Russell Crowe plays a newspaper reporter who has a conflict of interest when his politician friend (Ben Affleck) gets mixed up in a sex scandal. This is a film that goes to great lengths to show how a news story unfolds, displaying the pressures and obstacles a reporter faces. Crowe is very good in the lead, and it’s good to see Affleck acting his head off. Unfortunately, the film unravels toward the end, culminating in a moronic and unfortunate finale. I really wish they could go back and change this ending, because they really had something for the first three-quarters of the movie. The film wants you to know that daily newspapers are important. State of Play might wind up being some sort of historical marker, but it won’t stand as a good movie.