Parents' Guide to

State of Play

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Mature, well-acted thriller mixes violence and politics.

Movie PG-13 2009 132 minutes
State of Play Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 18+

We enjoyed this movie - very good acting & storyline.

For most part we liked this movie. We prefer less bad language , but given the rating pg-13 about the norm of today's rating system . We find this combination of actors excellent together. And kept us all intertained , made for a nice Sun evening.
age 12+

Good Movie

Good movie. There are two f**ks and some other words like B***h, S**t, and Da*n it. There is violence that is minor and some sexy stuff. One of the 'f' words is played for laughs, because Helen Mirren is mad and says "F**k you ver much". But Russel Crowe and Rachel McAdams are good roll models because they investigate crimes and help make the world a good place. But it isn't a good message because there is killing and yelling.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (8 ):

Director Kevin Macdonald draws heavily from testosetrone-driven '70s political dramas like All the President's Men to frame his big-screen adaptation of the award-winning BBC series. Even the idea of a newspaper breaking important news is pretty '70s, since at this point we'd all find out via Twitter or Facebook whether a politician's girlfriend was murdered. Still, Crowe -- all slobbified with oily long hair, an extra 15 pounds of flab, and a cluttered old Saab -- is game for the throwback action. Unfortunately, Affleck is no Redford to Crowe's Hoffman. Sure, he's perfect for the part of a pretty-boy politician who somehow looks 10 years younger than his former college roommate, but he's no acting match for Crowe.

But you can thank the casting gods for the wonderful trifecta of supporting actresses -- Helen Mirren (as the paper's top editor), McAdams, and Robin Wright Penn (as Collins' betrayed wife, who once had an affair with Cal) -- each of whom goes toe to toe with Crowe. Jason Bateman is also brilliant as a flashy public relations hack, and Jeff Daniels is all political smarm as a corrupt senior congressman. Besides Affleck's underwhelming portrayal, there's one too many holes in the twisty plot. But even as an old-school thriller that falls short, STATE OF PLAY is still better than many of its peers.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate