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State of Play: An Excellent Conspiracy Film

John Simkin

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State of Play is one of the best political conspiracy films I have seen. It is a film adaptation of the critically acclaimed six-part British television serial written by Paul Abbott, which was on BBC in 2003. The plot of the six-hour serial was condensed to a fit two hour movie format, and the location changed from London to Washington, D.C. I was a great fan of the BBC serial and when I heard that Paul Abbott was not involved in writing the screenplay, I feared the worse. However, the scriptwriters, Matthew Michael Carnahan, Tony Gilroy, Peter Morgan, and Billy Ray, have done a good job in updating the story to be about Halliburton and the War on Terror. Jeff Daniels gives a great impersonation of George H. W. Bush.

You can see the reviews here:


This one is especially worth reading:


Philip French highlights the main weakness of the film in his conclusion: "This intelligent, gripping film, like the small-screen version, ultimately places the greater moral blame on fallible human beings rather than larger political forces. This rather weakens the denouement."

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