Irish landscape at sunset with iconic film characters from the best movies made in and about Ireland, depicted in a whimsical, cinematic style, showcasing a blend of traditional and modern Irish culture.

Exploring the Best Movies Made in and About Ireland

Ireland, with its lush landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, has been the backdrop for countless films. The country’s cinematic contributions extend beyond its scenic beauty, diving deep into stories of love, conflict, myth, and reality. This article explores the best movies that are both made in and about Ireland, offering viewers a glimpse into the Irish soul through the magic of film.

My Left Foot (1989)

Directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, My Left Foot tells the story of Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral palsy who could only control his left foot. Day-Lewis’s powerful performance, which won him an Oscar, brings an incredible depth to this true story, highlighting the determination and resilience of the human spirit. The film is a masterful depiction of an individual overcoming adversity against the backdrop of 20th-century Dublin.

The Commitments (1991)

Based on the novel by Roddy Doyle, this film directed by Alan Parker is a soulful exploration of music’s power to unite and uplift. The Commitments follows a group of working-class Dubliners who form a soul band, bringing to life the vibrancy and struggles of Dublin in the late 20th century. The film is celebrated for its soundtrack, humor, and raw depiction of Irish life, making it a cultural touchstone.

In the Name of the Father (1993)

Another gem from director Jim Sheridan, In the Name of the Father stars Daniel Day-Lewis in a gripping tale of wrongful imprisonment and a son’s fight for justice. The film is based on the true story of the Guildford Four, who were falsely accused and convicted of IRA bombings in London. It explores themes of family, justice, and political conflict, offering insight into the Troubles that plagued Ireland for decades.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

Directed by Ken Loach, this film is a powerful drama set during the Irish War of Independence and the subsequent Civil War. Starring Cillian Murphy, The Wind That Shakes the Barley delves into the complexities of brotherhood, ideology, and freedom, providing an emotional and thought-provoking look at Ireland’s fight for independence from Britain. It’s a haunting reflection on the cost of war and the fight for national identity.

Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley and based on the novel by Colm Tóibín, spans the Atlantic to tell the story of a young Irish woman’s emigration to America in the 1950s. Saoirse Ronan’s performance perfectly captures the bittersweet essence of leaving home to forge a new life while nursing the constant ache of homesickness. It’s a touching narrative that beautifully explores Irish diaspora experiences, love, and the notion of home.

Normal People (2020)

While technically a television series, Normal People, adapted from Sally Rooney’s novel and directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald, deserves mention for its deep-rooted Irish context and the universality of its themes. The story of Connell and Marianne, two young people from a small town in Ireland navigating the complexities of love and social dynamics, captures the nuances of modern Irish life and the timeless struggles of intimacy and identity.


These films and series capture just a fraction of Ireland’s cinematic gems. They offer windows into the country’s heart, exploring its beautiful landscapes, complicated history, and rich cultural tapestry through compelling narratives and unforgettable characters. Whether you’re Irish or simply a lover of great films, these selections promise to move, entertain, and enlighten.

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