Celebrate With These 10 St. Patrick’s Day Movies for a Safe Night In
St. Patrick’s Day movies could be hard to come by if you’re not very familiar with the holiday. Actually, though, it has had quite an impression on Hollywood over the years. And even if you’re unable to find a great flick that takes place on the holiday itself, you can find enough that are close enough in Irish culture and theme to justify some shepherd’s pie and perhaps a Guinness or two (for the 21-and-older crew).
If you’re not in the mood to party, though, that’s completely understandable. After all, college can be pretty stressful! In that case, why not spend St. Patrick’s Day relaxing with a good movie? Here are some family-friendly film options to choose from:
If you’re in the mood for some laughs, opt for the Leprechaun series. This comedy horror franchise follows the misadventures of a leprechaun named Lubdan who wreaks havoc on those who cross his path. The first movie was released in 1993, and there have been six sequels to date.
Leonard Maltin, one of the most respected movie critics, gave the original Leprechaun a two out of four-star rating, writing that it’s “not exactly a horror film, but more like a comic-strip fantasy come to life on the screen.” However, he did commend the cast for their performances.
And who takes their schlocky horror-comedy cues from critics anyways? If you like the first, you’ll probably love the bajillion sequels, too.
If you’re looking for a more recent Leprechaun movie, check out Leprechaun: Origins. This 2014 film stars Dylan Postl (a.k.a WWE wrestler Hornswoggle) as Lubdan. The story follows a group of friends who travel to Ireland in search of a good time, but their vacation quickly turns into a nightmare when they encounter the deadly leprechaun.
Leprechaun: Origins was met with mostly negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 27% rating, with the consensus being that “it takes an amusing concept and drains all the fun out of it.” However, some viewers enjoyed the film for its campy humor and over-the-top gore. If you’re in the mood for a cheesy horror flick, this might be the movie for you.
The Luck of the Irish
If you’re looking for something that’s appropriate for younger viewers, check out The Luck of the Irish. This 2001 Disney Channel Original Movie follows Kyle Johnson (Shane West), a high schooler who learns that he’s a direct descendant of the leprechauns. With the help of his new friends, Kyle sets out to find his family’s treasure and save his town from being destroyed.
The Luck of the Irish was well-received by audiences and critics alike. Rotten Tomatoes has a 73% rating for the movie, with the consensus being that it’s “a lighthearted and likable take on the luck-of-the-Irish story.”
If you’re in the mood for a feel-good movie, The Luck of the Irish is definitely worth checking out.
How to Train Your Dragon Series
This Academy Award-nominated film tells the story of a young Viking named Hiccup who must overcome his fear of dragons in order to save his village. The movie was so successful that it spawned two sequels: How to Train Your Dragon 2 and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
All three movies in the How to Train Your Dragon series are highly rated by critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the first movie an 84% rating, with the second and third movies receiving a 92% and 97% rating, respectively. In addition, the trilogy is praised for its visuals, emotional depth, and action sequences.
If you’re looking for an exciting and heartwarming movie to watch this St. Patrick’s Day, any of the films in the How to Train Your Dragon series would be a great choice.
Waking Ned Devine
After a lucky Irishman named Ned dies while playing the lottery, his friends and family must figure out how to claim the winnings. This light-hearted comedy is perfect for a relaxing night in.
Waking Ned Devine was met with critical acclaim upon its release. Rotten Tomatoes has a 96% rating for the movie, with the consensus being that it’s “charming, funny, and heartwarming.”
If you’re looking for a feel-good movie to watch this St. Patrick’s Day, Waking Ned Devine is definitely worth checking out.
The Secret of Kells
This animated film tells the story of Brendan, a young monk who must protect an ancient book from Viking invaders. The Secret of Kells was met with critical acclaim upon its release. Rotten Tomatoes has a 97% rating for the movie.
“In short, The Secret of Kells is not your typical horror film,” writes Common Sense Media, “but it is a beautifully animated and touching story that is perfect for all ages.”
Darby O’Gill and the Little People
This classic Disney film follows the adventures of Darby O’Gill, an Irishman who comes into contact with leprechauns and other mystical creatures.
Darby O’Gill and the Little People was met with mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes has a 59% rating for the movie, with the consensus being that “it’s sweet but slight.”
However, the movie is still a fan favorite and has been praised for its catchy songs and charming visuals.
Though often lighthearted, Darby O’Gill and the Little People can go to some pretty moving places before all is said and done. Overall, it is a great choice for the holiday.
The Quiet Man
This beloved classic stars John Wayne as an American boxer who moves to Ireland and falls in love with a local woman.
The Quiet Man was met with mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes has a 66% rating for the movie, with the consensus being that “it’s not quite the knockout it could have been.”
However, the movie is still considered a classic and has been praised for its beautiful visuals and touching romance. It’s also nice to see “The Duke” out-of-character from the normal ornery, rootin’-tootin’-tough cowboy types he is known for playing.
If you’re looking for an old-school romantic comedy to watch this St. Patrick’s Day, The Quiet Man is a great option.
The O’Brien Clan
This documentary tells the story of one Irish family’s journey to reconnect with their Celtic heritage.
The O’Brien Clan was met with mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes has a 50% rating for the movie, with the consensus being that “it’s an admirable effort that will likely only appeal to those with a strong interest in Irish culture.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Irish culture and history, The O’Brien Clan is a nice way to spend a couple of hours. It’s a little heavy for the lighthearted crowd, though.
This action-packed thriller follows two brothers who take the law into their own hands and become vigilantes.
Boondock Saints was met with mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes has a 50% rating for the movie, with the consensus being that “it’s too violent and implausible for some, but Boondock Saints is an undeniable blast.”
If you’re looking for an exciting and action-packed movie to watch this St. Patrick’s Day, Boondock Saints is definitely worth checking out. Just be warned that it is pretty graphic and may not be suitable for younger viewers. It was followed by The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, picking up where the first film left off, with the two brothers continuing their crusade against crime.
These St. Patrick’s Day Movies Are Sure to Be a Blast
So there you have it! Whether you’re in the mood for a comedy, drama, horror, or action flick, there’s an Irish-themed movie out there for you. Just make sure that you and your of-age friends have some Guinness on hand to get into the spirit. Stick a few shepherd’s pies in the oven while you’re at it, and have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!
[Featured Image by Waking Ned Devine Film]