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Black Irish

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A powerful, "fine study of everyday heroism" (VARIETY) and featuring brilliant performances by an all-star cast, Black Irish is haunting and unforgettable. 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 (Michael Angarano) 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. DVD FEATURES include a Behind the Scenes of Black Irish and a Commentary Track.

Review

"You do NOT want to miss this film." "...one of the best movies of the year." --Boston Now

"...hints of greatness...Gann is a filmmaker to watch." "Marbled with thoughtful observations..." "...a fine study in everyday heroism." --Robert Koehler, Variety

"...a great movie with a fantastic cast of actors..." --Dan Deevy, The Cinema Source

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Francis Capra, Brendan Gleeson, Tom Guiry, Melissa Leo, Michael Angarano
  • Directors: Brad Gann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XUOLQQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,205 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Black Irish" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 13, 2008
Format: DVD
BLACK IRISH is one of those little Independent films that manage to give more to the audience than the extreme constrictions of time and budget would suggest. Writer/director Brad Gunn (his first film) manages to tell a story about an Irish family from South Boston that is sincere, realistic, poignant, and profound, and though he worked with a small budget and a shooting schedule of 22 days, he has produced a fine little gem of a film.

The McKay family has problems: father Desmond (Brendan Glesson) lacks work and spends most of his time drinking beer and watching baseball on TV, having been a promising baseball player as a youngster but nipped by the Vietnam War into glum lethargy; mother Margaret (Melissa Leo) resents the shadow of the man she married and works as a social worker to support her family; daughter Kathleen (Emily VanKamp) is pregnant, unwed, and when denied the choice of abortion by her mother's strong Catholicism is determined to have the child by herself, giving it the loving home she feels she has been denied; son Terry (Tom Guiry) is a tortured delinquent who is a gang member and always in conflict with the law; and youngest son Cole (the excellent young 20-year-old Michael Angarano of 'One Last Thing', 'Man in the Chair', 'Snow Angels', 'Lords of Dogtown', 'Seabiscuit', etc) is conflicted by wanting to be a priest versus wanting to be a professional baseball player - he is the good kid and the last hope of his parents.

Terry tricks Cole into accompanying a house break-in and the trouble begins. The financial crisis at home drives Cole to get a job in a restaurant, and drives Desmond to menial work shining shoes.
Read more ›
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This is a gut wrenching yet heartwarming story with superb acting by most of the cast - real to life. Highly recommended.
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i consider this to be one of the better films i have seen in quite some time. such a good mix of bright and dark, humour and pathos as real life is.

the bid with the bird flying into the window is worth watching the movie even if you don't like the rest of it.
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I liked this movie when I first saw it. The acting is alright and the story is pretty thick but simple. All in all, I think I just like the fact that it focusses on a working class Irish family corrupt by the inner-city, but still pushing on, as troublesome as times and trials can be on the members. All I can speak for is my opinion, and as an Irish guy, I like this film.
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"Black Irish" is a captivating, moving, faithfully rendered, coming of age story set in south Boston. It lifts the veil and enables us to see how resentment, self-righteousness, alcoholism, lack of self-control and rebelliousness tear families and communities apart. It also shows how destructive the tendency to divide life up into sacred and secular compartments can be. The McKay family could have benefited from the belief that God can be exalted on a baseball diamond or in any proper job. The movie shows how pain can sometimes bring people together, and it does all of this with a blend of pathos and humor. For example, I loved the scene when Mrs. McKay asks Terry to forgive her, but I also loved Cole's first date scene. Warning: first dates can be harmful to birds and to audience members who laugh too hard. Rated R for some thematic elements, language and brief violence.
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Format: DVD
This is not an original story, it seems that in recent years we have been flooded with stories that are very similar to this. It was very well done though, with an all-star cast, and a few twists in the story. Black Irish is another story about an Irish family living in Boston. Dad's an alcoholic, Mom is as strict as they come, the older brother is into crime, the older sister is facing a life changing decision, and Cole McKay (Michael Angarano) is stuck in the middle. The story chronicles a year in the life of the McKay family and features many changes that oddly happen all at once. The story wasn't anything special, but it was done in a way that wasn't as predictable as some of the other Boston family films, none of the characters are cops, and there is even some humor thrown in here and there. Being a lifelong baseball fan, that angle of Cole's life was the one I really related to and it helped the film to stand out even a little more. Oscar winner, Melissa Leo, does an amazing job and really puts the emotions into context. Everyone in the McKay family is a tough guy, they don't feel anything, and while she appears to be the strictest one of all, she's the one who really expresses the emotions that everyone must have felt. Angarano wasn't bad either, but I've seen him in things before and as usual, he lacks any kind of expression, he just always seems to go with the flow and do an adequate job, but nothing else. The big surprise of this film was seeing Tom Guiry, A.K.A. Smalls from the Sandlot as a tough, Boston-area, criminal. Seeing the sweet, innocent, kid I grew up know as Scotty Smalls, turn into a fowl mouthed, tough ass, drug dealer was pretty funny. Overall, Black Irish isn't a bad film, it's entertaining and it's unpredictable.Read more ›
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