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State of Grace Reviews

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puffchunk
puffchunk

Super Reviewer

March 10, 2008
Stellar cast. I was captivated the whole film by the actors. Although I have liked other 'rat in the mob' movies better, like Donnie Brasco and Departed, but with Oldman, Reilly, and Harris I can't complain. I gotta say, the one thing keeping me from a higher rating is that I didn't care too much for the ending. As epic as the slow motion shootout was, it couldn't have felt more anti-climatic. Although, it was some nice squiby action.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

October 11, 2010
Irish Mob movies are not so common, but always seem to be great when they're made. This is one of the best, certainly topping The Depearted in my opinion. It deals with a similar scenario, but it's a lot more human and better looking. The cast is flawless, Sean Penn and Gary Oldman are just a few of the people who give some of their best performances. The story, for its time, was extremely original and done in such an effective way. It's a shame that no one holds this in the same regard as Goodfellas because it's honestly just as good. You care about these characters and believe they could exist in the real world. The Hell's Kitchen atmosphere is really effective, you can practically see the scummy darkness around you. Phil Joanou might not have many hits, but this is good enough to earn him some respect in my book.
Eric S

Super Reviewer

November 22, 2007
Magnificent look at the Irish mob in New York known as the Westies. Gary Oldman's character work as the ruthless Jackie Flannery is brilliant. He makes Jackie vulnerable and likable, showing he is one of the most unsung actors of our time. Sean Penn and Ed Harris turn in outstanding performances as well in this riveting film set primarily in New York City's "Hell's Kitchen". Even though Oldman's performance alone makes this film a "must see", the film is pretty much a perfect piece of cinema in every way. Very likely the best film of the last twenty years.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 22, 2009
An early 90's classic with a superb cast. Highly recommended as an alternative to most of the gangster films of that era.
Al S

Super Reviewer

November 3, 2007
A gangster movie classic. A stylish, gripping, taunt and exhilerating movie. A powerful, tough, insightful, suspenseful and awsome experiance. Superb career defining performances by it's astonishing cast. Truly dedicated, moving and passionate performances. Sean Penn is riveting. Gary Oldman is electrifying. Ed Harris is brilliant. The chemistry is remarkable. A crime film of family, friendship, loyalty and betrayel. A real knockout. A masterpiece. A tour-de-force of breathtaking felocity. A drilling, explosive, nail-biting and unforgettable edge of your seat thriller. Well told and skillfully crafted.
shauna1354
shauna1354

Super Reviewer

February 4, 2008
Extremely overlooked film. A dark and clever gangster film with a terrific cast. A career best performance for Gary Oldman, probably second to Norman Stansfield in Leon, he gives a chilling performance as an Irish gangster. Not only does he play a psychopath-who-keeps-body-parts-in-his-freezer fantastically well but he also makes him likeable. Also in my opinion he made Sean Penn seem boring in this film.
It's tense, gritty and action-packed but unfortunately not without it's cliches, it also tends to lag with the scenes with Penn and Robin Wright.
Highly recommended, Gary Oldman's knockout performance is reason enough to see it.
Lady D

Super Reviewer

June 29, 2007
An impressive cast including Sean Penn, Gary Oldman and Ed Harris, all of whom played great roles. A very enjoyable story, witht he most realistic shooting scenes I think I've ever watched. This film is definitely worthy of another watch, just to pick up on pieces missed first time around.

This is a definite recommendation to anyone who enjoys Organised crime/gangster style films.
Michael S

Super Reviewer

October 30, 2007
One of the most underrated gangster films ever made. Sean Penn, Ed Harris, and especially Gary Oldman do some of their very best work in this very unappreciated minor masterpiece.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

February 16, 2007
Quality, if slightly dated gangster drama featuring a fine cast doing what they do best. Deserves attention for concentrating on Irish gangsters rather than the usual mafioso, and Oldman is excellent, honing his psychotic gangster persona to a tee. Not a patch on it's contemporary, Goodfellas, but not much is.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 22, 2006
Picture an Irish Mean Streets with an undercover cop.
Danny R

Super Reviewer

February 6, 2010
One of the most enthralling gangster films of the early '90s, a memorable crime drama of betrayal, redemption and guilt, marvelously realized and skillfully directed by Phil Joanou. Sean Penn delivers a superlative multi-layered performance as Terry Noonan, a undercover cop brought down from Boston to infiltrate one of the top crime organizations in the City of New York, he returns to his old neighborhood in New York's Hell's Kitchen to locale his childhood best friend Jackie Flannery, brilliantly played by Gary Oldman in a powerhouse performance an enforcer for his ruthless older brother Frankie, played superbly by Ed Harris who is sheer cunning evil and the boss of the Irish mob in Hell's Kitchen. Noonan hopes that Jackie can get him into Frankie's gang, but things become more complicated when his old feeling for Kathleen, beautifully played by Robin Wright the Flannery's estranged sister come into play. Impressive supporting performances John Turturro, Jonn C. Reilly, R.D. Call, Joe Vitereli, and the late great character actor Burgess Meredith in a brilliant heartfelt cameo as an old man in debt and living in fear, but it is Oldman who steals the film with one of his finest performances, his ability to show completely psychopathic behavior complete with sudden outbursts of brutal violence. coupled with feeling of love and loyally is very powerful and compelling. Great use of New York City locations, and exquisite cinematography by Jordan Cronenworth, Ennio Morricone brilliant score is perfectly haunting. The finale climatic slow-motion shootout between Penn and Ed Harris's mob during the St. Patrick's Day Parade is a real stunner. Gritty, violent and unforgettable. Highly Recommended.
Mike T

Super Reviewer

October 29, 2006
The performances are uniformly strong from an excellent cast, but Phil Joanou fails to do anything original with the material and the result is an entertaining but altogether underwhelming gangster movie. The dialogue is often unconvincing and gives the audience a baffling radar of character motives, but the story is interesting enough to keep things afloat. Gary Oldman goes all out and turns in a very interesting performance, but it is Sean Penn's understated acting in the lead role that steals the show.
Nicolas K

Super Reviewer

June 1, 2009
It is always great when someone recommends a film that you might have not noticed otherwise and turns out to be a little gem. Great cast, great film.
Erin C

Super Reviewer

February 27, 2011
Great cast, great acting, action-packed. There were some shocking parts, and the ending wasn't great, but the movie was pretty good overall.
Jason R

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2010
Gary Oldman is the greatest actor and if you need any evidence of this, then look no further. State of Grace in some aspects is your typical crime drama, but the actor's take the somewhat overused cliches used a lot in these types of movies, and make this a very enjoyable movie.
kylemydude
kylemydude

Super Reviewer

November 6, 2007
One of the most under-rated movies. Hardly anyone knows that this even exists. It is one of my top 10 movies of all time. Sean Penn is amazing in it, and Gary Oldman delivers a remarkable performance as usual. It is about the Irish mob in New York. Ed Harris, Sean Penn, John C. Reilly, John Turturro, and Robin Wright Penn are also in it. (This was before she was married to Sean Penn, so her name was just Robin Wright.) Really powerful speech by Sean Penn that gives the movie it's title.
Sean L

Super Reviewer

August 12, 2009
I can see how this film went under the radar when released around the same time as Goodfellas, Miller's Crossing, and even Godfather 3, but taken on its own terms it is really fantastic. It is a fairly straightforward story elevated by some brilliant actors. Just the fact that it's three leads are Sean Penn, Gary Oldman, and Ed Harris is enough to make this worth a watch. The supporting roles from the likes of John Turturro and John C. Reilly are an added bonus. The direction is simple and tells the story well. The shootout at the end is brilliant.
Chosen 7

Super Reviewer

April 5, 2008
Pretty good irish gangster film with some great performances.
broadwaymo
broadwaymo

Super Reviewer

August 12, 2007
Sean Penn returns to his old stomping grounds, Hell's Kitchen in NYC, and falls in with a gang of up and coming Irish thugs, while simultaneously attempting to rekindle the flame of a lost love. As we've come to expect, Ed Harris is quietly intense as the gang's leader and relative newcomer at the time, Robin Wright, does well with her role of estranged sister/former girlfriend. But, it's Gary Oldman's brilliant portrayal of the unstable brother that, if for no other reason, should entice you to see this film. Why this man wasn't nominated for an Oscar is truly a crime.
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