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daily list: 7 great movies by 8 great Irish actors

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, which can mean parades and soda bread and green beer, or it could mean a little DVD festival of great little movies you’ve never seen — or have forgotten about — starring eight of today’s biggest stars who hail from the Emerald Isle. Such as these:
1. Colin Farrell: Hart’s War. Farrell was just about nobody when he starred in the 2002 flick, a murder mystery set in a WWII German camp for American POWs. It’s a little bit cheesy, but in a nicely old-fashioned way, like this might have been made in black-and-white in 1954. [buy at Amazon]

2. Kenneth Branagh: Peter’s Friends. This 1992 flick, directed by and starring Branagh — as well as a slew of British favorites like Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, etc. — is kind of an Anglo Big Chill, and a highly entertaining one. [buy at Amazon]

3. Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson: Seraphim Falls. Easily among the best work of both of its stars, this revisionist Western is a haunting and spare chase movie across deadly landscapes. [buy at Amazon]

4. Gabriel Byrne: The End of Violence. Wim Wenders’s 1997 contemplation on our modern surveillance society features Bryne’s moody performance as a watcher who’s also being watched. [buy at Amazon]

5. Colm Meaney: The Snapper. In this sweet 1993 comedy from director Stephen Frears, Meaney plays a cantankerous dad who learns, to his horror, that his teenage daughter is pregnant. Family chaos ensues. [buy at Amazon]

6. Cillian Murphy: Breakfast on Pluto. Murphy shows one end of his extraordinary range as a happy-go-lucky transvestite in Neil Jordan’s delightful 2005 dramedy. [buy at Amazon]

7. Stephen Rea: Citizen X. In this 1995 made-for-HBO movie, Rea portrays a Russian cop in Soviet Russia hunting down a serial killer in a culture that disdains intellectual police work. [buy at Amazon]

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