All Jason Momoa Movies [Ranked]
Top 50 Most Popular Irish Movies 
Aishwarya-Posted Jan 27, 2023
Ireland is a land that reminds us of its unique accent, cold climate, conflict-torn history, and great actors. Although the island is split up as the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland region of the UK, we can see the commonality between the two regions and their people.
Irish people have given us great actors and performers like Brendon Gleeson, Colin Farell, Cillian Murphy, Saoirse Ronan, Liam Neeson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Kenneth Branagh, Fiona Shaw, and more. The decades of freedom struggle, famine, oppression, church scandals, etc., have created an atmosphere of gloom, suffering, and pain.
However, there are many folklore, myths, and heroic fighters from this land too. The best way to learn about Irish people is through their cinema. So ENTOIN brings you a list of the 50 most powerful and popular Irish movies to watch.
It has been a difficult task to limit the number to just 50 top Irish films. Yet, here is the list of my favorites. Watch them and share your thoughts on the list.
50. Jimmy's Hall (2014)
Jimmy's Hall is a biographical drama about the return of Jimmy Gralton to his Irish homeland after a forced exile of ten years. He has returned from the USA, and it is the peak Depression era in Ireland.
As Jimmy sees his old friends and family languishing under poverty and hopelessness, the revolutionary in his heart reawakens. His socialist ideology forces him to speak up and work for the betterment of the working class.
He re-opens Jimmy’s Hall, a meeting place where youth gather to sing, dance, learn boxing, educate themself, and more. The film was instrumental in revoking the deportation order against Jimmy Gralton.
In his honor, the Gralton memorial was built at Effrinagh.
49. Divorcing Jack (1998)
Divorcing Jack is a 1998 film directed by David Caffrey and starring David Thewlis. The film is based on the novel of the same name written by Colin Bateman. The story is a satirical political thriller about a drunken, womanizing journalist in Northern Ireland who becomes embroiled in a political scandal.
It all begins when he is sent to cover the upcoming election in the Northern Irish counties. During a drunken night, he cheats on his wife with an art student who is the ex-girlfriend of a feared Ulster Freedom Fighter.
As he tries to escape the terrorist ex-boyfriend, he is suspected of the assassination of a Catholic politician. The journalist sets out to clear her name and uncover the truth.
Instead, she uncovers a web of corruption and lies involving the government and the terrorist group.
48. Intermission (2003)
Intermission is an Irish film directed by John Crowley based on a story by Mark O’Rowe. The film brought together all the top Irish actors like Cillian Murphy, Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney, Kelly Macdonald, and more.
The film tells the intersecting stories of several characters living in Dublin, Ireland. It follows the lives of a young couple who break up, a bank robber on the run, a love triangle between a woman, her fiancé, and her ex-boyfriend, and a man who wants to start a new life.
All of these characters' lives intersect in unexpected ways, leading to a comedic and dramatic story. The film’s end credits feature a song, I Fought The Law, as performed by Colin Farrell.
47. I Went Down (1997)
I Went Down is an Irish crime-comedy film directed by Paddy Breathnach. It was critically praised for its witty and clever dialogues and direction. Although it was a regular crime-comedy, the way the film was handled was refreshing.
The film follows the story of two criminals, Git and Bunny, who are sent on a road trip by a Dublin crime boss to find out what happened to a missing associate.
Along the way, they encounter a number of eccentric characters and dangerous situations and begin to question the loyalty of their boss and the true nature of their mission. The film is a darkly comedic take on the crime genre, with a strong emphasis on character development and dialogue.
The film was shown at many film festivals and won special jury awards for Best New Director at a few festivals.
46. Fifty Dead Men Walking (2008)
Fifty Dead Men Walking is an espionage film directed by Kari Skogland and starring Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley. The film is based on the true story of the British agent, Martin McGartland, who went undercover in the IRA during a particularly turbulent time in British-Irish relations.
McGartland was a young man from Northern Ireland who infiltrated the IRA and became a spy for the British police during the Troubles. The film follows Martin's journey as he becomes deeply entrenched in the IRA, and his growing moral dilemma as he struggles to balance his loyalty to the cause with his duty to protect innocent lives.
Martin McGartland had to go into hiding after his escape from the IRA. The movie title is based on his claim of having saved 50 British police officers, soldiers, and prison guards.
45. On the Edge (2001)
On the Edge is an Irish film directed by John Carney and starring Cillian Murphy. This comedy-drama revolves around suicidal patients who have each faced personal loss in life. The story is about a young man who is sent to a mental institution after he steals a car and plans to crash it along with his father’s ashes.
In the institution, he meets a group of fellow patients who are in the same situation. Together, they form a bond and begin to find hope and meaning in their lives through their shared struggles.
The film explores themes of mental health, friendship, and the power of human connection to overcome difficult situations. The movie is a coming-of-age story of a young man who learns to find hope and meaning in his life through his struggles with mental illness and the support of his new friends.
44. Kings (2007)
Kings is a film directed by Tom Collins and starring Colm Meaney. It is based on the Jimmy Murphy play, The Kings of the Kilburn High Road. The film became the official Irish entry to the Academy Awards 2008.
The film is bilingual, with dialogues in Irish and English. The story starts with the funeral of one of the friends, which leads to the gathering of the rest of them.
There, they each reminisce and look back on the hardships of their lives, the current difficulties, and how much they need each other. The film is a drama that explores themes of friendship, community, and the power of perseverance in the face of adversity.
43. Hidden Agenda (1990)
Hidden Agenda is a political thriller directed by Ken Loach and starring Frances McDormand and Brian Cox. The film is set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and tells the story of an American human rights lawyer.
Paula is a human rights lawyer who comes to Northern Ireland to investigate the murder of a prominent civil rights activist. As she delves deeper into the case, she discovers a web of corruption and deception involving the British government and the security forces.
Paula's investigation leads her to a hidden agenda that threatens her safety and that of her friends. Along the way, she forms an unlikely alliance with a local human rights activist.
Together, they work to uncover the truth and bring the perpetrators to justice. The film won the Jury Prize at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival.
42. No Surrender (1985)
No Surrender is a black comedy directed by Peter Smith and starring Ray McAnally and Malcolm McDowell. This British film was an attempt by the writer, Alan Bleasdale, to express his perception of the issue.
The movie is set in the Thatcher regime, where two groups of old Irishmen plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve. In Liverpool, a seedy pub is selected as the venue.
An outgoing and disgruntled manager mixes up the scheduling, and two groups of Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants are allotted the venue at the same time. There is the mayhem that promises to ensue.
The film was praised by some as a look at the rivalry between two hardliners during difficult times. While others criticized it as a violent film.
41. Mickybo and Me (2004)
Mickybo and Me is a Northern Irish comedy directed by Terry Loane and starring John Joe McNeill, Julie Walters, and Ciarán Hinds. The story is inspired by the play Mojo Mickybo by Owen McCafferty.
The film is set in Northern Ireland during the 1970s and tells the story of two young boys, Mickybo and Johnjo. Despite their religious and political divide, both boys become fast friends.
The two boys bond over their shared love of the film Buth Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. They only desire to escape their troubled home lives. Eventually, they are separated by the reality of the world.
The film is a coming-of-age story about friendship and the power of imagination to transcend the boundaries of race and religion.
40. Disco Pigs (2001)
Disco Pigs is a film directed by Kirsten Sheridan and starring Elaine Cassidy and Cillian Murphy. It is an adaptation of the stage play of the same name by Enda Walsh.
It's a disturbing story of a toxic friendship between two teenagers who share a unique bond. The film is set in Cork, Ireland, and tells the story of two childhood friends, Runt and Pig, who are inseparable and share a unique language of their own.
As they approach their 17th birthday, their relationship becomes increasingly intense and destructive. The film is a dark and disturbing portrayal of a toxic and co-dependent friendship, with powerful performances by Cassidy and Murphy.
The performances of Elaine Cassidy and Cillian Murphy are powerful, and the film is a raw and unflinching portrayal of the destructive nature of some friendships.
39. Bad Day for the Cut (2017)
Bad Day for the Cut is a crime thriller from Northern Ireland, and it is directed by Chris Baugh and stars Nigel O'Neill. The film is a gritty crime thriller with strong performances, especially by Nigel O'Neill.
The film tells the story of a middle-aged farmer, Donal, who is a simple man leading a simple life in rural Northern Ireland. When his mother is brutally murdered, he sets out to find the killer.
Along the way, he discovers that his mother had a dark past and that her death is linked to a criminal organization. As Donal delves deeper into the case, he becomes embroiled in a violent and dangerous underworld, forcing him to confront his own past and the true nature of his mother's life.
A well-written script that keeps the audience guessing until the end.
38. Ondine (2009)
Ondine is a film directed by Neil Jordan and starring Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda-Curus, and Dervla Kirwan. The film is a fantastical romance and a dark comedy that explores themes of love, faith, and the blurred line between reality and fantasy.
The film tells the story of Syracuse, a fisherman living in a small coastal Irish village, who one day catches a beautiful woman in his fishing net. He believes her to be a selkie, a mythical creature from Irish folklore.
She tells him her name is Ondine, and Syracuse begins a relationship with her. He becomes increasingly convinced that Ondine is a magical creature who brought him good luck. However, Ondine's past comes to light, and Syracuse is forced to question the truth of her identity and the cost of his belief in magic.
37. Borstal Boy (2000)
Borstal Boy is a film directed by Peter Sheridan and starring Shawn Hatosy and Andrew Scott. The film is based on the autobiography of the same name by Brendan Behan.
It tells the story of his time as a political prisoner in a youth detention center in the UK during WWII. The film follows the character of Brendan as he navigates the harsh realities of prison life and forms relationships with the other inmates, many of whom are also political prisoners.
The script explores themes of identity, political ideology, and the power of friendship and camaraderie in the face of adversity. It is a powerful and thought-provoking story that delves into the mind of a young man who is torn between his political beliefs and the harsh realities of prison life.
The novel was also adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway play.
36. The Boxer (1997)
The Boxer is directed by Jim Sheridan and stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson. The film is a powerful and emotional drama that explores the impact of the Troubles on the lives of those who lived through it and the cost of the choices they made.
The film is set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and tells the story of Danny Flynn, a former boxer who has been released from prison after serving 14 years for his involvement in the IRA.
Upon his return to his old neighborhood, he finds that the community is still divided by the ongoing conflict and that his past still haunts him. Danny hopes to build a new and peaceful future, but his past will not go easy on him.
He becomes a pawn in others' hands, and he has to decide when to break away. The film is the third collaboration between Sheridan and Day-Lewis.
35. Into the West (1992)
Into the West was directed by Mike Newell and starred Gabriel Byrne and Ciarán Fitzgerald. It is a modern-day fantasy adventure film. The film is set in Dublin and tells the story of two young boys, Tito and Ossie, who are living in a poor and rough neighborhood.
They discover a wild white horse, Tír na nÓg, and decide to take care of it. In turn, the horse takes them on an adventurous journey to escape capture. Along the way, the boys learn important lessons about family, friendship, and the power of the imagination to transform our lives.
The film is a heartwarming, magical, and emotional story about the power of imagination to heal the wounds of the past and the transformative power of nature. The name of the horse, Tír na nÓg, is Irish for Land of Eternal Youth.
34. H3 (2001)
H3 is a film about the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. The movie was directed by Les Blair and was written by Brian Campbell and Laurence McKeown. The film depicts the events that surround the hunger strike demanding prison reforms and POW status for Irish Republican prisoners.
The film is set in the HM Prison Maze, which houses a large number of IRA prisoners who are treated worse than regular prisoners and suffer the abuse of prison guards and fellow prisoners.
They decide to go on a hunger strike in protest of the prison condition, and with the help of their family members outside, they gain national and international notice. The film is a bleak and harrowing tale of political apathy and the endurance of the human spirit in the face of oppression.
33. Michael Collins (1996)
Michael Collins is a biographical film directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, and Julia Roberts. The film tells the story of Michael Collins, one of the most important figures in the Irish freedom struggle, who fought for independence in the early 1900s.
The story follows Collins as he becomes a leader of the Irish Republican Army and leads the fight against the British, and later as he tries to negotiate a peace treaty while facing opposition from some of his own comrades.
Along the way, the film explores themes of leadership, sacrifice, and the cost of war and freedom. The film is a well-crafted historical epic that tells a story of a man who fought for freedom.
It's a powerful and moving portrayal of one of the most iconic figures in Irish history.
32. Adam & Paul (2004)
Adam & Paul is an Irish comedy directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Tom Murphy and Mark O'Halloran. The film is a dark comedy, an unflinching portrayal of addiction and the struggles of those living on the fringes of society.
The film tells the story of two heroin addicts, Adam and Paul, who spend their days wandering the streets of Dublin, looking for their next fix. As the film progresses, we see the characters' addiction, and their friendship tested as they face a series of comedic and tragic events, including run-ins with the law, homelessness, and failed attempts at rehab.
It's the story of two friends who are struggling with addiction and trying to survive on the streets of Dublin. The film was critically praised for its realistic and unglamorous portrayal of the struggles of people with addiction and the impact it has on their lives and relationships.
31. Breakfast on Pluto (2005)
Breakfast on Pluto is another Neil Jordan film starring Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, and Stephen Rea. The story is based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Patrick McCabe.
The film is set in Ireland during the 1970s and tells the story of Patrick "Kitten" Braden, a transgender woman, who is searching for her birth mother. Along the way, she experiences a variety of adventures, both comedic and tragic.
She travels through Ireland and London, meeting characters, including priests, IRA members, and drag queens. It's a story of self-discovery, love, and the search for one's identity in a society that does not accept them for who they are.
The film is a darkly comedic and moving portrayal of the struggles of a transgender woman to find acceptance and a sense of self.
30. Black '47 (2018)
Black '47 is a historical drama directed by Lance Daly and starring Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, and Stephen Rea. It was inspired by a short film made by Daly and Pierce Ryan.
This period piece was written by PJ Dillon, Ryan, Daly, and Eugene O’Brien. The film is set in Ireland during the Great Famine of 1847, a period of great poverty and starvation that claimed the lives of more than a million people.
The story follows an Irish Ranger, Feeney, who has deserted his British army unit and returns home to find his family has been devastated by the famine and evicted by the British landowners.
He seeks revenge against the British authorities and their collaborators. The film is a powerful and brutal portrayal of the impact of the famine on the Irish people. It was set in the darkest period of the famine and the year was referred to as Black’47, the same as the film title.
The movie was met with positive reviews.
29. Kisses (2008)
Kisses is a drama directed by Lance Daly and starring Kelly O'Neill, Shane Curry, and Paul Roe. The movie was met with positive reviews and was presented at many film festivals.
The story is of two young children, Kylie and Dylan, who live in a poor area of Dublin and are tired of the difficulties of their lives. They decide to run away from home and embark on an adventure in the city, where they encounter many unsavory characters.
Along the way, they learn valuable lessons about growing up and friendship. The film is a coming-of-age story that explores the innocence and struggles of childhood. The film is a heartwarming and emotional story that captures the wonder and struggles of childhood.
28. Ordinary Love (2019)
Ordinary Love is a romantic drama directed by Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn. It was written by Owen McCafferty and starred Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville. The film received positive reviews for its fine acting performances.
The film tells the story of Tom and Joan, an ordinary couple who have been married for many years. They are forced to confront the reality of their relationship when Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer.
The couple struggles with this life-altering event as they must navigate the physical and emotional toll of Joan's illness and treatment. The film is a powerful and emotional drama that shines a light on the intimate, everyday moments of a couple dealing with a serious illness.
The film is a realistic and emotional portrayal of the impact of cancer on a relationship and the resilience of love in the face of adversity.
27. The Siege of Jadotville (2016)
The Siege of Jadotville is a war film directed by Richie Smyth and starring Jamie Dornan, Mark Strong, and Guillaume Canet. The film is based on true events that occurred during the Peacekeeping mission to Congo.
The Irish UN peacekeeping force, led by Commandant Pat Quinlan, was sent to the Congo in the 1960s to protect the local population from rival factions. The peacekeepers are caught in a siege by a much larger and better-equipped Katanganese force.
Despite being vastly outnumbered, the Irish soldiers manage to hold out for a week, thanks to their superior training and tactics. The film depicts real events that were previously covered up by the government and the UN.
The Siege of Jadotville is a powerful and emotional portrayal of the courage and sacrifice of the soldiers and their determination to hold out against overwhelming odds.
26. Six Shooter (2004)
Six Shooter is a short film directed by Martin McDonagh and starring Brendan Gleeson and Rúaidhrí Conroy. The film was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film.
It is a dark comedy that tells the story of a man, Donal, whose wife has just died. While he is traveling on a train, he meets a strange and disturbed young man who is very rude and offensive to everyone.
Later, Donal realizes that the kid has just killed his mother. The two men develop an unlikely friendship as they share their stories and experiences. The movie was shown at multiple film festivals, where it won acclaim.
It stars the father-son pair of Brenden and Domhnall Gleeson.
25. Good Vibrations (2012)
Good Vibrations is a comedy-drama directed by Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn. It stars Richard Dormer and Jodie Whittaker. The film is a biographical drama that tells the story of Terri Hooley.
The film is set in Belfast during the 1970s and tells the story of Terri Hooley, a passionate music lover, and record-store owner. He is determined to bring punk rock to the city.
Against all odds, he opens a record shop in the heart of a war-torn city and starts to promote local punk bands. He faces opposition from the authorities, the IRA, and the loyalist paramilitaries, but he continues to pursue his dream.
The film received extremely favorable critical acclaim, with publications like The Observer, The Guardian, The Independent, and Time Out giving it 4 to 5-star ratings.
24. A Date for Mad Mary (2016)
A Date for Mad Mary is an Irish film directed by Darren Thornton. It is based on the one-woman play titled 10 Dates with Mad Mary, written by Yasmine Akram.
The film won two Irish Film & Television Awards. It stars Seána Kerslake as Mary McArdle, a young woman who has recently been released from prison for her violent and antisocial behavior.
After her release, she is trying to reconnect with her old friends and find a date for her best friend's wedding. The film received positive reviews for its performances, particularly that of Seána Kerslake, and its authentic portrayal of working-class life in Ireland.
Critics also praised the film's humor and heartwarming moments. Overall, A Date for Mad Mary is a well-crafted and engaging film that offers a fresh perspective on the coming-of-age genre.
23. Calvary (2014)
Calvary is an Irish-British drama film written and directed by John Michael McDonagh. The film stars Brendan Gleeson as Father James Lavelle, a Catholic priest in a small Irish village.
The film was received well by critics and praised for the sensitive handling of many weighty issues surrounding the church. During confession, Father Lavelle is told that he will be killed in one week as a punishment for the sins of the Church.
As the week goes by, Father Lavelle faces a series of moral tests from the community, including a wealthy businessman, an abused wife, and a death row inmate. The film explores themes of faith, redemption, and the role of the Church in contemporary society.
It won multiple independent film awards, including three IFTAs.
22. The Guard (2011)
The Guard is an Irish-British crime comedy film written and directed by John Michael McDonagh. It earned nominations at the Golden Globe Awards and the BAFTAs, among other accolades. The film stars Brendan Gleeson as Sergeant Gerry Boyle, a small-town Irish police officer who is known for his unorthodox methods and lack of concern for political correctness.
When an FBI agent (Don Cheadle) arrives in town to investigate a major drug trafficking operation, Boyle unexpectedly finds himself paired with the agent in a race against time to stop the criminals.
The film received positive reviews for its performances, particularly that of Brendan Gleeson, and its blend of dark humor and crime elements. It is a clever and well-written film that keeps the audience entertained while tackling some serious issues.
21. ‘71 (2014)
'71 is a British historical drama film directed by Yann Demange in his debut. The film takes place in Belfast in 1971 during the Troubles, a period of sectarian conflict between the Protestant and Catholic communities.
The story centers around a young British soldier, Gary Hook (Jack O'Connell), who is accidentally left behind by his unit during a riot. He must navigate the hostile streets of Belfast, trying to survive and find his way back to his base while being hunted by both loyalist and republican paramilitaries.
The film received positive reviews for its intense and suspenseful storytelling, evocative cinematography, and performances, especially Jack O'Connell's. ‘71 was true to the facts of the war and the events despite being a fictional tale.
20. Rory O'Shea Was Here (2004)
Rory O'Shea Was Here, also known as Inside I'm Dancing, is an Irish comedy-drama directed by Damien O'Donnell. It stars James McAvoy as Rory and Steven Robertson as Michael. It was nominated for multiple awards, including IFTA, London Critics Circle Film Award, etc.
The film is about two young men with disabilities, Rory O'Shea and Michael Connolly, who move into a Dublin apartment together and form a close bond. Suffering from severe disabilities, both men were institutionalized and left out by their families.
They decide to move out and experience life. The film is known for its heartwarming and emotional story, which deals with themes of friendship, self-determination, and the struggles of living with a disability.
It also addresses the issues of institutionalization and the lack of opportunities for disabled people.
19. The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)
The Wind That Shakes the Barley is an Irish historical drama film directed by Ken Loach and written by Paul Laverty. The film is set in Ireland during the War of Independence and tells the story of two brothers caught up in a fight.
Damien and Teddy O'Donovan are forced to choose between joining the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and fighting for Ireland's freedom from British rule or staying out of the conflict and trying to maintain a normal life.
The film explores the complexities and personal costs of the war and the ways in which it divides families and communities. The film also shows the brutal reality of British oppression, the violent tactics of both sides, and the eventual compromise that led to the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921.
The film received positive reviews for its performance. It also won several awards, including the Palme d'Or award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
18. Some Mother's Son (1996)
Some Mother's Son is an Irish film directed by Terry George. The film is based on the true story of the 1981 Hunger Strike in Northern Ireland's Maze prison, where Irish republican prisoners protested the withdrawal of special category status.
The film stars Helen Mirren and Fionnula Flanagan. Some Mother’s Son is a film that depicts the struggle, endurance, and determination of the Irish prisoners held in The Maze. The performances in the film are widely praised for their authenticity, intensity, and emotional depth.
Helen Mirren and Fionnula Flanagan's performances as the mothers of the hunger strikers are particularly noteworthy for their ability to convey the complexity and heartbreak of the characters. They both received nominations for best actress awards for their performances.
17. Song for a Raggy Boy (2003)
Song for a Raggy Boy is an Irish historical drama film directed by Aongus Ó Snodaigh. The film is based on the true events depicted in the book of the same name by Patrick Galvin.
The film is set in Ireland in 1939 and tells the story of William Franklin, a young English teacher who takes a job at an all-boys Catholic reform school. Franklin soon discovers that the school is run by a sadistic headmaster who uses brutal methods to discipline the students.
Franklin is initially hesitant to get involved but eventually decides to stand up against the headmaster and the Church and fight for the rights of the students. The film deals with themes of abuse, morality, and the power of one person to make a difference.
The performances of Aidan Quinn as Franklin and Iain Glen as the headmaster are well-received. It is a thought-provoking film that offers a sobering look at the excesses of the church.
16. Philomena (2013)
Philomena is a British-French-Irish drama film directed by Stephen Frears. The film is based on the true story of Philomena Lee, an Irish woman who searches for her son, who was taken away from her by the Catholic Church when he was a baby.
The film is based on the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith. The film stars Judi Dench as Philomena and Steve Coogan as Martin Sixsmith, a journalist who helps her in her search.
The film was critically acclaimed for its performances, particularly that of Judi Dench. The film is also praised for its storytelling, which is both emotionally powerful and thought-provoking. It deals with themes of motherhood, faith, and the impact of historical events on individuals.
The script was written by Steven Coogan and Jeff Pope, who were nominated for an Oscar along with Judi Dench. It received several award nominations and wins, including four Academy Awards, BAFTAs, and more.
15. In America (2002)
In America is an Irish-British-American film directed by Jim Sheridan. The film is a semi-autobiographical story based on the experiences of the director and his family, who emigrated from Ireland to New York City in the early 1980s.
The film stars Samantha Morton, Paddy Considine, and Djimon Hounsou. John and Sarah are an Irish couple who move to New York with their two young children, Christy and Christy Jr.
The family faces many challenges as they try to adjust to their new life in the city, including poverty, cultural differences, and the recent death of their young son. However, they find hope and healing through their friendships with their neighbors and their shared experiences of grief and loss.
The film is notable for its performances, particularly that of Samantha Morton, who received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Sarah. It was nominated for three Oscars for Best Original Screenplay for the Sheridans, Best Actress for Samantha Morton, and Best Supporting Actor for Djimon Hounsou.
14. The Secret of Kells (2009)
The Secret of Kells is an Irish-French-Belgian animated fantasy film directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey. The film is notable for its beautiful animation, which combines traditional hand-drawn techniques with computer animation.
It was nominated for an Oscar. The film tells the story of Brendan, a young boy living in a medieval Irish monastery, who becomes an apprentice to a master illuminator named Brother Aidan.
Brendan is tasked with helping to complete the Book of Kells, a sacred illuminated manuscript that is said to have magical powers. As Brendan works on the book, he embarks on a journey of discovery and adventure, encountering mythical creatures and ancient spirits.
It is an evocative and richly detailed representation of the culture and legends of medieval Ireland.
13. The Commitments (1991)
The Commitments is an Irish musical comedy-drama film directed by Alan Parker. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle. It tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte, a young music enthusiast who forms a soul band in Dublin made up of a group of working-class Irish teenagers.
The band, called "The Commitments," faces many challenges as they try to make it big, including internal conflicts, lack of experience, and the harsh realities of the music industry. The film is known for its lively and energetic performances and received critical acclaim for the portrayals of Jimmy and Imelda Quirke.
The film also received praise for its authentic and humorous portrayal of working-class Irish culture. Its soundtrack featured on the Billboard 200 Album charts. The film received several award nominations at the BAFTAs.
12. The Magdalene Sisters (2002)
The Magdalene Sisters is an Irish-British drama film directed by Peter Mullan. The film is based on the true story of the Magdalene laundries, a system of institutions run by the Catholic Church in Ireland, where "fallen women" were sent to work as unpaid laborers in laundries as punishment for supposed moral transgressions.
The film tells the story of three young women, Margaret, Bernadette, and Rose, who are sent to one of these institutions, and their struggles to survive and maintain their dignity in the face of abuse and oppression.
The film received widespread critical acclaim for its performances, particularly that of Anne-Marie Duff as Margaret, and its powerful and unflinching depiction of the brutal realities of the Magdalene laundries.
The film's portrayal of institutionalized abuse and the lack of human rights is also well-done and it also received praise for its sensitive handling of the subject matter and its exploration of themes of oppression, survival, and resistance.
11. Hunger (2008)
Hunger is a 2008 Irish-British drama film directed by Steve McQueen. The film is based on the true story of the 1981 Hunger Strike in Northern Ireland's Maze prison, where Irish republican prisoners protested the withdrawal of special category status.
The film stars Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands, a prisoner who leads the hunger strike. Hunger received widespread critical acclaim for its performances, particularly that of Fassbender, who received numerous awards and nominations for his portrayal.
The film is also praised for its intense and powerful storytelling, evocative cinematography, and exploration of themes of protest, sacrifice, and the human cost of political conflict. The film is also notable for its extended and realistic scenes that depict the physical deterioration of Sands as he goes through the hunger strike.
It offers a sobering look at the complexities and human costs of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
10. Belfast (2021)
Belfast is a Kenneth Branagh film that talks about a family during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The film is written and directed by Branagh and stars Dame Judi Dench, Ciarán Hinds, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill, etc.
The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Film, and won the award for Best Original Screenplay. Buddy is a young, nine-year-old boy who lives in Belfast with his family.
The peace and quiet of his life are slowly getting disrupted due to the sectarian conflicts raging around them. As a child, he does not understand the reason for the disturbances.
At the same time, he cannot reconcile without losing his friends and moving to a safer place. Branagh said that this script was the closest to how he felt growing up as an Irish boy.
He said the film was deeply personal to him, and most of the cast were also born in Belfast. To capture the spontaneity, Branagh would film Jude Hill during rehearsals and use that footage in the film as well.
9. Once (2007)
Once is an Irish musical romantic drama film directed by John Carney. The film stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová as a street musician and a Czech immigrant, respectively. They meet and collaborate on making music together.
The movie is set in Dublin and centers around their unlikely friendship and the music they create. The film is shot in a low-key, realistic style and features an original soundtrack, with music and lyrics written by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.
The film was praised for its performances, particularly that of the lead pair, who both received critical acclaim for their portrayals. The film's depiction of the struggles of the working class and the beauty of Dublin is also well done.
The film received several award nominations, including an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Falling Slowly". It is a heartwarming and authentic film that explores themes of love, friendship, and the power of music.
8. The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
The Banshees of Inisherin is a dark tragicomedy about the friendship between two lifelong friends, Pádraic and Colm. The script was written and directed by Martin McDonagh. His debut film In Bruges also starred Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.
The film starts with the end of the Irish Civil war in 1923. Life on the small island of Inisherin carries on as usual. However, Colm, a folk musician, suddenly starts to avoid and distance himself from his lifelong friend Pádraic.
This disturbs not only Pádraic but also the other townsfolk, who do not understand the reason for the sudden animosity. The more Pádraic tries to pacify Colm, the more he gets agitated.
The film involves all the cast wearing local woolens, and they were all knitted by the same elderly man. The filming was also eventful with Farrell facing trouble with all the animals on the set attacking him.
7. Bloody Sunday (2002)
Bloody Sunday is a British-Irish historical drama film directed by Paul Greengrass. The film is based on the true events of the "Bloody Sunday" incident, which took place in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1972.
On that day, British soldiers opened fire on a peaceful civil rights march, killing 14 unarmed civilians. The film tells the story of the events leading up to the march and the incident itself, from the perspectives of both the marchers and the soldiers.
The film received widespread critical acclaim for its performances, particularly that of James Nesbitt, who received numerous awards and nominations for his portrayal of Ivan Cooper, a civil rights leader who was one of the organizers of the march.
The film's portrayal of the tragic events of that day and the human cost of political violence is also well-done. Although the film won critical praise, it was not eligible for the Academy Awards as the film was telecast on TV, the same day it was released in theaters.
6. Wolfwalkers (2020)
Wolfwalkers is an Irish-French-Luxembourgish animated fantasy film directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. It is the last film in the Irish Folklore Trilogy, preceded by The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea.
The film is set in Ireland in 1650 and tells the story of Robyn, a young apprentice hunter who is sent to the town of Kilkenny to help her father in hunting down wolves.
However, she soon discovers that the wolves are actually people who can transform into wolves. They are not the monsters that she believed. The film follows Robyn as she befriends one of the wolfwalkers, a girl named Mebh, and learns about their culture and way of life.
The film is notable for its beautiful animation, which combines traditional hand-drawn techniques with computer animation. The film received widespread critical acclaim for its imaginative storytelling. It was nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe Award, and BAFTA.
5. Sing Street (2016)
Sing Street is an Irish-American musical comedy-drama film directed by John Carney. The film is set in Dublin in the 1980s and tells the story of Conor, a teenage boy who starts a band to impress a girl he likes.
The film also received praise for its authentic and humorous portrayal of 1980s Dublin. The film follows Conor as he navigates the challenges of adolescence, including family troubles and school bullies, while also pursuing his passion for music.
The film is known for its lively and energetic performances, particularly that of Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, who received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Conor. It was also praised for its soundtrack, which features a mix of classic 80s hits and original songs.
The film was a commercial success and received several award nominations. It's a heartwarming and nostalgic film that explores themes of love, friendship, and the power of music. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo's father and uncles attended the actual Synge Street CBS.
4. In Bruges (2008)
In Bruges is a British-American black comedy-crime film written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes and is the directorial debut of McDonagh.
It earned nominations for an Academy Award for screenplay and won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe award. The story centers around two Irish hitmen, Ray and Ken, who are sent to the Belgian city of Bruges by their boss, Harry, to lay low after a job goes wrong.
While there, they experience the charming and picturesque city but also confront guilt, cultural clashes, and their own morality. The film is known for its dark humor and its performances, particularly that of Brendan Gleeson, who received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Ken.
The film also received praise for its witty and clever writing and its exploration of themes of guilt, redemption, and the human condition. It's a well-crafted and thought-provoking film that offers a unique blend of crime, comedy, and philosophy.
3. Song of the Sea (2014)
Song of the Sea is an Irish-Belgian animated fantasy film directed by Tomm Moore. The film is set in Ireland and tells the story of Ben and his younger sister Saoirse, who live with their father Conor in a lighthouse by the sea.
The story follows their journey as they discover that Saoirse is a Selkie, a mythical creature that can turn into a seal. It is their destiny to bring the "light" back to the sea.
Along the way, they encounter mythical creatures and ancient legends and learn about their family's history and the magic of the sea. The film is notable for its beautiful animation, which combines traditional hand-drawn techniques with computer animation.
The film was praised for its imagination. It was nominated for and won several awards, including a nomination for an Oscar and an Annie Award as the Best Animated Feature Film.
It was also made by the Cartoon Saloon studio in Ireland.
2. My Left Foot (1989)
My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is an Irish-British biographical drama film directed by Jim Sheridan. The film is based on the true story of Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral palsy, who was able to control only his left foot and went on to become a painter and writer.
The film stars Daniel Day-Lewis, who received widespread critical acclaim for his portrayal of Christy Brown, and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance. The film is notable for its portrayal of Christy's struggles with his disability and his determination to succeed.
It also aptly portrays the working-class Irish family and the community of which he is a part. The film is also praised for its performances, particularly that of Day-Lewis, and its sensitive and emotionally powerful storytelling.
It received several award nominations, including best picture and best director.
1. In the Name of the Father (1993)
In the Name of the Father is another British-Irish drama film directed by Jim Sheridan. The film is based on the true story of the Guildford Four, a group of Irish people who were falsely convicted of an IRA bombing in Guildford, England in 1974.
The film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four, and Emma Thompson as his lawyer, Gareth Peirce. The film tells the story of Conlon's wrongful conviction and the years he spent in prison, as well as the struggle of his family to clear his name and expose the truth about the case.
The film is known for its powerful performances, particularly that of Day-Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite. It is emotionally powerful and thought-provoking storytelling. The film received several award nominations and wins, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
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