State of Grace (1990)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

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.
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Orion Pictures Corporation

Cast

Sean Penn
as Terry Noonan
Ed Harris
as Frankie Flannery
Gary Oldman
as Jackie Flannery
Robin Wright
as Kathleen Flannery
R.D. Call
as Nicholson
Joe Viterelli
as Borelli
Marco St. John
as Cavello
Jaime Tirelli
as Alvarez
Sandra Beall
as Stevie's Date
Tom Sullivan
as Police Detective
Mo Gaffney
as Maureen
John Ottavino
as Raferty's Son
Jack Wallace
as Matty's Bartender
Paul-Felix Montez
as Pool Hall Manager
Freddi Chandler
as Waitress
Tommy Ray Sullivan
as Police Detective
Ben Fine
as Hotel Doorman
Thomas G. Waites
as Frankie's Man
Brian Burke
as Frankie's Man
Michael Cumpsty
as Frankie's Man
Michael Cunningham
as Frankie's Man
Daniel O'Shea
as Frankie's Man
Lou Eppolito
as Borelli's Man
Thomas F. Duffy
as Frankie's Man
Vincent Guastaferro
as Borelli's Man
John A. MacKay
as Raferty
Johnny Williams
as Borelli's Man
John Roselius
as Borelli's Man
Louis Eppolito
as Borelli's Man
Tim Gallin
as Bar Customer
Timothy D. Klein
as Bar Customer
Frank Girardeau
as Bartender
Michael P. Moran
as Bartender
Saasha Costello
as Frankie's Child
Frank Coletta
as Bartender
Catherine Mary Stewart
as Frankie's Child
B-Fine
as Hotel Doorman
John Anthony Williams
as Frankie's Man
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for State of Grace

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (7)

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

Full Review… | January 3, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A handsomely produced, mostly riveting, but ultimately overlong and overindulgent gangster picture.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

A hugely impressive piece of work for a young director previously known for his documentary U2 Rattle and Hum.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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
New York Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Penn's affecting performance, a strong and silent struggle with his warring emotions, is hard pressed to offset Oldman's shrill shenanigans.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for State of Grace

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.

Curtis Lilly
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

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 Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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.

Eric S
Eric S

Super Reviewer

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