This is a B-movie with a star performance by Anthony Hopkins. It is in the vein, stylistically, as "The Exorcist" and "The Omen." It has its theme in common with the former and it approaches the atmosphere of the latter, though it does match either in quality. However, it eschews gore in favor of character and is more effective because of it. Anthony Hopkins is emmensely entertaining.
The intrigue, conspiracy and drama present in this movie are off the charts. It's truly an intelligent film that captivates from start to finish. I didn't particularly like the final twist but it all makes sense. On a structural note, I find it ironic that the crusading media is portrayed as the constant moral compass and is the hero of the film when, in real life, journalism is now all about the presentation of different levels of liberal falsities. As for the performances, Russell Crowe and the ENTIRE cast are simply superb... everyone is top level talent on the top of their game. I can't remember a recent movie where the supporting players are this good. Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels and even Helen Mirren have very small roles but all have a huge impact on the film. Affleck and McAdams do a great job as well.