7.1/10
2,294
24 user 15 critic

Black Irish (2007)

R | | Drama | 20 April 2007 (USA)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

A teenage boy longs to win the attention of his emotionally distant father.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
10 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Norman (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A troubled high-school kid pretending to be dying of cancer confronts problems with his new girlfriend and terminally ill father as he struggles with his daily existence.

Director: Jonathan Segal
Stars: Dan Byrd, Emily VanCamp, Richard Jenkins
My Family (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This epic film traces over three generations an immigrant family's trials, tribulations, tragedies and triumphs. Jose and Maria, the first generation, come to Los Angeles, meet, marry, face... See full summary »

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, Edward James Olmos
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A gay Internet connection is made, but entanglements ensue due to hiding behind the name and photo of a straight male stripper who happens to return to the area.

Director: Glenn Gaylord
Stars: Rebekah Kochan, Daniel Skelton, Chris Salvatore
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Leo Cauffield, chief of British counterespionage, fails by a whisker to arrest two fellow Cambridge-graduated spies who just manage to defect to Moscow, resigns and becomes a journalist. In... See full summary »

Director: Marek Kanievska
Stars: Sharon Stone, Rupert Everett, Julian Wadham
Snow Angels I (2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A drama that interweaves the life of a teenager, with his old baby sitter, her estranged husband, and their daughter.

Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Michael Angarano
The Guard (2011)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A substance-addicted actress tries to look on the bright side even as she is forced to move back in with her mother to avoid unemployment.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid
Saltwater (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An Irish-Italian café owner in a seaside town faces a life crisis, as his wife recently died and he's severely in debt. His oldest son tries to help, but has serious problems of his own, ... See full summary »

Director: Conor McPherson
Stars: Peter McDonald, Brian Cox, Conor Mullen
Pursuit I (2015)
Action | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A modern day Irish gangland version of the ancient Irish legend of Diarmuid and Gráinne. Gráinne is daughter of a major crime boss and is promised to marry the great warrior Fionn to help ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mercier
Stars: Ruth Bradley, Barry Ward, Liam Cunningham
The Cup (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The 2002 Melbourne Cup horse race, brotherly love and the triumph of the human spirit. A true story.

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Bryan Martin, Stephen Curry, Jodi Gordon
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young man, his wife, and his incompetent case worker travel across country to find his birth parents.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Ben Stiller, Patricia Arquette, Téa Leoni
Studs (2006)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Emmet Rovers are the team at the bottom of the league, and after losing their manager they are now faced with the loss of their home grounds. Maybe a manager can bring some luck for the team.

Director: Paul Mercier
Stars: Feidlim Cannon, Liam Carney, Shaun Elebert
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Joey
...
Anthony
Finn Curtin ...
Coach Mahoney
Scott Winters ...
Doctor
Frank T. Wells ...
Father Magruder
...
Graves
...
Maria
Michael McCarthy ...
Maria's Father
...
Maria's Mother
...
Officer Pierce
Edit

Storyline

In South Boston, where Irish roots run deep and Catholic tradition reigns, two brothers face similar hardships but lead far different lives. While older brother Terry descends into drugs and crime, 16-year-old Cole vies to make the state baseball championships - but must struggle to withstand his brother's destructive influence. When the two inevitably clash in a life-and-death confrontation, family ties-and futures-are at stake. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't choose family. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief violence
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 April 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Czarna lukrecja  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,900 (USA) (26 October 2007)

Gross:

$6,900 (USA) (26 October 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

When Tom Guiry goes to the Marine Corps recruiting office, he speaks with a Lieutenant, played by Kevin Chapman. Except, the Lieutenant is wearing enlisted Dress Blues (red piping on only enlisted uniform), not an Officer uniform. To make matters worse, the Dress Blue uniform hanging in the background is an Officer dress blue coat (without red piping), but then has enlisted chevrons sewn on the sleeve. So both uniforms are incorrect. See more »

Quotes

Officer: [Desmond has taken his son out of the station] Be easy on the boy. You don't want a second Terry.
Desmond McKay: [Angry and sarcastic] Right. Thanks for that enlightenment!
See more »

Connections

References The Brady Bunch (1969) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A new benchmark in the coming-of-age genre
23 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I attended the World Premiere of "Black Irish" at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Initially, the blurb in the program guide suggested a fairly formulaic coming-of-age drama. But looks can be deceiving, and the synopsis just barely scratches the surface of what is, in reality, one of the most complex, rich, and heartwarming stories I've seen in quite some time. Remember those drawings in art class? The ones where the page is covered with black crayon and as you scrape off the outer layer you find multicolored wonders underneath? That's the most apt description that can be applied to "Black Irish." Because, as you'll discover, nothing is at it seems. And that is the singular achievement of Brad Gann, directing from his own script, with an ensemble cast that lends such passion to the material that I left the theater shaking my head in awe.

Webster's defines "hero" as, "one that shows great courage, an object of extreme admiration and devotion." It's hard to grow up without one, especially as a teenager in hardscrabble South Boston. Often the father possesses the traits a boy needs to survive those difficult years and prepare for the world he's about to enter. An older brother will usually suffice in cases where Dad is absent or unable or unwilling to fit the bill. Many coming-of-age stories place a teacher or clergyman in this position. But someone always appears, the boy grows up, he moves on, and they all live happily ever after. But what if all fail or don't show up to the table? "Black Irish" poses that question, and more. So much more.

Meet the McKays. Brendan Gleeson is Desmond, the father who doesn't quite qualify as hero due to years of heavy drinking and wallowing in self-pity, a legend in his own mind but not to his family. Tom Guiry is Terry, the older brother who's headed down a path of violence and self-destruction not unlike his father, giving up the hero role in the process. Sister Kathleen (Emily Van Camp), pregnant, wants little to do with the chaos around her. Amidst all this, Melissa Leo is Margaret, the mother who tries to hold it all together at the risk of losing her own somewhat sane self along the way. And our protagonist, 16 year-old Cole, is stunningly portrayed by Michael Angarano, as the boy who yearns for that moral compass that he needs to help guide the way into adulthood.

"Black Irish" takes us along on young Cole's search, and as we emotionally invest ourselves in his quest, we are at turns confused and occasionally amused, as is he, but mostly we hurt. To say that we feel his pain does not do justice to a story that is, at its heart, real life. And this is the true surprise of this film. These characters are far from one dimensional, the reality far from the clichéd impression even the paragraph above might suggest. There were audible gasps at the numerous twists and turns that Gann has infused into this shockingly brilliant script, no less than 12 years in the making and 30 rewrites along the way, as he indicated in the Q&A following the screening. And just when you think you know these people, just as you relax when the film seems to enter territory in which we feel comfortable, something happens. We discover that those we thought were cold and distant have a heart, a vulnerability and tenderness conveyed by Gleeson and Guiry that left me dumbfounded. Those we thought were soft and sweet, innocent and vulnerable, have a soft, fuzzy animal inside ready to turn vicious when backed into a corner, as Leo, VanCamp, and Angarano all exhibit along the way.

In the Q&A, Gann mentioned VanCamp's long-running portrayal of Amy on TV's "Everwood" as the inspiration for her being cast in this role. Fans will not be disappointed, and those unfamiliar with this actor's ability to bring nuance to what could otherwise be a stock performance will be wowed. Guiry lends the film some of the most heart wrenching surprises, as his ability to turn moods on a dime is unparalleled. Leo carves out new territory, again, in a role that could have been tired and worn in the hands of a lesser actor. She truly shines. And Gleeson does a star turn in a magnificent performance that, and I rarely use this term, is Oscar-worthy. Finally, Angarano is perfectly cast in the role of the quintessential underdog, in what I believe is the performance of his career. No young actor today has the ability to say so much with his eyes and facial expressions, and as the boy who becomes father to the man he sets a new standard for others who follow to live up to.

"Black Irish" carves a new benchmark in the coming-of-age genre. Because it is so much more than that. The audience cheered at the end of the screening here. It was a response I've not heard at any of the 70+ films I've seen at 7 festivals this year. It is deserving of your time, and will truly touch your heart as it did mine.


58 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
who here's black Irish? familyguyfan101
CALLING ALL AMERICANS!!!! alan-breslin
plot?? balehead55
filmed at my school (kinda) vanilla_revolution
The Trailer!!!! Saved04
movie theatre release carachloe
Discuss Black Irish (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?