TOP 7 Drinking (Beer/Wine/Alcohol) Movies

the-hangoverWe start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.

In honor of The Hangover (Due out June 6) many of you will get this weekend, The Scorecard Review presents the Top 7 Drinking (Beer/Wine/Alcohol) Movies.

As always, there is certain criteria to get on this list:
1. Alcohol must play a prominent role.
2. The movie makes you want to reach for a drink.

Based on this, we’ve got some cuts to make before we start. Leaving Las Vegas you’re out. The destructive, slow death of alcoholic Ben (Nic Cage) is a sad, well-done film. Plus, adding Elisabeth Shue as hooker is brilliant casting. But this movie is about pain, and while everyone should realize drinking has a dark side, let’s not talk about that here, OK?

Also, Cocktail we’re leaving you off as well. This Tom Cruise movie is supposed to be a drama. But after my 15th viewing, there’s just too much unintentional comedy. And it doesn’t follow rule #2, I don’t want a blue drink with a pineapple sticking out of it no matter how many times I sit through it. Not only that, the song “Kokomo” has aged about as well as Shue. Yes, she’s in this one as well.

And finally, Arthur … I don’t like you. Dudley Moore is revered for playing a spoiled alcoholic, but I never liked this movie and punching Moore always sounds better to me than tying one on with the man.

Now, on to the list.

7. Strange Brew (1983)

Recap: Bob and Doug McKenzie, played by Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis, are unemployed until they weasel their way into a job at Elsinore brewery. Meanwhile, Brewmeister Smith (Max Von Sydow) plans on taking over the world with a beer additive that allows him to control those who drink it. It’s up to the boys to save the world, and the beer.
Reason: It’s funny, but not fall-out-of-my-chair and laugh until I hurt funny. The boys get to work at a brewery, what’s better than that? Oh wait, I know, Bob drinking a whole vat of beer.

6. Sideways (2004)

Recap: Miles Raymond (Paul Giamatti) is a struggling writer, divorced, and a wine snob, what’s not to love? He takes Jack (Thomas Hayden Church) on a week-long road trip through Santa Ynez Valley wine country. Miles wants to drink wine, Jack wants to have one last fling before marriage.
Reason: Sideways finds that balance between celebrating wine and making fun of the people who do. It’s a great buddy flick that proves Church can be more than Lowell from “Wings.” Most important, watching this movie without pouring a glass of wine for yourself is just impossible. Don’t do it. Even if you disagree with Miles’s Merlot opinion. Sidenote … the ladies in the film have taken an odd twist. Virginia Madsen is back to being forgotten. Sandra Oh can’t be separated from her character on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Sideways put them on the map, but they’ve gone off since then.

5. The Big Lebowski (1998)

Recap: “The Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), is mistaken for a millionaire also named Lebowski. After his rug is ruined, he just wants to get some cash for his rug and relax with a White Russian, while hanging out with his bowling buddies. Things get complicated.
Reason: When you go to a bowling alley and enter a name to bowl under, you’ve considered Jesus Quintana as a name, right? It’s the Coen brothers second funniest film after Raising Arizona. Heck, even my friend Schneck who doesn’t drink has discovered the White Russian. It’s as much of a character in this film as Brandt (Philip Seymour Hoffman). If a movie can inspire an underground nation to enjoy a vodka & cream drink, well then, it’s on the list.

beerfest4. Beerfest (2006)

Recap: Two brothers travel to Germany for Oktoberfest to spread their grandfather’s ashes. But then they stumble upon a secret, centuries-old competition described as a Fight Club with beer games. When they fail, they recruit some friends and go into full training mode.
Reason: Broken Lizard didn’t win me over with Super Troopers, but they sure did with Beerfest. There are so many great one-liners, all with beer at the apex of it all. Where Bob succeeded in Strange Brew, Landfill fails. But thankfully that just leads to one of the best twin/comebacks of all time when Gil’s brother shows up who taught Landfill everything he knew about drinking, and as a tribute to his brother, would also like to be called Landfill.

3. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

Recap: No frat house has ever partied harder than Delta Tau Chi at Faber College. The fun starts with Bluto (John Belushi) urinated outside, and another frat tries to kick Delta Tau Chi off campus. It doesn’t end until we get an update on the future of each character.
Reason: Even though big names like Chevy Chase could have been a part of this film, the cast seems perfect. The freshmen, Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst) actually look like freshmen, and every one else … OK, they look old, but when you’re having this much fun who cares? Do we ever have toga parties in college if it wasn’t for this film? The beer is flowing and this film feels like nostalgia for even me, even though I was two when it came out.

2. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Recap: Lewis Skolnick (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert Lowe (Anthony Edwards) head to college and are immediately picked on, mainly by the guys at Alpha Beta. But then the boys form Lambda Lambda Lambdas (Tri-Lambs), and bring along a group of outcasts including Booger (Curtis Armstrong).
Reason: “We are the Champions” fit for the film, but not more than the Japanese version of “A Bicycle Built for Two.” The Greek competition at the homecoming that includes Booger with the loudest belch (thanks to beer), and Toshiro on that tricycle (thanks to his anti-beer mad science) … it’s comic gold. Plus you throw in a young, slim John Goodman and Ted McGinley … well, it’s almost the perfect movie to watch at 2 a.m. with a beer in hand.

1. Old School (2003)

Recap: Three Men attempt to relive their college days by starting a fraternity on campus. They bring together a rag-tag (is there any other kind) group of misfits and the elderly to form a frat that the Dean wants out.
Reason: Frank the Tank, Frank the Tank, Frank the Tank … Did you just make the machine gun noises? I did. We don’t have Old School without Revenge of the Nerds and Animal House. And there is no better movie to watch as a tribute to the stupid lengths men will go to simply to have a beer with friends. Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell knock their side characters out of the ball park with Luke Wilson doing just enough to keep up. Todd Phillips keeps this movie just close enough to reality that most men actually think about a return trip to college while watching. Either that or how they have to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond this weekend. Ahhh screw it … We’re going streaking!

There’s the Top 7, now what should be in the Top 10?



  1. anneka says:

    what about Withnail (1987) and I …. uber cult followers of the film play a game in which they drink exactly what Withnail drinks as he does so, its said to be impossible to do in one sitting without dying.
    i believe its called “a g and t with richard e”

  2. John says:

    Whoa! Waitaminute! No drunken master? who doesn’t want super-powered kung-fu skills from getting loaded? Warning: do not drink and watch this with meat heads or they will try to drunkenly fight for fun.

  3. Red says:

    Um, Roadhouse?

  4. Eric says:

    No Bukowski films?

    Where’s Barfly or Factotum?

  5. KJS_Dallas says:

    The Last Detail

  6. Colin says:

    Withnail and I is a major omission. Id like to say a James Bond film as well but there just isnt enough drinking in them (though he has made drinking martini’s cool)

  7. Brandon says:

    Dazed and confused should be on this list. Replace big lebowski with it.

  8. art petersen says:

    I think that as far as a true representation of drinking without equal, I have to submit “A Love Song for Bobby Long”. Excellent in many ways but gets the drinking right. The recollections of Travolta in the scene by the river, was a high point. I think this was a great movie all around.

  9. Jason says:

    Rocky 3… Awesome movie to have a drinking game to
    Whenever Rocky runs… drink
    Whenever Mr T. says something hard to understand.. drink
    Whenever Apollo Creed pops up, drink
    Whenever Rocky yells/growls… drink
    Whenever Rocky does something gay… drink

    heh… we got smashed

  10. i'm drunk says:

    FACTOTUM! a drunken fave. Stoned Age also has it’s moments.

  11. mr.bixby says:

    Leaving Las Vegas is one of my favorite movies yet it does get extreemly depressing at the end, so I understand why it is left out. However it is the greatest, f**k it all, I’m going to get drunk no matter the consequences movie of all time and I love it.

  12. oliviamarie says:

    i agree on Dazed and Confused, but what about Out Cold. I love that movie.

  13. Swanko says:

    M*A*S*H is a great drinking movie, doctors drinking home made martini’s all day then operating on wounded soldiers. Either they’re great surgeons or their martini is shit! Funny movie though.

  14. coldward says:

    green street hooligans for sure. i can always manage to get into a fight at the bar after watching this one.

  15. k says:

    i agree with oldskool being number 1 but u forgot american pie beta house

  16. Jeff Bayer says:

    I don’t get it. Is this kid making fun of me for liking Old School? Or does he actually thinking one of the mulit-sequels to American Pie deserves to be on this list? Head hurts. Head really hurts.

  17. trex says:

    What about “barfly”, “Who’s Afraid of Viginia Wolf?” or “Husbands”? Before you time?

  18. coco066 says:

    Auntie Mame or any of the Thin Man’s, classic martini consumption takes place, could also rate!

  19. Mark says:

    Beer (1985) – about Norbecker Beer (the awesome Kenneth Mars as Mr. Norbecker), Loretta Swit as the seductive beer executive trying to launch a fraudulent advertising campaign for Norbecker. David Allan Grier makes any movie.

    Smokey and the Bandit was about transporting beer.

    Revenge of the Nerds, alcohol quite prominent.

  20. Mark says:

    BTW, this is an excellent list, mixes the old with the new. And I have been laughing to myself all day thinking of Raising Arizona.

    “My name is H.I.McDonough” – Nicholas Cage’s perpetual hang-dog look works VERY well in this movie.

    Ok, then.

  21. I can totally understand wanting to include a Coen brothers movie on any list, but it seems to me that The Big Lebowski is also improper for this list, what with the drinking game surrounding Miller’s Crossing and all. Besides, White Russians is but one facet to The Dude. Also, I thought Sideways was supposed to be a serious drama? The other six films are raucous comedies. Oh well, shows you what I know.

  22. Gonzo729 says:

    What about Dazed and Confused? The whole second half is about the beer bust at the Moon Tower. Also, Beer League could be added to the list.

  23. SamuraiSam says:

    Our favorite drinking game in college was Ferris. You watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and take a drink every time anyone in the movie says “Ferris.” Try it. You won’t make it through the whole film.

  24. Jamal says:

    Must agree with John who mentioned Legend of Drunken Master. Way more fun than Old School.

    The Big Lebowski is as much or more a stoner movie than a beer classic.

    Swingers, anyone?

  25. Joost says:

    A lot of western movies have some good drinking parts too 🙂
    But Barfly is one of the the best and I also really like Trees Lounge with Steve Buscemi as Tommy, an all-time drunk. Factotum is allright.
    Easy Rider is a great drinking/smoking movie with Jack Nicholson’s drinkin’ his good ol’ D.H. Lawrence. And there’s a movie from Ireland called ‘Garage’. It’s about a guy from a small town who goes to bars all the time and has a daily job and he is satisfied with it. But then something changed…

  26. Joost says:

    O yeah and I heard about a movie called Grazy Love, based on a novel from Bukowski. It’s a movie from Belgium and it was released in ’87. I think it’s not really about drinking like Factotum and Barfly, so you’ve gotta open one by yourself:D
    (alternate titles: L’Amour Est un Chien de l’Enfer, Love Is a Dog from Hell)

  27. SlamminSarah says:

    Must agree w/ Drunken Master and Dazed and Confused…”well alright, alright, alright…” makes u wanna reach for a beer and a spliff!
    The rules aside, anything can be made into a drinking movie with the proper attitude… once tried it with XXX with the single rule “anytime Vin Diesel says something douchely” … we were drunk about 10-15 minutes into the movie

  28. Jay says:

    Great list, Im glad that, unlike other “drinking movies” lists, The Hangover wasnt actually a part of it, since there wasnt hardly any drinkin involved (albeit a funny film) but IMO Strange Brew should have been #1 or maybe #2 in replacment of Revenge of nerds but thats just my 2 cents XD

  29. leo says:

    Factotum is very good, better then Barfly. Under the Volcano is nice. Leaving Las Vegas is a great movie. Lost weekend is to old and in all cases the books are much better. Factotum is different from the book in a way I like, also very beautiful music.

  30. Evil Roy Slade says:

    Another drinking classic is Tree’s Lounge with Steve Buschemi.

  31. Deathstroke says:

    Arthur should be there, if anyone deserves a punch it’s you for putting Old School and Revenge of the Nerds in the top 2. Also Barfly, written by Bukowski… perhaps the greatest alcoholic writer of our time.

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