State Of Play is a condensed Hollywood adaptation of a 6 part British mini-series of the same name. I've never seen the original and I imagine it's a gripping film. But judging this version on it's own merits I think that it's a really well made political thriller. A leading senator (Ben Affleck) becomes the centre of a scandal. His lead researcher (and mistress) died in suspicious circumstances and his best friend (Russell Crowe) is a leading journalist assigned to the story. He has a loyalty to his friend and sets out to expose the truth behind the death. In doing so, with the help of rookie journo (Rachel McAdams), he connects the death with another recent murder and a snowball effect of revelations begins to unravel. It's a solid film with solid performances. Ben Affleck (imo) hammers this film home with a really powerful performance. His naysayers ought to enjoy their humble pie. Helen Mirren offers a strong support role and the newspaper chief, and other support players include Jason Bateman, Robin Wright and Jeff Daniels. I admit that I thought the finale was a bit contrived but it is otherwise an excellent political thriller in the same vein as All The President's Men.