State of Play


An old-school newspaper reporter (Russell Crowe) investigates the murder of a young woman who was involved in an affair with a U.S. Senator (Ben Affleck), who is also his friend.

Entertainment Value - B

Like the Informant! I had a hard time getting drawn into this film. Russell Crowe does a good job as a journalist, but he's kind of an unbelievable character in that he's up against all kinds of trained people trying to keep the Senator from falling, and his only weapon he wields is a pen. Maybe this is symbolic because a sub theme of the movie is the difficulty the newspaper industry is having with online news sources, and the juxtaposition of Crowe and these renegades underscores it.

Moral Value - Failure to Communicate? - 3


Very similar message as The Informant! A senator's (Ben Affleck) problems start with an extramarital affair, worse things happen, and he can't get out of it. The more the senator tries to cover up what happened the deeper entwined he becomes in his web of deceit.

A lot of ethical issues come up in the newspaper's investigation of the murder and evidence they gain and withhold from the authorities in order to make some big headlines.  Is it OK to skirt the law in this case, to help the truth get out faster?  Or to make sure you get recognized for the reporting of it?

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