Top 10 Irish Movies – as picked by Oscar, Filmzie’s resident Irishman

Ireland’s famous Cliffs of Moher

There was a time when Ireland was known as the ‘Land of Saints and Scholars’ – famed for our monasteries

  1. The Commitments (1991) This is a classic film, perhaps the Irish film with the largest cultural footprint outside of Ireland. Based on the book by the same name from acclaimed Irish author Roddy Doyle, it follows a group of Dubliners on their journey to form a soul band.
  2. Fatal Deviation (1998) My personal favourite Irish film, this is perhaps the only ever kung fu movie produced in Ireland. Jimmy Bennet returns home years after the death of his father to try and discover the truth. He runs afoul of the local crime syndicate (lead by one of the singers from pop group Boyzone) and battles with them for the soul of his village. The film was made on a shoestring budget, and producer/star James Bennett has since gone on to become an actor in Hollywood action films, working with the likes of Dolph Lungdren and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
  3. Breakfast on Pluto (2005) Cillian Murphy plays a trangender woman as she tries to find her place in the world, eventually escaping from Ireland to London after becoming embroiled with the IRA. Featuring great Irish actors like Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea and Brendan Gleeson, this movie is a new Irish classic.
  4. Intermission (2003) A black comedy telling the interweaving stories of a group of Dubliners, this film plays as something of an Irish version of “Snatch”. A cat and mouse game between robber Colin Farrell and cop Colm Meaney envelops the friend group of Cillian Murphy* and his ex, Kelly Macdonald. The film has some truly funny memorable moments, like one of the main character’s penchant for putting brown sauce in his tea, (*At this stage I’d like to point out that we have maybe 10 internationally famous Irish actors, so they tend to crop up in the same films a lot) .
  5. The Guard (2014) It’s almost impossible to have a proper Irish film without Brendan Gleeson. The Guard is no exception. It follows a simple rural policeman, with a penchant for LSD, as he takes on an international crime ring with the help of an FBI agent, played by Don Cheadle. The film captures the unique oddness of the people of the West of Ireland.
  6. Grabbers (2012) Aliens attack an island off the west coast of Ireland. Oh no! We have to get drunk to fight them? Oh yeah!
  7. The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006) Get a dose of Irish history and see the lengths people will go to in the name of freedom. Cillian Murphy and co. run around County Cork trying to start a revolution.
  8. Song of the Sea (2014) Beautifully animated modern fairy tale, the story of a young girl trying to find herself and come to terms with the loss of her mother.
  9. The Butcher Boy (1997) Fever-dream tale of a very disruptive young man and his troubles with growing up in rural Ireland in the 1960s.
  10. Song for a Raggy Boy (2003) A teacher returns from fighting in the Spanish Civil War to teach in a religious school in 1930s Ireland, he tries to free the children from the oppressive regime levied by the priests in control of the school.

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