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State of Grace brings an impressive ensemble cast to bear on its epic gangster saga, elevating a largely familiar story with outstanding performances. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Gone for a decade, Terry Noonan (Sean Penn) is welcomed back into the fold in his Irish-American neighborhood in New York City. A one-time street tough, Terry is now an undercover officer targeting crime boss Frankie Flannery (Ed Harris). In the name of duty, Terry rekindles his dormant friendship with Frankie's younger brother, Jackie (Gary Oldman). But as Terry gets closer to his goal, his feelings for the youngest Flannery, his old flame Kathleen (Robin Wright), complicate his mission.

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Critic Reviews for State of Grace

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (4)

  • Every indulgence, including a two hour and 14 minute running time, is on display.

    January 3, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • A handsomely produced, mostly riveting, but ultimately overlong and overindulgent gangster picture.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…
  • A hugely impressive piece of work for a young director previously known for his documentary U2 Rattle and Hum.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Mr. Oldman gives an electrifying performance that both establishes a tragic, terrifying character and explains why that character's world is such a perilous place.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Penn's affecting performance, a strong and silent struggle with his warring emotions, is hard pressed to offset Oldman's shrill shenanigans.

    January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • What's best about "State of Grace" is what's unique to it - the twisted vision of the Oldman character, who lives in a world of evil and betrayal and has somehow thought himself around to the notion that he is doing the right thing.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for State of Grace

  • Feb 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.
    Erin C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 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.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 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.
    Danny R Super Reviewer
  • Jan 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.
    Jason R Super Reviewer

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