State of Play is a 2009 political thriller film, based on the six-part British television serial of the same name which first aired on BBC One in 2003. The plot of the six-hour serial was condensed to fit a two-hour film format, with the location changed to Washington, D.C. The film was directed by Kevin Macdonald from a screenplay written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Tony Gilroy, Peter Morgan and Billy Ray.
The film tells of a journalist's (Russell Crowe) probe into the suspicious death of a congressman's (Ben Affleck) mistress. The supporting cast includes Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman, Robin Wright Penn and Jeff Daniels. Macdonald said that State of Play is influenced by the films of the 1970s and explores the topical subject of privatization of American Homeland Security and to a minor extent journalistic independence, along with the relationship between politicians and the press. It was released in North America on April 17, 2009. The film received generally positive reviews.