An Irish Education for Rachel

by fiona-gavin | created - 07 Jun 2012 | updated - 29 Jun 2012 | Public
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1. The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)

Not Rated | 127 min | Drama, War

82 Metascore

Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Pádraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald

Votes: 43,028 | Gross: $1.83M

Great accents, great landscape, Cillian Murphy. What more could you want?

2. Screen Two (1985–2002)
Episode: The Snapper (1993)

R | 91 min | Drama

83 Metascore

Set in Ireland, Sharon Curley is a 20 year old living with her parents and many brothers and sisters. When she gets herself pregnant and refuses to name the father, she becomes the talk of ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Frears | Stars: Colm Meaney, Tina Kellegher, Ruth McCabe, Eanna MacLiam

Votes: 5,400 | Gross: $3.32M

oh, Jesus, weren't the 80s awful altogether.

3. The Commitments (1991)

R | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

73 Metascore

When Jimmy Rabbitte wants to start a band, he has open auditions at his house.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle Kennedy

Votes: 30,267 | Gross: $14.92M

ditto. Two parts of a trilogy, actually, based on books by Roddy Doyle of Paddy Clarke, Ha, Ha, Ha fame

4. My Name Is Yu Ming (2003)

13 min | Comedy, Short

Is there a place in the world for Yu Ming? He's a clerk at a convenience store in China, bored with his life. At a library, he spins a globe and stops it with his finger, which turns out to... See full summary »

Director: Daniel O'Hara | Stars: Daniel Wu, Frank Kelly, Paddy C. Courtney, Richard Morton

Votes: 365

Might be hard to find. Youtube? Indeed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA0a62wmd1A

5. Intermission (2003)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

A variety of losers in Dublin have harrowingly farcical intersecting stories of love, greed and violence.

Director: John Crowley | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Kelly Macdonald, Colin Farrell, Shirley Henderson

Votes: 14,734 | Gross: $0.90M

Very entertaining, good plot twists, full of sharp Dublin humor.

6. The Field (1990)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Thriller

When a field (which has been farmed by the McCabe family for generations) goes up for auction, the patriarch of the McCabe family will stop at nothing to prevent a rich American from buying it.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean, Frances Tomelty

Votes: 5,157 | Gross: $1.41M

If you wanna understand rural Ireland this is an absolute must. Based on a hugely successful film that was based on events in... County Kerry!

7. The Crying Game (1992)

R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

90 Metascore

A British soldier kidnapped by IRA terrorists soon befriends one of his captors, who then becomes drawn into the soldier's world.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson, Forest Whitaker, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 48,030 | Gross: $62.55M

Test: Name the applicable Father Ted Quote.

8. My Left Foot (1989)

R | 103 min | Biography, Drama

97 Metascore

Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan

Votes: 62,267 | Gross: $14.74M

9. Rory O'Shea Was Here (2004)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

59 Metascore

When the kinetic Rory moves into his room in the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, his effect on the home is immediate. Most telling is his friendship with Michael, a young man with cerebral palsy and nearly unintelligible speech. Somehow, Rory understands Michael, and encourages him to experience life outside the confines of home.

Director: Damien O'Donnell | Stars: James McAvoy, Steven Robertson, Romola Garai, Alan King

Votes: 13,708 | Gross: $0.02M

10. In America (2002)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

76 Metascore

A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Djimon Hounsou, Sarah Bolger

Votes: 39,284 | Gross: $15.54M

Sad but uplifting tale of a family coming to terms with loss and making a new start. The two sisters are brilliant, and I absolute love the lead, Paddy Considine. Despite my intro, not at all lacking humour.

11. The Quiet Man (1952)

Passed | 129 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond

Votes: 32,329 | Gross: $10.55M

12. Perrier's Bounty (2009)

R | 88 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

47 Metascore

A gangster named Perrier looks to exact his revenge on a trio of fugitives responsible for the accidental death of one of his cronies.

Director: Ian Fitzgibbon | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Cillian Murphy, Michael McElhatton, Don Wycherley

Votes: 6,078 | Gross: $0.00M

Not essential but entertaining.

13. Killing Bono (2011)

R | 114 min | Comedy, Music

46 Metascore

Two brothers attempt to become global rock stars but can only look on as old school friends U2 become the biggest band in the world.

Director: Nick Hamm | Stars: Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan, Krysten Ritter, Ralph Brown

Votes: 5,832

ditto

14. In the Name of the Father (1993)

R | 133 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

A man's coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Alison Crosbie, Philip King

Votes: 144,302 | Gross: $25.01M

I haven't actually seen this but apparently it amazeballs.

Watched it last night. Sob. Really brilliantly done though, great pace, dialogue and acting.

15. The Magdalene Sisters (2002)

R | 114 min | Drama

83 Metascore

Three young Irish women struggle to maintain their spirits while they endure dehumanizing abuse as inmates of a Magdalene Sisters Asylum.

Director: Peter Mullan | Stars: Eileen Walsh, Dorothy Duffy, Nora-Jane Noone, Anne-Marie Duff

Votes: 24,904 | Gross: $4.89M

Made for TV, not brilliantly made but interesting subject matter.

16. The Secret of Kells (2009)

Not Rated | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

81 Metascore

A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.

Directors: Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey | Stars: Evan McGuire, Brendan Gleeson, Mick Lally, Christen Mooney

Votes: 28,766 | Gross: $0.69M

Gorgeous animation, slightly *beep* story, music by...KILA!

17. The Guard (2011)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

78 Metascore

An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is partnered with an up-tight F.B.I. agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring.

Director: John Michael McDonagh | Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Ronan Collins

Votes: 76,098 | Gross: $5.36M

Bit of craic.

18. Angela's Ashes (1999)

R | 145 min | Drama

54 Metascore

Based on the best-selling autobiography by Irish expatriate Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens

Votes: 19,298 | Gross: $13.04M

Oh, Jaysus, weren't the forties awful altogether.

19. At Swim-Two-Birds

Announced

A playwright's life begins to mingle with the fictional characters he has created.

CAN'T FREAKIN WAIT!!!

20. War of the Buttons (1994)

PG | 94 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The children of Ballydowse & Carrickdowse engage in battles in which they cut off the buttons, shoe-laces, belts and braces of their captured opponents. This gets their opponents in trouble... See full summary »

Director: John Roberts | Stars: Gregg Fitzgerald, Gerard Kearney, Darragh Naughton, Brendan McNamara

Votes: 3,800 | Gross: $0.01M

Based on an early 20th Century French short story but the most retro Ireland movie ever. Fan feckin tastic!!! Strongly recommend.

21. In Bruges (2008)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be.

Director: Martin McDonagh | Stars: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ciarán Hinds, Elizabeth Berrington

Votes: 368,695 | Gross: $7.76M

Other people like it.

22. A Film with Me in It (2008)

89 min | Comedy, Thriller

A broke, jobless actor and a broke, jobless screenwriter set out to make a movie and then find that life starts imitating art.

Director: Ian Fitzgibbon | Stars: Dylan Moran, Mark Doherty, Keith Allen, Amy Huberman

Votes: 3,568

Again, not essential viewing but a nice (very black) comedy

23. Stella Days (2011)

TV-14 | 100 min | Drama

56 Metascore

A small town cinema in rural Ireland becomes the setting for a dramatic struggle between faith and passion, Rome and Hollywood and a man and his conscience.

Director: Thaddeus O'Sullivan | Stars: Martin Sheen, Stephen Rea, Trystan Gravelle, Marcella Plunkett

Votes: 371

Haven't seen this yet but it did well at Festivals.

24. Parked (III) (2010)

94 min | Drama

47 Metascore

Fred Daly returns to Ireland with nowhere to live but his car. Then dope-smoking 21-year-old Cathal parks beside him, and brightens up his lonely world. Encouraged by Cathal, Fred meets ... See full summary »

Director: Darragh Byrne | Stars: Colin Morgan, Colm Meaney, Milka Ahlroth, Stuart Graham

Votes: 2,171

ditto.

25. Adam & Paul (2004)

83 min | Comedy, Drama

2 heroin addicts negotiate their way through Dublin's city centre, encountering friends and family as they search for their next fix.

Director: Lenny Abrahamson | Stars: Tom Murphy, Mark O'Halloran, Gavin Dowdall, Luke Keeler

Votes: 2,759

Speaking of black humor

26. Into the West (1992)

PG | 97 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

71 Metascore

Grandpa Ward gives a horse he found to his grandchildren, who keep it in their tower-block flat in Dublin. The horse is stolen from them, and the two young boys set out to find it and flee on it.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Ellen Barkin, Ciarán Fitzgerald, Rúaidhrí Conroy

Votes: 2,539 | Gross: $4.79M

Absolutely essential. It's a horse, Tayto, it's a horse! Learn about travelers!

27. Hunger (2008)

Not Rated | 96 min | Biography, Drama

82 Metascore

Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Stuart Graham, Laine Megaw, Brian Milligan, Liam McMahon

Votes: 62,123 | Gross: $0.15M

No craic, very intense, but beautifully made. Again, very interesting subject matter.

28. Some Mother's Son (1996)

R | 112 min | Drama, History

Based on the true story of the 1981 hunger strike in an Irish prison, in which IRA prisoner Bobby Sands led a protest against the treatment of IRA prisoners as criminals rather than as ... See full summary »

Director: Terry George | Stars: Helen Mirren, Fionnula Flanagan, Aidan Gillen, David O'Hara

Votes: 2,395 | Gross: $0.61M

More of a traditional style docu drama about Bobby Sands and the Hunger Strikers.

29. The Butcher Boy (1997)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

The antisocial son of an alcoholic father and a bipolar mother grows up in 1960s Ireland.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Eamonn Owens, Alan Boyle

Votes: 8,750 | Gross: $1.82M

Disturbing.

30. Michael Collins (1996)

R | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

60 Metascore

Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Ian Hart

Votes: 27,972 | Gross: $11.09M

not forgetting the Big Fella

31. The General (1998)

R | 124 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

The real-life story of Dublin folk hero and criminal Martin Cahill, who pulled off two daring robberies in Ireland with his team, but attracted unwanted attention from the police, the I.R.A., the U.V.F., and members of his own team.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Adrian Dunbar, Sean McGinley, Maria Doyle Kennedy

Votes: 7,657 | Gross: $1.21M

32. Garage (2007)

85 min | Drama

A tragicomedy set in the world of gas stations in rural Ireland, where over-diligent employee of the garage searches for intimacy during the course of a life-changing summer.

Director: Lenny Abrahamson | Stars: Pat Shortt, John Keogh, George Costigan, Anne-Marie Duff

Votes: 2,697

A surprise for the nation when ridiculous "comedy" actor Pat Short starred in this poignant indie comment on loneliness and isolation in the countryside. Painful to watch in parts.

33. Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)

Approved | 93 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

A wily old codger matches wits with the King of the Leprechauns and helps play matchmaker for his daughter and the strapping lad who has replaced him as caretaker.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery, Jimmy O'Dea

Votes: 6,318

Fantastic. Genius. Trippy horse psychedelics! A mad leprechaun King messing with the humans just for the craic of it! Full blown Irish dancing hoolie session in the Hall of the Little People! THE BEST SPECIAL AFFECTS OF THE 20th CENTURY!!!

34. Disco Pigs (2001)

TV-MA | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A twisted rite of passage.

Director: Kirsten Sheridan | Stars: Elaine Cassidy, Cillian Murphy, Sarah Gallagher, Charles Bark

Votes: 4,112

Cillian Murphy, in his first big role, stars in really quirky love story.

35. The Last of the High Kings (1996)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

It is 1977, Dublin rocks to the music of Thin Lizzy and the world is stunned by the death of Elvis Presley. Frankie, caught between acne and adulthood, has just completed his final exams in... See full summary »

Director: David Keating | Stars: Catherine O'Hara, Jared Leto, Christina Ricci, Gabriel Byrne

Votes: 1,669



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