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States of Grace (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  23 April 2014 (France)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 413 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 3 critic

The lives of a street preacher, an aspiring actress, a Mormon missionary, and a young gang banger intersect in this ensemble drama set in present-day Santa Monica, California.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lozano
...
Farrell
Lamont Stephens ...
Carl
Rachel Emmers ...
Holly
Jo-sei Ikeda ...
Louis
...
Mae
Allah Chatman ...
Todd
...
Banks
...
Mangum
John Pentecost ...
President Beecroft
Pete Jackson ...
Downy
Rege Lewis ...
Jordan
Danny Martinez ...
Manuel
...
Abe (as Fatal Instinct)
...
Sister Hershey
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Storyline

Although Elder Farrell and Elder Lozano are assigned together as Mormon missionary companions they are a study in contrasts. Farrell, from Utah, is bookish, sensitive, focused on seeking potential converts, and dedicated to following mission rules. Elder Lozano was shot by a rival gang when being initiated into the Latino gang of his brothers and then was converted to the LDS church while recovering at the same time as a missionary in the hospital. Due to go home in three weeks, he shows more interest in playing basketball than teaching people. One day while going door to door in Venice, California they find themselves caught in crossfire as a Latino gang does a drive-by shooting. Lozano renders aid to Carl, an African American gang member who is seriously wounded. Upon recovery, Carl thanks him and becomes interested in learning about what the missionary has to teach about redemption. Returning home, the elders find an ill man lying on the street and take him back to their apartment.... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beyond faith, beyond reason, beyond experience.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence and mature thematic material

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

23 April 2014 (France)  »

Also Known As:

God's Army 2: States of Grace  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Carl's interview, Elder Banks quotes Alma chapters 22-24 from the Book of Mormon, in a specific doctrinal point exclusive to the Mormons: Someone can receive forgiveness since he/she had no idea he/she was committing a serious sin, such as murder, but only if the person receives the gospel with a commitment of dedicate his/her life to Christ, even if that means to die for Him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lozano: [the elders are playing basketball on "P" day. Speaking to Elder Farrell] Come on. Get in here man, we're getting our butts kicked.
[Elder Farrell shakes his head negatively]
Elder Mangum: Come on Farrell, we're one man short.
Sister Savea: I'll do it.
Elder Mangum: I said, we're one MAN short.
Sister Savea: You're one short man, that's what you are.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Singles 2nd Ward (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A transcendental, moving experience, not to be missed for people of any faith
5 November 2005 | by (Provo, UT) – See all my reviews

For those faint of heart, weak of character, or poor in spirit, be careful with this film. It handles heavy issues, tackles serious drama, and has definite PG-13 material. But it also illustrates compassionately and expertly the atoning power of Christ, the amazing strength that can come from relying on Him in our imperfect, human state, and turning to Him in repentance, feeling His love, regardless of the mistakes we've made.

This was a gritty, realistic look at many of the issues young people (especially missionaries) face today. It doesn't try to hide the evil, but it does keep the Spirit and the Gospel of peace, hope and repentance far more prominent. It doesn't condescend or submit to cheap laughs and religious stereotypes, as many LDS-made films do, but rather, as Dutcher has a magnificent habit of doing, it focuses on what the Gospel is really about. It doesn't pretend that sin isn't sin, it recognizes fully when wrong has been done, and when further wrong is done in an attempt to rectify it. This film indicates the only real solution to any problem, the power of Christ. To those who grimace at the reverent and appropriate use of ordinances and the like in Dutcher's movies, get past your letter-of-the-law cultural mindset and take a look at the Gospel, and listen to the Spirit.

Technically, this film is as admirable and noteworthy as many films made nowadays. Where Dutcher finds such incredible actors is beyond me, as is how he manages to get such powerful and moving performances out of them. It's artistic, it's dramatic, but it's real and feels like a situation that you've seen before. The use of Sam Cardon's music was effective, and the one or two throwbacks to God's Army were enjoyable. Especially noteworthy was how this film didn't downplay any religion, but rather lifted up the importance of believing and relying on Christ.

I laughed, I cried, and then I cried some more. Everyone who finds their way to this review, PLEASE do what you need to do to see this incredible film. It will make you grateful that we have a Savior to turn to when we know we've done the wrong thing. I only wish I could give this film 11 stars. Bravo, Richard. You've done it again.


26 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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