I've been watching a lot of comedies lately so I was looking forward to a suspense/mystery/thriller movie. A couple things jumped out at me while watching this movie. First of all, I know that some actors spend months getting into a certain kind of shape for a role in a movie. Castaway, The Machinist, and 300 come to mind, so it made me wonder if Russel Crowe spent the last 6 months eating Ding Dongs and growing his hair out to play a veteran journalist.
What really surprised me was the casting. This movie is a fruit salad of actors I never would have imagined being together. When I saw the cast I figured this would be Gladiator meets Good Will Hunting meets The Notebook meets Princess Bride meets Arrested Development, meets The Queen, meets Dumb and Dumber. Despite my prejudiced stereotypes, I really like this movie and all of the performances were good.
State of Play has a sense of realism to it that is often lacking in many movies today and I appreciated that. It may be the typical scenario of a journalist coming across clues and solving a mystery quicker than the police, but there were enough twists and turns in the movie that I didn't mind.
It's not a perfect movie, but it is one of the better ones I've seen this year. I give it 7.4 stars.