Best Movies About Bartending


While not every day on the job as a bartender is going to be movie-worthy, these are some of the best films about bartending.

If you are a future bartender, then the following movies will inspire, educate and entertain you.


Our All-Time Favorite Movies:


? Coyote Ugly (2000)

coyote ugly bartending movie

Featuring:  Piper PeraboMaria BelloMelanie Lynskey

 This raunchy and wild film makes for a fun ride. Violet Sanford (played by Piper Perabo) is an aspiring songwriter who stumbles upon a women-ran NYC bar. She eventually gets a bartending job there, where things take off.

Why This Movie Rocks?

  • Recent film
  • Bartender lifestyle
  • Fun movie



? Cocktail (1988)

cocktail movie

Featuring a young Tom Cruise in his early acting days, Cocktail features a young 20-something trying to make ends meet.

Protagonist Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) turns to bartend and learns under Doug Coughlin (played by Bryan Brown) in hopes of becoming a thriving bartender during the 1980s.

Why This Movie Rocks?

  • Tom Cruise
  • Classic movie
  • Bartender lifestyle



? The Drop (2014)

the drop film

Featuring: Greg JoelsonJohn SavageKat Ogden

Having a more serious tone, the great James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) acts in his final film with The Drop. The movie follows an ex-boxer named Bob Saginowski (played by Tom Hardy) who decides to take on the ownership of a bar in Brooklyn. After purchasing the bar from his cousin, Marv (James Gandolfini), he is sent on a journey of crime, chaos, and debauchery.

  • Great movie for bar owners




? Casablanca (1942) 

casablanca movie

Featuring: Humphrey BogartIngrid BergmanClaude Rains

Winner of 3 Academy Awards.  By far the most iconic movie featuring the great Humphrey Bogart (many of his bartending quotes are famous, too), Casablanca won Best Picture in 1944. The movie is centered around a nightclub owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) who wants to protect an old girlfriend and her husband from invading Nazis.

  • Classic film for every aspiring bartender



? Trees Lounge (1996)

Written, directed, and starring Steve Buscemi, this film takes us into the possible dark sides of bars and drinking. Tommy (Steve Buscemi) plays a self-destructive alcoholic whose life revolves around the Trees Lounge, a local bar.

  • The bad side of drinking

? Lost In Translation (2003)

lost in translation movie

Featuring: Bill MurrayScarlett JohanssonGiovanni Ribisi

Focusing more on the drinkers at a bar than the bartenders themselves, this great movie is still a must-watch for every aspiring bartender. Featuring the incredible Bill Murray alongside the beautiful Scarlett Johansson, the story shows us a chance encounter between two individuals at a bar in Tokyo – and the unsuspecting relationship that slowly begins to take shape between them.

  • All-star cast
  • Bill Murray
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Oh, and did we mention love 🙂





? Hey Bartender (2013)

hey bartender

Featuring: Steve SchneiderSteve CarpentieriJim Meehan

Hey Bartender, a critically acclaimed documentary, is too good not to list here.

The documentary gives us an inside look at the most exclusive bars in New York.

This movie features interviews with some of the world’s most renowned bartenders – as well the “comeback of the cocktail.”

  • Documentary, technically not a “movie”
  • Educational





What did you think of our choices?  We’d love to hear from you.  Did we leave out any other classic films?  Fill out the form below