I was lucky to see a pre-release promotional screening of State of Play, directed by Kevin Macdonald, with a screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Tony Gilroy and Billy Ray. Promotional screenings are interesting because there are no previews and the audience is generally in a very upbeat, lively mood because the tickets are free: it's just to generate buzz in the local community (and to screen the film for reviewers like myself).
Let me cut the suspense: like many modern Hollywood thrillers, State of Play had more than its share of plot twists, complex character motivations and exciting scenes where you weren't sure what was going to happen, but it also had the "make sure you get this, stupid audience" flashback scenes (I'll explain a bit later in the review) and plot holes big enough to make you wonder if anyone actually read the script all the way through before they started production.
A grade? B.