State of Grace
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Every indulgence, including a two hour and 14 minute running time, is on display."
‑ Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times
"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."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"A violent, tortuous melodrama that labors mightily to be an Irish Mean Streets or a latter-day Wild Bunch."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Charts the territory of lawlessness, betrayal and violence."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"A handsomely produced, mostly riveting, but ultimately overlong and overindulgent gangster picture."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Penn's affecting performance, a strong and silent struggle with his warring emotions, is hard pressed to offset Oldman's shrill shenanigans."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Superior gangland drama with a nod to Scorsese"
‑ Don Groves,
"A powerful, gritty, life-of-crime thriller that showcases its charismatic cast to impressive effect."
‑ , Film4
"A hugely impressive piece of work for a young director previously known for his documentary U2 Rattle and Hum."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"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."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A gritty, intense and explosive Irish gangster drama that's second only to Scorsese's GoodFellas as the best film of 1990."
‑ Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily
More reviews for State of Grace on Rotten Tomatoes