Your St. Patrick’s Day viewing guide should include more than just a parade. After the floats have gone by and you’re a couple pints of Guinness deep, toss one of these movies on and ride out the rest of the holiday in front of your TV. Don’t forget the platter of corned beef and to remove your cartoonish shamrock glasses before you sit down.


Bloody Sunday

Not only one of the most powerful Irish movies ever made, but one of the most powerful movies in general. First produced for British television, Bloody Sunday is a retelling of the events that took place on January 30, 1972 when 27 civilians were cut down by the British Army. The film has a unique documentary-like feel, and it makes the movie all the more impactful as you watch it. The constant noise of people shouting in the street becomes like a background buzz throughout much of the film and lends a chaotic vibe to the bulk of it. Amazon iTunes



My Left Foot

In a career filled with incredible performances, Daniel Day-Lewis’ in My Left Foot might be his finest. The film is based on the true story of Christy Brown, an Irishman with cerebral palsy who’s left foot was the only part not afflicted. Brown goes on to use his foot to become skilled in a variety of things, and Daniel Day-Lewis gives such an honest portrayal of Brown as an adult, you can’t help but get sucked in and feel the struggle. Amazon iTunes



’71

Sometimes a movie can slip under the radar without proper promotion. Such is the case with the recently released ’71. Following the riots in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, one British soldier gets left behind in Belfast. It’s a historical drama/thriller that’s full of suspense and eye-gripping fun without feeling empty. Amazon iTunes



Once

The soundtrack for Once is one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. And since the music interweaves with the story, the film is as enjoyable for the ears as it is for the eyes. Musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (The Swell Season) star in the Dublin-based story of a street musician and a talented immigrant who combine forces to craft amazing music. Amazon iTunes



The General

Irish crime at its finest. Brendan Gleeson stars alongside Jon Voight in this tale of meticulously planned robberies and cunning deception. It’s one of Gleeson’s finest performances, and even at slow points, he keeps you glued to the screen. Amazon



The Guard

While we’re on the Brendan Gleeson kick, let’s go ahead and recommend his best movie, The Guard. While he’s great in The General and in things like In Bruges, the best overall film the Irishman’s been a part of is this 2011 gem. An offbeat and unique comedy that still packs the action of a film outside its genre. Amazon iTunes



Hunger

12 Years a Slave may have put Steve McQueen on the map, but it was his debut, Hunger, which made us first fall in love with his work. Michael Fassbender stars as Bobby Sands, who went on a hunger strike in 1981 in protest of his treatment at the hands of British guards. In standard McQueen fashion, it’s powerful stuff. Amazon iTunes



The Commitments

The Commitments, the hardest working band in the world, are on a quest to bring music to the working class of Dublin with the odds stacked against them. In the same vein as The Full Monty, the film has the feel of a fun documentary with just the right amount of laughs to keep it from becoming full-on cheesy. Amazon



What Richard Did

Quietly filled with the spirit of Irish rebellion, What Richard Did is a sneaky roller coaster of emotions. In a way, it’s a coming of age story, but one that is far more gritty and real than so many others. It’s about making one mistake, and the implications one thing can have on an otherwise fine life. Amazon iTunes



The Wind That Shakes the Barley

Set in Ireland in 1919, The Wind That Shakes the Barley is about a group of guerrilla fighters who face off with those being sent from Britain to stop Irish independence. It stars Cillian Murphy, which is great news if you’re suffering from Peaky Blinders withdrawal, and it’s really both a fantastic and devastating political drama that not enough people have seen. Amazon iTunes