11 Must-See Irish Movies and Where to See Them

Taking advantage of the fact that today is the day of St. Patrick (St. Patrick’s Day) we want to join the party in our own way, taking a look at the best irish cinema of the last decades. Below, I leave you with a selection of eleven (hehehe) essential films produced or co-produced in Ireland, in case you want to enjoy good cinema while having a pint. Which I am going to do right now, to your health.

‘Souls in pain of Inisherin’ (‘The Banshees of Inisherin’, 2022)

We start with the most recent, one of the biggest successes of Irish cinema in the awards season despite its poor fortune at the Oscars (9 nominations, 0 awards). Martin McDonald consolidates himself as an extraordinary filmmaker with this absolutely devastating new story of friendship bathed in black humor, which brings back the charismatic couple from his debut, ‘In Bruges’ (‘In Bruges’, 2008), Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. Wonderful.

Criticism in Espinof

Still available in movie theaters.

‘The Commitments’ (1991)

Allan Parker signs one of the most famous titles in Irish filmography. Based on the novel by Roddy Doyle, the film follows a group of Dubliners who decide to start a soul band, having to deal with a personality clash as they begin to taste the honey of success… The soundtrack is in the collection of any music lover

See in Filmin

‘Game of tears’ (‘The Crying Game’, 1992)

tears game

The film that launched the career of Neil Jordan mixes a crime plot about the IRA with a surprising romance. Stephen Rea and Forest Whittaker lead the cast of this peculiar and controversial story that starts from a kidnapping in the forests of Ireland to take a completely different course in the capital of England…

See in Filmin

‘In the name of the father’ (‘In the Name of the Father’, 1993)

In the name of the Father

One of the most powerful movies I’ve ever seen, just remembering some of its scenes makes my skin crawl. Jim Sheridan brings to the big screen the story of Gerry Conlon, falsely accused of committing an attack carried out by the IRA. Daniel Day-Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite leave us unforgettable scenes…

Criticism in Espinof

To see in filmingin Netflix or in Movistar+

‘Michael Collins’ (1996)

Michael Collins

You cannot travel to Ireland without knowing, at least in broad strokes, the history of this revolutionary leader; this careful production nominated for two Oscars (music and photography) may be very useful to you. Again we find Neil Jordan signing the staging, and a striking cast headed by Liam Neeson, who gives us one of the best performances of his career.

Watch on HBO Max

‘The Magdalene Sisters’ (‘The Magdalene Sisters’, 2002)

In his second job as a director, Peter Mullan sheds light on one of the darkest chapters in recent Irish history. Through the story of four women admitted by their families to a convent where punishments are applied to correct the “impurities” of their souls, we witness one of the most horrible facets of Christian religious culture. Of the impeccable cast, it is worth highlighting the work of the newcomer Nora-Jane Noone.

Not legally available for streaming.

‘Bloody Sunday’ (2002)

bloody sunday

The work that put on the map Paul Greengrass. Winner of the audience award at Sundance, the film crudely and nervously portrays, in the key of a false documentary, the famous protests marked by the death of thirteen activists at the hands of the British army.

See in Filmin

‘Eleven’ (2006)


john carney writes and directs this charming love story set in Dublin. Its protagonists, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, fell in love during filming and began a relationship marked by the success of the film (Oscar winner for best song) that was later portrayed in the documentary ‘The Swell Season’ (2011).

Criticism in Espinof

To see in Movistar+ or rent on Amazon Prime Video.

‘The wind that shakes the barley’ (‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’, 2006)

The Wind Shakes Barley

New approach to the IRA conflict, but it is something that has inevitably marked the cinema produced and set in Ireland. ken loach orchestrates this film, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, where the performances of Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney stand out, two brothers forced to choose between their vision of the future and the ties that unite them… Intense and beautiful, as the best should be dramas.

Criticism in Espinof

Not legally available for streaming.

‘Hunger’ (2008)


Today could be a good day to recover this unpublished film in our country. Although it is not one of the happiest on this list either, keep that in mind. The debut of Steve McQueen captures in (painful) images the hunger strike carried out by Bobby Sands, a member of the IRA in prison. Impressive performance by Michael Fassbender that gave a lucky turn to his career.

Criticism in Espinof

Not legally available for streaming.

‘The Irishman’ (‘The Guard’, 2011)

The Guard

We end with one of the greatest successes of Irish cinema in recent years. John Michael McDonagh (author of ‘Calvary’, brother of Martin McDonagh) debuts with the staging of this black comedy about an FBI agent who must team up with an apparently incapable Irish policeman to take down a drug ring. The couple formed by Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson (another outstanding actor) give us hilarious moments.

Criticism in Espinof

To see in filming or on Amazon Prime Video or rent on RakutenTV.

So far my contribution. Of course there are many more than 11 great Irish films so I invite you to expand the list by naming more titles that you consider essential in the comments section.

In Espinof | The best movies of 2022 and where to watch them

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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