State of Play: Best Movie of 2009?
The summer movies have yet to arrive, but 2009 has already treated us with a few surprises. State of Play, the political thriller starring Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Jeff Daniels and Ben Affleck, is the best of the year thus far and could find its way into the Top Ten when all is said and done.
State of Play, based on a BBC miniseries, had the potential to be a disaster. After all, boiling down a complicated, six-hour drama-thriller into two hours – for American audiences no less – could have led to some major dumbing down. Thanks to superb direction by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, Touching the Void), smart writing by guys who collectively have written such films as Shattered Glass, Breach, Lions for Lambs, Michael Clayton and The Bourne Supremacy and excellent performances, State of Play is a taut, edgy and believable thriller that avoids such a date. The movie craftily merges political conspiracy with dialogue about the state of the newspaper industry, and even includes a fair amount of humor. All in all, it’s a masterfully crafted and executed drama-thriller.
Read the rest of the State of Play movie review.