The Butcher Boy 1998 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(77) IMDb 7.2/10
Available in HD

A dark journey into the mind of a troubled Irish boy whose obsession with maintaining his family's honor leads him to commit a gruesome murder that leads to a nervous breakdown.

Starring:
Sinead O'Connor, Aisling O'Sullivan
Runtime:
1 hour 51 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

The Butcher Boy

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Neil Jordan
Starring Sinead O'Connor, Aisling O'Sullivan
Supporting actors Peter Gowen, Alan Boyle, Andrew Fullerton, Fiona Shaw, Aisling O'Sullivan, Stephen Rea, John Kavanagh, Rosaleen Linehan, Anita Reeves, Gina Moxley, Niall Buggy, Ian Hart, Anne O'Neill, Joe Pilkington, Pat McGrath, Jer O'Leary, Pat Leavy, Janet Moran
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Their lives encompassed their town, their family and their friendship.
Jason Troy
Just for the acting alone this movie is brilliant but the story and characters and the way it all comes together is really as perfect as a film can get.
Stella
There is violence here, to be sure, but this film has much more intelligence and depth going for it than the poster would have us believe.
Larry L. Looney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Cairene on September 19, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
There has been a welcome trend in recent years of films that follow the first person narrative of their source novels. Seemingly free of conventional morality they provide the viewer with the resplendent and singular worldview of their often deranged protagonists. The standouts have been Danny Boyle's Trainspotting 1996 from Irvine Welsh's novel and Fight Club 1999 from Chuck Palahniuk's novel. I haven't read Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy, but from the film's looney narration its easy to guess that the book was written in first person. In the hands of fellow Irishman Neil Jordan's suprisingly whimsical hands, the film is a hysterical tragedy if there ever was one.
The time is 1960s Ireland. And from the bizzare opening credits where Mack The Knife plays over the comic book images that so completely engulf the world of our young anti-hero, it is clear that this is not a clear eyed picture of Irish life, but Ireland according to Francis Brady (Eamonn Owens). He's quite a scallywag this lad, he marches through the town along side his best friend Joe Purcell as if they owned it. Surrounded by Irish religious hysteria and John Wayne movies the villains in their world are the detestably snobbish and English accented Mrs.Nugent(Fiona Shaw), Aleins and Communists(in that order). According to the adult Francie's franctic narration his Da Brady (Stephen Rea) is "the best musician in the world" and his Ma is certainly the kindest and most loving of mothers. It is indeed a wonderful life, or a wonderful fantasy.
It becomes depressingly clear that Francie's father is a violent alcoholic, his mother a depressed suicidal and most importantly that his friend Joe is embarrassed by him.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "nancymich" on November 29, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Slow moving plot? Oh, sure, it would be nice if abused children like Francie wasted no time and got straight to acting on their schizophrenic visions by the time they were, say, two or three years old. But let's face it, you have to be of a certain height to commit such acts, and at three he just would not have been tall enough.
The Butcher Boy is yet another masterpiece by Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan of The Crying Game fame. After seeing the movie four times, I went out to get Patrick Mc Cabe's book, but there were no copies left, so I can't discern which aspects of the movie were solely Jordan's vision and which were the work of Mc Cabe.
However, it is clear that the feeling throughout the movie is the work of Jordan. The surreal, cartoon-like ambience and the dark, macabre humor amount to nothing less than a brilliant way to present such otherwise deeply depressing material. And if it had been presented in an ordinary way, as the story of a disturbed child with frightful, self-absorbed parents who eventually snaps, it might not have amounted to much more than a Lifetime TV movie-and they're a dime a dozen, a commonness guaranteed to dilute the impact of such a tragic tale.
I originally rented the movie for two reasons-because it's Neil Jordan, and to stare at gorgeous Stephen Rea (can't blame me there), possibly the only actor on earth who needs not say a single word to convey volumes of feeling, and whose spoken word is a symphony of sound. The benefit is that I got to see some things the second and third and even fourth times that I never saw the first time through. Like for instance, when Francie's mother is about to hang herself, and she asks Francie if he'd ever let her down.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Susan E. Neill on October 21, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Neil Jordan's difficult-to-watch story about the all-too-common effects of violence on children. Francie Brady is growing up in Carney, Ireland, and enters adolence during the Cold War. He watches the mushroom clouds on the telie and hates the Commies. His drunk of a father, a talented musician who works in a slaughter house, beats both Francie and his mother. Francie bullies a school mate and the boy's mother calls him a pig. The audience gets to watch as these influences steadily take hold of Francie's psyche.

Eamon Owens (couldn't have been more than 15 yo when the movie was being filmed) who plays Francie, is so good, it's scary.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
When will this masterpiece finally be released on DVD? When!? How can 'Monkeybone' be on DVD and not 'Butcher Boy'? This is the best damn 'kid gone psycho' movie since Children of the Corn. Actually, that's a misnomer. This is simply the most provocative, well-written, and well-photographed cold-war parable ever made. Put it out on DVD, Mrs. Nugent, or pay the toll!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Larry L. Looney on June 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This brilliant film was evidently not seen by many when it played in theatres -- and that's a shame. Ugly at times, unsettling at most, powerful always, it gives us an unforgettable look into the mind of a young pre-teen Irish boy going mad, reacting to the world around him as it falls apart before his eyes.
Francie Brady has suffered -- his mother is depressed and suicidal, his father is an abusive alcoholic, his best friend's mother is adept at putting on airs and looking down her nose at most of her neighbors -- and, after getting into trouble enough times to warrant being placed in a special school, Francie becomes the 'favorite' of one of the priests there, who seems to enjoy dressing the boy up in wigs and frocks. Who wouldn't step off the curb after all of this? The boy's ensuing fantasies and increasingly horrific acts of violence and retribution become understandable, if not justified in the viewer's eyes.
Neil Jordan's direction is right on target -- the device of the adult Francie narrating the story in a voice-over, completely overbearing in other films, is perfectly done here. The screenplay (by Jordan and Patrick McCabe) is excellent as well, closely following both the body and spirit of McCabe's incredible novel. McCabe even has a bit part in the film, as Francie's intermittent partner-in-mischief Jimmy the Skite. Stephen Rea is in fine form as Francie's sotted da, and Fiona Shaw does a great job as the chillingly unlikable Mrs. Nugent. Another visionary piece of casting was putting Sinead O'Connor in the role of the Virgin Mary, the object of several of Francie's hallucinations -- I'm sure she had great fun with this.
The star of the show, however, is young Eamon Owens.
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