State Of Grace 1990

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(27) IMDb 7.3/10
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Irish-American Terry (Sean Penn) returns to his old neighbourhood, after a mysterious absence. He is reunited with his childhood friend Jackie (Gary Oldman), now working in arson and extortion rackets, but a possible alliance with an Italian mob brings trouble for Terry's friends, and Terry himself might not be all he says he is. Based on a real-life New York gang, The Westies, who ruled 'Hell's Kitchen' during the 1970s.

Starring:
Gary Oldman, John Turturro
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 8 minutes
Starring Gary Oldman, John Turturro, Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Robin Wright
Director Phil Joanou
Genres Thriller
Studio MGM ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 23 June 2003
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles German, English

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sofia Ikonomou on 31 July 2003
Format: DVD
State of Grace is filmaking at its finest- a beautiful modern drama with superb performances.
The protagonist, Sean Penn as Terry Noonan, is looking to face his past in Hell's Kitchen and do his duty as an undercover police officer-only to find out that he will have to harm people he grew up with and love him.He soon meets and bonds with his best friend, Jackie Flannery (one of Gary Oldman's most beautiful performances-and his personal favourite), who is working for his brother Frank (Ed Harris),the boss of the Irish mafia, and his Jackie's sister Kathleen who was his first love. Soon, he will discover that it he cannot easily turn on his own people, especially not Jackie who, despite his drinking and his violent, borderline paranoid character, sees him as a friend and trusts him immediately.
Director Phil Joanou has created a beautiful film that relies on a good, heart-felt story, and excellent acting from all the protagonists. The absolute highlight of this movie is Gary Oldman, whose presence lights up every scene he is in. As Jackie Flannery he is constantly drunk and in need of a shower, yet incredibly human and looking for affection and the approval of his older brother.
I loved the film when I first saw it, and was just as impressed now that I got to see it again on DVD.It feels real and honest.The only drawback of this edition is its Spartan menu,featuring only a trailer but that may have to do with the film being made back in 1990... Appart from that it is an absolute must for movie lovers.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By tom on 10 Mar 2004
Format: DVD
First saw this film on long term absense from work years ago. I'd just about seen every film in my local video store and what attracted me was the cast and the fact it was a gangster film. Say no more. I was tempted and took a chance - what a choice!
It'a fair to say that the themes of this film are set in stone yet what the last reviewer fails to say is how thrilling the plot is. I was hooked. If you can accept that films about street level hoods and mob based crime have long been the norm since the Godfather then you can focus on the plot details rather than pointing out the cliches.
I will say no more about the plot than it follows Terry Noonan (Sean Penn) returning to his old neighboorhood wher he hooks up with his old pal Jackie Flannery (Gary Oldman) and becomes involved with Jackie's bro Frankie's (Ed Harris) mob who rule over Hell's Kitchen.
It is a brutally violent film yet no matter how repulsive the actions of each character become (watch Gary Oldman wipe out a couple of drinking hoods with no remorse if you know what I mean) you find yourself rooting for them.
The central trio of actors are as good as they've ever been and are supported by a collection of underratedactors - John C Reilly, John Turturro to name a few. Gary Oldman and Sean Penn are the two that bind the film together yet it is Ed Harris that holds the attention, he is repulsive yet vunerable in his scenes with his boss leading the viewer to empathise with his crucial decision.
I have recommended this film to many friends who would never have seen it otherwise and they all agree that it kicks arse! If you are a fan of filma such as Mean Streets, Donnie Brasco, King Of New York and (of course) Goodfellas then give this one a try as I feel it is truly underrated and deserves to sit alongside those afore mentioned.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Mcque on 7 Jun 2010
Format: DVD
This film has to be the best kept cinematic secret ever. When you look at the cast I dont know how it slipped under the radar, gritty hells kitchen crime film. Must see !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Nov 2014
Format: DVD
State of Grace is directed by Phil Joanou and written by Dennis McIntyre. It stars Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, Robin Wright, John Turturo and John C. Reilly. Music is by Ennio Morricone and cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth.

Terry Noonan (Penn) returns to Hells Kitchen after a number of years away and finds his best pal, Jackie Flannery (Oldman), is a major player in the Irish/American mob being run by his elder brother, Frankie Flannery (Harris). With a love interest rekindled and a secret he dare not reveal, Terry is soon caught in a maelstrom of danger and tested loyalties.

It got lost in the slipstream of Goodfellas, but although it’s not in the same league as Scorsese’s critical darling, State of Grace is a splendid slice of neo-noir gangsterism. The plot is made up of standard genre tropes, divided loyalties, betrayals, kinship, revenge, rivalries, territorial machismo and etc, all of which of course comes laced with spitfire dialogue and sparky violence.

The strengths come with the performances of the lead cast members, the visual flourishes via Cronenweth and Joanou and Morricone’s classical score. Penn and Oldman are forces of nature, the former a ball of emotional turbulence, the latter a hopped up maniac with killer tendencies. Harris as the daddio main man is a moody and malevolent presence, as is Joe Viterelli as mafia boss man Borelli. Wright seems a little out of place in this material, Turturo isn’t used nearly enough, but Reilly scores well with a limited role and Burgess Meredith pops in for a superb cameo.

It doesn’t have originality on its side, but it’s a mightily strong film regardless, with the human drama drawing one in as the tech skills impress across the board. 8/10
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