10 Awesome Movie Gunfights You've Probably Never Seen
9. Noonan's Revenge (State Of Grace)
State of Grace, a well regarded but sadly little seen thriller from 1990, stars Sean Penn as Terry Noonan, a New York cop who goes undercover in the Irish mafia. The film features great supporting turns from Ed Harris, Gary Oldman and John Turturro with stylish direction from Phil Joanou, and it climaxes in one of the most beautifully shot scenes of carnage you'll ever see. When his best friend is murdered Noonan quits the police and heads to the bar that serves as the gang's headquarters to get his revenge. Proving that The Penn is mightier than the sword he takes down the mobsters inside one by one. This scene takes place almost entirely in slow motion and you can feel every gunshot exchanged. Bullets hit like cannon shells, shattering glass, wood and bone alike. The fight is intercut with the Saint Patrick's Day parade raging outside, which serves to ratchet up the tension even further. And as it comes down to an agonisingly slow exchange of gunfire between Harris and Penn, the final gunshot almost feels like an exclamation point to the scene. While kind of an overblown ending to what was a pretty gritty thriller up to that point, there's no denying the visceral thrill of the sequence either. And come on, who doesn't want to see Sean Penn diving over things in slo-mo with a gun in each hand? That would have livened up The Tree of Life no end.