Russell Crowe plays a veteran Washington DC reporter in this twisty political thriller. Working for editor Helen Mirren’s newspaper, Crowe and eager-beaver blogger Rachel McAdams reluctantly team up to crack the murder of the mistress of an up-and-coming congressman (Ben Affleck) – who happens to be Crowe’s old college buddy.

This tangled mystery (based on the 2003 TV series) unravels in gripping style, though, because it’s based on a series, there are a few cliffhanging shock moments too many. However, Crowe’s ideal, world-weary performance holds it all together and Affleck also does well in an unsympathetic role.

Mirren makes her role count too, though McAdams and Robin Wright Penn, as Affleck’s wife, are underused.