Irish Movies that Will Make You Say ‘Cheers!’

Whether you’ve had a bad day or you just want to be with your family and friends, once in a while it’s nice to simply lay back, kick off your shoes, and enjoy a cold brewsky while watching a crunchy popcorn flick.

To up the ante, why not have fun with the gun slinging, cobblestone action, and dark comedy brute in Irish movies? Here are some film titles to help you get started.

Hunger (2008)

If you want something emotionally gripping while at times cringing to watch, yet ultimately moving, then you can start with Hunger. Before writer/director Steve McQueen gained mainstream popularity in his 2013 Academy Award winning film 12 Years a Slave, this 2008 movie starring Michael Fassbender was his debut to the big leagues. The film tells the real life story of Bobby Sands, an Irish republican who spearheads a hunger strike inside a Northern Irish prison in protest against the British government. Overall considered an avant-garde in presenting a historic drama, Hunger gained a well-deserved nod in Cannes and the Criterion Collection.

In the Name of the Father (1993)

For a satisfying movie, look no further than In the Name of the Father starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson and directed by Jim Sheridan. The film involves a man forced into admitting that he was responsible for the 1974 IRA bombing, and in doing so leading him and his father to imprisonment. Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson leading a high-strung courtroom drama involving one man against the government? Gather a couple of bottles and some snacks and you’ve got yourself a party!

My Left Foot (1989)

In case you are a fan of Daniel Day-Lewis’ method acting, then My Left Foot is your next step. Earning his first Academy award, he starred as an Irishman with cerebral palsy who struggles to paint and write using his left foot, the only limb he can control. This was also directed by Jim Sheridan.

The Guard (2011)

There is nothing more Irish than Brendan Gleeson. For a slightly more realistic action movie with splashes of talkie and dry comedy, The Guard offers a Don Cheadle’s FBI Special Agent who teamed up with a seemingly dumb Irish sergeant played by Gleeson in trying to bring down drug smugglers. This movie is highly recommended for those after tongue in cheek banters and an overall laid back mood.

For more Brendan Gleeson, try checking out Calvary and In Bruges with the same director, John Michael McDonagh

Runner-ups: Gangs of New York (2002) and The Departed (2006)

Both films directed by Martin Scorsese are not exactly Irish as they were both set in America. However, it would be a shame not to recommend the hack-and-slash, gray and bloody faceoff of Leonardo Di Caprio and Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. The Departed, on the other hand, is everything you would want in an action movie: it’s hilarious, thrilling, violent, and Boston Irish. Plus is the soundtrack for both movies!

Stay tuned for more tips and insights in our blog as we update it from time to time. For real life action and enjoyment, grab a cold beer and a warm meal here at McCullar’s Irish Pub & Grill located in Arlington, Texas.