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State of Grace
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Genre:Action
Year:1990
Rating:R
Length:2 Hours 14 Minutes
Cast:Phil Joanou, Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman

This first directorial effort from Phil Joanou (who has done very little of note since) 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. Hal Erickson

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