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State of Play | 2009 | PG-13 | - 4.6.5

An ambitious congressman (Ben Affleck) chairs a House Committee that is investigating a mercenary army company, when his mistress is found dead. Amidst the ensuing political scandal a grizzled journalist (Russell Crowe) and a rookie online reporter (Rachel McAdams) investigate the growing conspiracy. Also with Jason Bateman, Robin Wright Penn, Maria Thayer and Jeff Daniels. Directed by Kenneth MacDonald. [2:00]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A picture of a young woman reclining on a sidewalk, in only her underwear and pink leg warmers, is shown briefly. A newspaper photo appears five times, showing bare-chested men; another newspaper photo shows a man in tight leather pants and bare-chested. A bar scene shows several waitresses in pink micro-mini skirts, sleeveless shirts and pink leg warmers (revealing cleavage and thighs). A man is shown wearing a T-shirt and boxer.
 A man is reported to have had an extra-marital affair with a co-worker; the affair is discussed several times on news shows. A gay man tells a woman, "I got a guy. I got a girl too -- wouldn't want to leave anyone out," (implying a bisexual relationship). We see a tape that reports that a man's mistress was pregnant and had been hired to have sex with him. A female reporter implies that she may have had sex with an informant in order to gain information. A man accuses another man of hiring a woman to have sex with a man as a spy mission. A man confesses to his wife that he had an affair with another woman. A woman tells a man that sex usually ruins a friendship and he tells her that he will not have sex with her. A man states in an interview that he has "gay rage."


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man is shot several times by sniper fire and killed (we see a lot of blood on the victim and dripping into a pool on the floor). A man is shot several times and we see small spots of blood on his body. A man is shot in the head and spine, and another man is also shot in the head and spine (we see a little blood).
 A man stalks another man in a dark parking garage, the man hides behind cars, jumps onto a moving vehicle, the other man shoots the car windows out, the vehicle slams into a police car approaching from the other direction and the man on the car falls to the ground (it appears as though the man was shot in the hand, with some blood). A man with a gun threatens another man and shoots at him (he is struck in the hand and a bit of blood is visible). After a shooting, a police officer falls to the floor and we see blood on one arm.
 A man becomes angry and beats another man up (we see the man's bloody nose); two other men pull him away. Two men argue, and one pushes the other into a wall and threatens him.
 We see several military operations with army troops running through streets in Iraq. A man runs from a store at night, knocks down an elderly couple, rolls over car in traffic, breaks vases in another store, rushes down an alley and hides behind empty barrels.
 A woman stands on a subway platform with one foot half way over the edge and we then hear an announcement of her death.
 A man talks about mercenaries who will kill anyone they are assigned to kill in Iraq and elsewhere and that they were paid to control the crowds after Hurricane Katrina by killing some people. A man questions several people regarding the possible murder of a woman, several of these interviews deteriorate into arguments with raised voices. We hear that a young woman is found shot to death. A man argues briefly with his boss and his coworkers several times. A man questions several people about two shootings several times. We hear about an assassin being hired to kill someone. A man tells another man, "they want you out of the way" (implying dead). Employees of a newspaper are told by police, "You have blood on your hands." During a meeting about a mercenary army company, a man is questioned about the money he made by facilitating deaths and he is accused of getting rich by killing. There are several references to suicides homicide and murder.
 We see a man in the hospital in a coma in a few scenes with equipment and nurses monitoring his vital signs, and we see a nurse remove a breathing tube in one scene.
 We see a dirty young woman with sores and grease on her face and oily long hair and dirty clothing. A man is taken into the sewers and underground tunnels of a city and the setting is dirty and wet. A large poster in a store window shows a bright red dripping spot in the middle of a model's forehead (it looks like either blood or odd makeup).


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 4 F-words and its derivatives, 18 sexual references, 23 scatological references, 14 anatomical references, 16 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, bloodsuckers, thick-neck, corn-fed, West Virginian, show horse, work horse, rat hole, hypocrite, wanker, son [in a derogatory southern way], baby), 9 instances of stereotyping, 4 religious profanities, 2 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Throughout the film, people are asked about a man and woman's use or sales of drugs (we never see any drugs), and a dead man is reported to have stolen a briefcase to get money to use for street drugs (we do not see any of his actions). A man and a woman drink whiskey and call it "Irish wine," a man and a woman drink whiskey, dining scenes show glasses of wine and liquor on tables, people are shown drinking at a bar and we see beer bottles and liquor glasses. A man smokes a cigarette.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Politics, war, for-profit armies, duplicity, cupidity, extramarital sex, murder, business monopoly, drugs and alcohol, money, power, regrets, integrity, censorship, media responsibility.

MESSAGE - Dig deep enough and you'll find the truth.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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