'State of Play' Critic Reviews

85%
MovieWeb:   9 reviews
84%
Rotten Tomatoes:   207 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    84
    [An] excitingly twisty and topical new politics-and-media conspiracy thriller.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    40
    The chance to explore the swiftly changing culture of Web-age journalism is one of several intriguing possibilities that State of Play squanders.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    60
    State of Play rattles along very satisfactorily, and Crowe brings to the role a relaxed self-possession and even charm.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    75
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Ann Hornaday Washington Post (Top Critic)
    Based on a hit BBC miniseries, State of Play features a handsome production and terrific performances from its aforementioned stars.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Wesley Morris Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    63
    It's a pleasure watching this cast make the most of the material.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • J. Hoberman Village Voice (Top Critic)
    An effectively involving journalism-cum-conspiracy yarn with a bang-bang opening and a frantic closer.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    70
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Amy Biancolli Houston Chronicle (Top Critic)
    75
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Christopher Kelly Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    67
    The movie doesn't quite work, but even when it's misfiring it has an old-fashioned appeal.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    88
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • David Edelstein New York Magazine (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • David Denby New Yorker (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    75
    A smart, ingenious thriller set in the halls of Congress and the city room of a newspaper not unlike the Washington Post.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    88
    The journalist in me loved State of Play. The moviegoer in me even more so.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    A solidly constructed thriller that recalls the paranoid conspiracies of the 1970s.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    67
    State of Play makes you wonder where we'll be in a decade; more importantly, it makes you wonder where we are now.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    80
    State of Play, based on the outstanding British television series, is a first-rate political thriller, but it's also something more.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    State of Play is the latest incoherently written, mass-entertainment gibberish by the overrated Tony Gilroy.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Andrew Sarris New York Observer (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Todd McCarthy Variety (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    State of Play is bordered by the states of absurdity and cliche.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    80
    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.
    Full Review » 5 years ago