1. The Guard – Amazon Instant Video, iTunes
Brendan Gleeson teams up with writer/director John Michael McDonagh for my absolute favorite Irish Black Comedy genre film! The setup is that there are a bunch of big bad criminals, among them Mark Strong, who stupidly set up shop in the small irish town where Brendon is The Guard. Underestimate him only at your peril, criminals! Somehow Don Cheadle as the American specialist who comes to investigate the odd goings on completes a fabulously competent duo. Cheadle is the foil to which Brendon pokes and dances around and then backs up with a fierce will.
2. Black Books – Netflix, Hulu, Everywhere:)
Dylan Moran is my go to Irish Comedian, and his series Black Books displays his wine loving and impatient insides for everyone to enjoy at their leisure. He obligingly also comes out with stand up specials on a regular basis, and they just keep getting more hilarious. Yeah, Yeah is his most recent, but he should be releasing a new one soon.
3. Boondock Saints – Amazon Instant Video, iTunes
Hello, one of the most Irish films ever, even though Billy Connolly is a born Scotsman! Chuck that tidbit at the door and just soak in the Boston-Irish goodness. This is still my favorite Willem Dafoe role by far, as a balls of steel detective who happens to be gay. You better back the heck up when he puts his headphones on.
4. In Bruges – Netflix, Amazon Instant, iTunes
5. The Quiet Man – Netflix, Amazon Instant, iTunes
The scenery is lush, the colors gorgeous, and the movie is a gosh darned excellent piece of work. The village and the people feel very real which makes the Irish touches of charm feel less cartooney and more just how these people live.
6. Grabbers – Amazon Instant, iTunes
Some genius made an Irish Horror Comedy film where the alien squid invaders are repelled by drunk people! The creatures can even smell the poisonous to them alcohol inside of a towns-person which makes them screech and run away. Richard Coyle and the entire cast plays it all off perfectly and with a good deal of giggling.
7. Calvary – Amazon Instant, iTunes
This selection is a bit darker, even though the trailer makes it look like a comedy. The same people behind The Guard, Calvary has a different feel to it aside from the occasional twinkle from Brendon’s eyes.
8. The Departed – Amazon Instant, iTunes
9. Matchmaker – DVD
Janene Garofalo has this magical ability to transform a potentially silly romantic comedy into a sharp character arc of an intelligent woman who happens to find a nice guy. Another important gift of the Garofalo is that she does not in any way need to end up with this guy to make her life complete, and if he was not nice she would simply smash him in the face and walk away. I bow to your powers and thank you for your efforts darling. And yes, that is Mrs. S from Orphan Black as a pub/B&B owner.
10. Gangs of New York – Amazon Instant, iTunes
Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson have a literal standoff that leads in to this crazy real history lesson. Set in New York in the 1860s, this shows that Americans have pretty much always been a diverse group with a fair dose of corruption in the mix. As well as an amount of irrational hatred: