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State of Play Review Critics


Dave White Profile

You can't handle the truth! Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    There's simply too much stuff for a two-hour feature, and three writers, including Tony Gilroy, haven't figured out how to boil it down into a readily comprehensible narrative, or how to solve the problem of an ending that goes blah rather than bang.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Intelligent and engrossing saga.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Spins a thorny tale of political corruption laced with personal sleaze.

    Read Full Review

  • See all State of Play reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

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.

  • 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)?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The main characters all make morally ambiguous choices, and it's hard to tell who's "good" and who's "bad." Protagonists are adulterous, keep evidence from the police, lie, and are involved in illegal, violent acts. On the other hand, a journalist is willing to report the truth even if it means alienating a close friend.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: An ex-military assassin executes a string of people involved in a central intrigue -- some of whom are innocent bystanders.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Discussion of sexual improprieties, including adultery, menage a trois, and a highly publicized political sexual scandal.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes words like "s--t," "ass," "bitch," "screwing," "dick," "oh my God," and a couple of exclamations of "Christ!" and "f--k."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Featured products include Saab and Cadillac.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink (in bars, at home, and at work) and smoke cigarettes on several occasions.