'White Irish Drinkers' is a mean streets take on working-class Brooklyn where two brothers wrestle with their life of petty crime.
Screen Media Films
Genre: Dysfunctional family drama. Subset: Brooklyn, working class, 1975. A sensitive young artist (Nick Thurston), fresh out of high school, must contend with his abusive father (Stephen Lang), his put-upon mother (Karen Allen), and his petty criminal brother (Geoffrey Wigdor), while trying to figure out what kind of life to pursue.
Veteran TV director John Gray – not to be confused with James Gray, who has made films ("The Yards," "We Own the Night") about similar turf – brings little or nothing new to conflicts we've seen in an endless stream of movies, including "Saturday Night Fever" and (to go straight to the top of the list) "Mean Streets."
There is one clever plot twist toward the end, involving the hero's friend, a theater owner (Peter Riegert). The casting of both Riegert and Allen may sound like an "Animal House" reunion, but the two have no scenes together. Grade: C- (Rated R for pervasive language, some sexuality, and violence.)