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State of Grace

( 3 )

Overview

This directorial effort from Phil Joanou stars Sean Penn as an Irish-American undercover cop working the Hell's Kitchen beat. Penn is ostensibly on a sentimental journey to his old neighborhood. Actually he's been assigned to infiltrate a criminal gang led by Ed Harris, the brother of Sean's best friend Gary Oldman. Penn suffers the requisite honor vs. duty anguish when he renews his childhood romance with Harris' sister Robin Wright. State of Grace would have had more clout had it been more clear as to time and ...
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Overview

This directorial effort from Phil Joanou stars Sean Penn as an Irish-American undercover cop working the Hell's Kitchen beat. Penn is ostensibly on a sentimental journey to his old neighborhood. Actually he's been assigned to infiltrate a criminal gang led by Ed Harris, the brother of Sean's best friend Gary Oldman. Penn suffers the requisite honor vs. duty anguish when he renews his childhood romance with Harris' sister Robin Wright. State of Grace would have had more clout had it been more clear as to time and place: it's supposedly set in the 1990s, but the attitudes and behavior are pure 1970s.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Scott Engel
1990 was a big year for the mob in Hollywood, which may explain why this excellent film didn't fair better at the box office. Granted, it's not as good as Miller's Crossing or Goodfellas, but it is superior to the Best Picture-nominated Godfather Part III (all 1990). State of Grace starts out as a fairly generic story about Terry Noonan (Sean Penn) returning to his childhood stomping grounds in Hell's Kitchen to find his best friend, Jackie Flannery (Gary Oldman), is still crazy and Jackie's older brother, Frankie Flannery (Ed Harris), in charge of the gang. Of course Jackie's sister, Kathleen (Robin Wright), enters the picture and, of course, it's only a matter of minutes before she and Terry rekindle the old flame. But then the movie starts to explore much deeper issues. Hell's Kitchen in 1990 was undergoing the first signs of gentrification, causing the Irish to lose their homes and businesses. Frankie sees the angle and chooses to run the gang from his suburban house in Jersey while selling out the Kitchen for his own gains. Jackie represents the old neighborhood where you watch each other's back, no matter what. Terry has his own agenda; as an undercover cop, he struggles with the prospect of maybe having to bust his old buddies. As things heat up and the lies run deeper, the violence becomes more serious until it spins out of control. Director Phil Joanou keeps the tension mounting until the climatic final scene, which predicts Quentin Tarantino's highly stylized blood-and-guts slo-mo showdowns and pays homage to Scorsese's Taxi Driver at the same time. The entire cast glows, but Penn and Oldman are the stars. Oldman adds depth and heart to what could have simply been "the Crazy Guy" role and Penn speaks volumes with his trademark puppy dog eyes. Look for John Turturro and John C. Reilly in strong supporting roles. Although it flounders at points, State of Grace has all the elements to make it a smart character piece with a social comment.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/3/2002
  • UPC: 883904127321
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sean Penn Terry Noonan
Ed Harris Frankie Flannery
Gary Oldman Jackie Flannery
Robin Wright Kathleen Flannery
John Turturro Nick
Burgess Meredith Finn
John C. Reilly Stevie
R.D. Call Nicholson
Joe Viterelli Borelli
Deirdre O'Connell Irene
Saasha Costello Frankie's Child
Catherine Stewart Frankie's Child
Tom Sullivan Police Detective
Marco St. John Cavello
Thomas G. Waites Frankie's Man
Brian Burke Frankie's Man
Michael Cumpsty Frankie's Man
Michael Cunningham Frankie's Man
Daniel O'Shea Frankie's Man
Thomas F. Duffy Frankie's Man
Jaime Tirelli Alvarez
Sandra Beall Stevie's Date
Vincent Guastaferro Borelli's Man
John Anthony Williams Frankie's Man
John Roselius Frankie's Man
Lou Eppolito Borelli's Man
Mo Gaffney Maureen
John A. MacKay Raferty
John Ottavino Raferty's Son
Tim Gallin Bar Customer
Timothy D. Klein Bar Customer
Jack Wallace Matty's Bartender
Frank Girardeau Bartender
Frank Coletta Bartender
Paul-Felix Montez Pool Hall Manager
Freddi Chandler Waitress
B. Fine Hotel Doorman
James Russo
Michael P. Moran Bartender
Technical Credits
Phil Joanou Director
Patrizia Von Brandenstein Production Designer
Aude Bronson-Howard Costumes/Costume Designer
Jordan S. Cronenweth Cinematographer
Ned Dowd Co-producer
Tim Galvin Art Director
Albert Griswold Special Effects
Michael Hausman Producer
Shawn Hausman Art Director
Jery Hewitt Stunts
Doug Kraner Production Designer
Robert Laden Makeup
Dennis McIntyre Screenwriter
Ennio Morricone Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Randy Ostrow Co-producer
David Rabe Screenwriter
Ron Rotholz Co-producer
Claire Simpson Editor
Bonnie Timmermann Casting
William Traynor Special Effects
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Good if you like the young actors

    So many excellent young actors who have grown into brilliant actors over the last 20 years: Ed Harris, Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn, Gary Oldman. Rough story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best of all time

    If you have not seen this movie, it is a MUST. This ranks right up there with Scarface and Godfather.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews