White Irish Drinkers

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 33


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,625
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Movie Info

Two young men are looking for a better life but may have to go to the wrong side of the law to get it in this independent drama from director John Gray. Brian Leary (Nick Thurston) and Danny (Geoff Wigdor) are brothers living in a decaying Brooklyn neighborhood in 1975. Tired of dealing with their angry and abusive father (Stephen Lang) and high-strung mother (Karen Allen), both Brian and Danny want to move out and do something different with their lives, but their ambitions travel different paths. Danny, the older brother, is a petty criminal who is trying to finance a new life one hold-up at a time; Brian, meanwhile, works at a movie theater and paints in his spare time, though he doesn't tell anyone about his dreams of becoming an artist. Brian thinks he might be able to bankroll a few years at art school when Whitey (Peter Riegert), the manager of the theater, tells him they have a shot at booking the Rolling Stones for a special show at the theater, which would mean a big payday for everyone. But when Danny hears about the big show, he starts making plans of his own to rob the box office the night of the concert. White Irish Drinkers received its world premiere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for White Irish Drinkers

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (18)

  • A movie that one watches with the sense of pushing it up a hill.

    Apr 21, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Despite the cliches that push every scene forward, there's an unexpected appeal to John Gray's modest drama, emanating from its center.

    Mar 25, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The basic outline of the plot, built around a promised local concert by the Rolling Stones - well, if you don't know where that story is headed, you haven't seen as many movies as I think you have.

    Mar 25, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Writer-director John Gray digs into his own background to create the ardent and atmospheric White Irish Drinkers. The close, cramped intimacy of this film is so real it stings.

    Mar 25, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • White Irish Drinkers is a heavy borrower deep into the pocket of pop culture's loan shark, and lacking the grace to acknowledge the debt.

    Mar 25, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Saturated with atmosphere and strongly acted, the movie is a far more resonant and convincing portrait of working-class life than the recent awards-bait phoniness that called itself "The Fighter."

    Mar 25, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for White Irish Drinkers

  • Jul 11, 2013
    While Brian(Nick Thurston) does not mind accompanying his older brother Danny(Geoffrey Wigdor) on his jewlery robberies, he does draw the line at holding onto a gun for him. Otherwise, Brian uses art to distract himself from his abusive father(Stephen Lang) and his mother's(Karen Allen) idiosyncratic cooking and to meet women like Shauna(Leslie Murphy). For money, Brian works part-time at the moribund Lafayette Theatre where its owner Whitey(Peter Riegert) has just landed the Rolling Stones for a one hour concert which may yet save things. "White Irish Drinkers" is what we mean when we call a movie a mixed bag. On the one hand, you could occupy yourself by playing spot a cliche like brothers heading in opposite directions and incredibly prescient characters in a period piece.(However, one prediction turned out to be wrong since the movie was made.) In other ways, the movie takes full advantage of its time and place, like remembering old movie palaces in a time when New York City, not only Brooklyn, was going to the dogs, forcing many characters to choose between security and any dreams they might have.(What are the chances somebody would be reading the Daily News with the legendary cover, "Ford to NYC: Drop Dead?") To be honest, even if the movie had stopped after Brian's window painting, I would have recommended it, even without all the other cool moments. Plus, everything does neatly dovetail right at the end, rather unexpectedly. That's not to mention the fine work by the young cast, nor my eternal soft spot for Karen Allen.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 14, 2012
    White Irish Drinkers is a coming of age story, centered around a boy who doesn't quite fit in with the rest of his dysfunctional family. It's a common theme in many similar films and to be honest, I didn't see anything here, that made this movie stand out from the rest of them. This is just another coming of age film without many surprises. The story wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything special. The acting was OK, as was the pace of the film. I'm finding it really difficult to say anything positive or negative about White Irish Drinkers, because the truth is, it's just a simple, ordinary story that I've seen a hundred times before. The names and places always change, and there was a familiar face or two, but nothing about this film stands out positively or negatively in any way. It's just a very common type of story with a very ordinary cast. Everyone does their job and the story gets told, I don't know what you'll think, but my reaction to this film was simple neutrality. A decent movie, but easily forgotten, as nothing made any kind of impact on me at all.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2012
    In Brooklyn in the 70's there's only 2 kinds of people: those stuck there in lower middle class doldrums or those who get out. Although cliched the performances save this trifle about two brothers (one's a crook and one ain't). Stephen Lang does well as the bad parent.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 14, 2012
    This movie is set back in 1975 Brooklyn, NY. We the audience follow two teenage brothers who live with a drunk abusive father and their caring mother. Of course they are a poor family and have struggles to make the bills. The older brother Danny is in to crime and is the regular one to get beat by his father. While the younger brother Brian is trying to find his place in the world and decide if he will leave Brooklyn and his family to study as a artist . The story also has some others parts to it that fill in the rest. The story is quite well done and makes for a interesting drama. The biggest names in this film is Karen Allen and Stephen Lang. But they are not the main focus of the film. That goes to the young actors Nick Thurston, Geoffrey Wigdor and Leslie Murphy. All the young actors are excellent in this. The story and main characters are very interesting. I also liked the way the movie was filmed. Had a great look to it. If your looking for a decent drama then check this out. Well worth a watch.
    Corey n Super Reviewer

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