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  • Issue Archive for
  • Apr 22-28, 2009
  • Vol. 29, No. 28

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  • State of Play

    Russell Crowe is Cal McAffrey, the romantic stereotype of a rumpled, hard-drinking, morally flexible but still noble investigative reporter, the one every keyboard news jockey secretly imagines themselves to be. He’s up to his Chee-tos-stained beard in dirt, digging into a mysterious D.C. double homicide that turns into a juicy political scandal when a pretty young congressional aide has a nasty run-in with a speeding Metro train. Trouble is, the dead girl was the lead researcher in an idealistic congressman’s probe of a paramilitary outfit’s Pentagon contracts (Blackwater-style), and she was also his mistress. Congressman (Ben Affleck) is also Cal’s old college buddy who once had a fling with his wife (Robin Wright Penn). Worse, Cal’s forced to share a byline with a motivated but still-green blogger (Rachel McAdams), and squeezed by a (Helen Mirren) boss more concerned with shrinking revenues and impatient corporate owners than with getting the story right.

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