With so much content on Netflix Instant it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the shuffle, and with Netflix streaming now accounting for the majority of all American internet traffic, someone needs to start sorting this all out. Welcome to Netflix Top Picks, where I will select items from the Netflix Instant service you just have to add to your queue. This edition focuses on three timely selections featuring some badass Irish characters (or character) that makes for something worth adding to your queue whether looking for something to watch on St. Patty’s Day or tomorrow while hung over on the couch.
Title: The Black Donnellys
Genre: TV Shows, TV Dramas, Crime TV Dramas
Run Time: 13 episodes, approximately 43 minutes each
Created By: Paul Haggis, Robert Moresco
Starring: Michael Stahl-David, Jonathan Tucker, Tom Guiry, Olivia Wilde, Billy Lush, Kirk Acevedo, Keith Nobbs, Peter Greene, Patrick Brennan, Brian Tarantina
Synopsis: Kevin (Billy Lush), Jimmy (Tom Guiry), Tommy (Jonathan Tucker) and Sean Donnelly (Michael Stahl-David) are four young, working-class Irish brothers, inexorably tied to a New York City crime syndicate. The brothers’ determination to protect their family and territory — Hell’s Kitchen — at any cost keeps them in a vicious cycle of loyalty with little hope of escape. Paul Haggis’s gritty mob drama also stars Mark Margolis as mob boss Sal Minetta.
My Analysis: The Black Donnellys represents another fantastic show that simply failed to find an audience. This show focused more on the four brothers and their relationships (with each other, with women – including a solid performance by Olivia Wilde – and with crime) rather than the Irish mob side of the story. As a result The Black Donnellys managed to not only have a lot of ass-kicking mob moments, but a fair amount of heart as well. Often The Black Donnellys leaves you feeling for Tommy, the one brother who might just be able to keep the others out of jail or a grave, who often sacrifices everything for his family. The cliff hanger ending will make you hate NBC (and shows that are cancelled once they are already filmed), but the short 13 episode ride is worth it.
Title: The Boondock Saints
Genre: Action & Adventure, Thrillers, Action Thrillers, Crime Action & Adventure, Crime Thrillers
Run Time: 108 Minutes
Directed By: Troy Duffy
Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Willem Dafoe, Billy Connolly, David Della Rocco, David Ferry, Brian Mahoney, Bob Marley, Richard Fitzpatrick, William Young, Robert Pemberton, Bill Craig
Synopsis: Sensing a God-given mission to cleanse the earth of all evil, twin brothers Conner (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) set out to rid Boston of crime. But instead of joining the police force, these Irish Americans decide to kick criminal butt their own way. Willem Dafoe co-stars in writer-director Troy Duffy’s crime thriller as the openly gay FBI special agent who’s assigned to investigate the siblings’ activities.
My Analysis: All right, so you’ve either seen Boondock Saints before, you’ve been living under a rock or you just don’t have an interest in it. Quite frankly, this action/crime/quasi vendetta film about fate, Irish men with guns and all around being a badass still rocks to this day and if you haven’t, watch it, if you have, well then just consider this a friendly reminder/heads up that the film in on Netflix Instant this St. Patrick’s Day. Just stay away from the significantly less badass sequel.
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Run Time: 103 minutes
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven
Starring: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O’Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Robert DoQui, Ray Wise, Felton Perry, Paul McCrane
Synopsis: In Paul Verhoeven’s landmark sci-fi thriller, the monolithic corporation controlling a futuristic, crime-riddled Detroit transforms a dead cop into a cybernetic law-enforcement unit called RoboCop — and soon the streets are safe.
My Analysis: This is a sort of surprise mention for the article. Only the most observant, or those who remember crap like this for no real particular reason will realize through several comments from other characters that RoboCop is Irish. For real. Verhoeven’s classic sci-fi film makes for not only one spectacularly badass half-dead Irish man, but is also a great film in its own right. Additionally, and somewhat frightening is that this nearly 24 year old film warning about the potential dangers of unchecked corporate greed is possibly more relevant now than it was in the 80’s. Damn.
Due to Netflix constantly updating and changing the content on their service we cannot guarantee that the content listed in this article will be available for any particular length of time, nor can we guarantee it is available in all regions. We do make a genuine effort though to never include any item that Netflix has marked with a limited availability.