The story has plenty of twists and turns in the plot, making it interesting to follow for the almost two-hour running time.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Holds together in proper, conspiracy-thriller style, providing general audiences with a few good surprises and some crackling performances.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
For about 115 minutes, State of Play tells an alarming, tightly constructed story, with serious things to say about journalism and the state of the country.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
A taut and efficient thriller that, unlike so many of its genre, actually has a brain in its head.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
A brain-bending press thriller.
Kurt Loder - MTV
Nothing is as it seems in State of Play, a crackerjack political thriller in which no individual, profession or institution gets away clean.
Chris Kaltenbach - Baltimore Sun
Until State of Play slips into its small cascade of improbabilities near its end, it proves a thoroughly engaging and professional enterprise.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
This adaptation of the six-hour BBC series packs plenty of plot -- and talk and characters -- into two hours. And while often rich, it doesn't reach its full potential.
Matt Stevens - E! Online
You've seen it all before, including the paunch Russell Crowe sported in Body of Lies, but with one exception: One intrepid reporter here is a blogger.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
While "State of Play" doesn't completely work as a whole, there are plenty of individual elements that do come off well enough to warrant at least a mild recommendation.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
serviceable entertainment that never makes a strong cinematic statement
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
Emulates only the best in paranoid political mysteries, both vintage and current.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
State of Play works better as this week's elegy for newspapers -- it's pulpy, it's reasonably well-written (punched up by Tony Gilroy), and briskly directed.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Finally: A cops-and-reporters thriller that actually feels up to date.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
[T]his is probably the best two-hour, 2009 version of that six-hour, 2003 story possible, particularly in light of how much corporate journalism has changed in the last half decade...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
There hasn't been a really good journalistic investigative thriller in a long while and "State of Play" may, ironically, be its death knell...Crowe is just tremendously appealing...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A study of political power plays, calamitous sexual impulses, and the twilight of newspaper journalism, State of Play is riveting, sublimely acted, and sincerely intelligent...at times.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
...the kind of thriller that begs to surprise with its twisting turn of events.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A movie that's no classic but is still engrossing and enjoyable.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Solid political thriller follows all the precedents of a typical journalist-led whodunit. But with strong performances and a tight script, it still works.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
An unrepentantly mature suspense flick; there're no jokes, no breasts and no explosions. Even as the secrets spill out, the sense is of a world compressing, not unraveling.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
It's a smart, edge-of-your-seat thriller that doesn't just tap into the zeitgeist but hooks up a keg funnel.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
"State of Play" turns in stellar performances, a winding plot and intriguing characters that make it an exhilarating thriller.
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
Washington newspaper reporters dig into a conspiracy involving U.S. Congressmen. Hard-working cast helps flesh out an overly complicated plot.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
State of Play is a red-herring-filled political and corporate thriller that romanticizes reporters and idealizes newspapers, while being about neither of those things.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ends up, ironically, burying the lead beneath underdeveloped subplots and characters as well as a final act that seemed desperate to wrap itself up to meet its own deadline.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
State of Play is a rare exception to the rule that thrillers are only as good as their twists: it's good almost in spite of its sometimes obvious plot machinations.
Rick Mele - AskMen.com
Crowe turns in a strong performance as the conflicted McAffrey. McAdams is equally convincing as Frye, who gets a quick education in journalistic basics.
Calvin Wilson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A decent thriller where the details dry up, but you get enough action and intrigue to keep you interested.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
A busy thriller that moves between the worlds of newspapers and politics, Kevin Macdonald's State of Play zips along smoothly.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Becomes too cute by a half and too convoluted by a whole, ultimately relying on a seemingly never-ending string of climactic plot twists and tacked-on revelations to ride the proceedings out.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Its depiction of a newsroom is so realistic you'll be surprised to learn the scenes were filmed on a set.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
An old fashioned, professionally executed thriller.
Mark Keizer - Boxoffice Magazine
Though solidly plotted and executed all around, the film feels like a quaint relic from another era, aping the form of journalistic thrillers like All The President's Men while missing much of their urgency.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
Up to the minute details, sharp talk, smooth performances, and a couple of surprising twists hold the interest and keep us engaged.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
State of Play starts out like an All the President's Men wannabe, but the story eventually begins very cleverly twisting upon itself in a way that never feels like a cheat or an insult to the audience's intelligence.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
Provides hearty cinematic entertainment. From the opening heart thumping sequence, the tension builds and almost never lets up, save for the weak closing.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
The movie is one of those extra-large tubs of lefty political popcorn: empty calories but delicious nonetheless, especially if you sneak in your own ice-cold can of paranoia.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
If instances of dishonesty, cover-ups and heroic loners seem at all surprising, then you haven't watched TV in the past 30 years -- or the BBC series where State of Play originated.
Armond White - New York Press
A brisk and well-acted political thriller about power, friendship, murder, and greed.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Standard political thriller with tense direction. Long weave-haired Charles Laughton does a serviceable job.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Crackles with suspense and fires on all creative cylinders. Every single one.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
A capable, intelligent, compelling thriller, but it seems possible that [Crowe and Affleck's] shared scenes were shot at different times and digitally composited together.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
Achieves suitably swift momentum, the twists and turns coming fast enough to keep one distracted from the obvious, telegraphed denouement lying in wait.
Nick Schager - The Screengrab
A reasonably suspenseful thriller that may require a second viewing to iron out the complex plot.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
It's rare that a big-ticket thriller gets it so right.
Fionnuala Halligan - Screen International
Guilty pleasure alert!
Joanna Langfield - The Movie Minute
State of Play succeeds by establishing a brisk tone early on and sticking by it, sweeping the audience along whether they like it or not.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
State of Play has tricks up its sleeve to go with the weighty ideas that will stick with you. It's the year's best thriller so far.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
This well acted, mostly engaging politico-journo thriller is in the vein of 70s character-driven tales (Pakula, Pollack) the filmmakers admire and try to emulate with varying degrees of success, a possible result of three scribes with different approaches
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Director Kevin Macdonald can't begin to approach the paranoid genre mastery seen in the films of John Frankenheimer and Alan Pakula.
Bill Weber - Slant Magazine
Laced with telegraphed character development, ghost-in-the-machine plot points, and preachy commentary, "State of Play" is a pedantic thriller caught in its own obvious clockwork.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com