The problem with Shooting for Socrates is that the football is really a backdrop for writing a feel good story about the Troubles in Northern Ireland. And while sport as metaphor is the motivation for many soccer movies, in this case, the film doesn’t find its chemistry and feels like oil and water. Categorized as both drama and comedy, the film feels like neither.
In 1990, a young Irishman’s anticipation of his child’s birth coincides with the breathless anticipation of his nation as it competes in the World Cup for the first time.
Jay Baruchel and Eoin O’Callaghan drive across Ireland in search of Jay’s Irish roots and their shared Celtic Soul. It’s a self-described collection of lovely moments tied together within the larger context of what it means to be an immigrant, to be Irish, and to be a fan of Celtic FC.
The goal of Ceasefire Massacre is to raise awareness of a 1994 mass shooting in Northern Ireland which remains unsolved, likely due to a police or government coverup.
This short documentary is an ESPN 30 for 30 TV episode that aired just before the 20th anniversary of the Loughinisland Massacre. Like the ESPN film Hillsborough, this episode interviews victims seeking justice. But sadly the film can only raise questions, because without a legitimate investigation, there are no answers.
Mad About Mambo isn’t known as a soccer movie, but it portrays soccer (and dance) ambitions in a light-hearted boy-wins-girl story that is sweet, humorous, and romantic. A 16 year old striker (William Ash) learns to samba with Keri Russell so that he can tryout for Belfast United.
Studs is an Irish soccer comedy with a good performance from Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter’s Professor MadEye Moody). Gleeson plays a mysterious manager whose seeming identity inspires a ragtag Sunday team to a Cup final. But the downer ending left me very ambivalent.