Movies about Ireland


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As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Movies about Ireland

The Irish have a long history of storytelling and are infamous for their Seanchai (Storytellers).

Travel to Ireland through these 27 movies.

Discover the magic and  legends of Ireland including fairies, leprechauns and silkes.

Learn about its history of Irish warriors, the Great famine and immigration, and the beginnings of the Irish free state.

See Irish life through the love stories, music festivals and local life.


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Breathtaking scenes in Ireland will have you hooked on this movie – a love story yet heartbreaking.

P.S. I Love You is the story of a young widow (Hilary Swank) who discovers that her deceased husband (Gerard Butler) has written her letters to help her through the grieving process and help her start a new life without him.

Wonderful cast and memorable scenes that will make you want to visit Ireland and find you own Jerry.


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Leap Year is another romantic comedy with an American girl and an Irish boy that has gorgeous scenes of Ireland.

Inspired by an Irish tradition that allows women to propose to men on Leap Day, Anna follows Jeremy (Adam Scott) to Dublin to propose to him. But after landing on the wrong side of Ireland, she must enlist the help of the handsome and carefree local Declan (Matthew Goode) to get her across the country. 

Along the way, they discover that the road to love can take you to very unexpected places. 


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I first experienced this story as a play in London. The movie, Once, is just as moving.

A vacuum repairman (Glen Hansard) moonlights as a street musician and hopes for his big break. One day a Czech immigrant (Marketa Irglova), who earns a living selling flowers, approaches him with the news that she is also an aspiring singer-songwriter. The pair decide to collaborate.

The songs that they compose reflect the story of their lives (past and present). 

It’s a story that will remind you that some people come into your life at the right moment, for just a moment to help you on your path.


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Set in 1965, Jimmy McMahon and his group of Liverpudlians plot to win the annual céilí music competition in Ireland against his brother who still lives in Ireland.

The Boys and Girl from County Clare is a feel good movie with charming traditional Irish movie, quirks of an Irish family and a simple love story mixed in.


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Set in the 1950’s, Circle of Friends is a charming romance about three girls from an Irish village whose coming of age happens as they all attend college in Dublin not long after WWII.

This was Minnie Driver’s debut film as the main character Benny, the daughter of a wealthy shopkeeper. Chris O’Donnell also stars as Jack, the wealthy love interest.


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Janeane Garofalo gives another witty, engaging performance in The Matchmaker

As Marcy Tizard, she lands in a remote Irish town during its annual matchmaking festival. Men are at every corner, but love is nowhere in sight. Until she meets a man even more cynical than herself.


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John Wayne and John Ford pair up again for The Quiet Man, a story set in Ireland.

Sean Thornton has returned from America to reclaim his homestead and escape his past. Sean’s eye is caught by Mary Kate Danaher, a beautiful but poor maiden, and younger sister of ill-tempered “Red” Will Danaher. 

The riotous relationship that forms between Sean and Mary Kate, punctuated by Will’s pugnacious attempts to keep them apart, form the main plot, with Sean’s past as the dark undercurrent.


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Ondine is a somber fairy tale about a lonely fisherman and the mythical sea creature he catches in his net, a supernatural beauty named Ondine.  

She brings hope, enchantment and, like any stunning siren from the sea, a secret.


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The Secret of Kells is a classic hero’s journey highlighting Irish legends & history.

Young Brendan lives in a remote medieval outpost under siege from Viking raids. A new life of adventure beckons when a celebrated master illuminator arrives from the isle of Iona carrying an ancient but unfinished book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.

To help complete the magical book, Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest that takes him into the enchanted forest where mythical creatures hide. It is here that he meets the fairy Aisling, a mysterious young wolf-girl, who helps him along the way.


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Irish folktales come to life with figures, like banshees and locations such as fairy mountain Knocknasheega in the movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People.

This Disney movie is about an elderly man’s battle of wits with leprechauns in Ireland.  Look closely at the movie poster – that’s a young Sean Connery.

Disney based the movie on the 1903 book Darby O’Gill and the Good People and also three months of research into Gaelic folklore at Dublin Library and hours talking with the Shanachies, the professional Irish storytellers.


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The Secret of Roan Inish is the magical tale of a girl whose search for her missing brother, lost at sea as a baby, brings an Irish legend to life.

10-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. She soon learns the local legend that an ancestor of hers married a Selkie – a seal who can turn into a human.

Someone in the family believes the missing boy is being raised by the seals. When Fiona see a little boy on the abandoned Isle of Roan Inish, she seeks to uncover all the secrets of this island and its legends.


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The film, Tristan and Isolde, is based on the medieval romantic legend of Tristan and Isolde taking place after the Roman Empire left the British Isle.  The legend of these ill-fated lovers has been told since the 12th century.

Tristan (James Franco) is a British Cornish knight who falls in love with an Irish princess creating a Romeo & Juliet forbidden love scenario. 

The movie has several twists and highlight the Dark Ages conflicts between the Irish and British tribes. 


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Another forbidden love story, Far and Away highlights the class system in Ireland.

The movie begins in Ireland where Shannon (Nicole Kidman) the daughter of a rich landowner meets Joseph (Tom Cruise) a poor farm worker.  They fall in love and after a series of events escape to America.

The reset of the movie is mostly set in 1890s New York City highlighting the Irish immigration and perseverance.


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Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, the drama, Black ’47, follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family.

I watched this movie just after visiting Ireland and specifically The Lost Valley where the owner tells the story of his relatives who experienced the Great Famine and showed me the Irish famine houses now in ruins on his property.

The movie is that story on film highlighting this brutal time in Irish history.  Hard to watch but a lesson in history.


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This film is a historical biopic of Irish revolutionary, Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK after the 1916 Easter Risings, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.

The cast was lead by Irish actor Liam Neeson and with stars such as Alan Rickman, Julia Roberts, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Rae adding their combined talent to this epic film. 

A key time in Irish history to learn about.


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The Wind that Shakes the Barley is another gripping drama set during the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, which spanned from 1919 until 1923. 

The film tells the fictional story of two brothers, Damien and Teddy O’Donovan, who join the Irish Republican Army to fight for Irish independence from the United Kingdom. 


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Bloody Sunday is a documentary-style drama showing the events that led up to the tragic incident on January 30, 1972 in the Northern Ireland town of Derry when a protest march led by civil rights activist Ivan Cooper was fired upon by British troops, killing 13 protesters and wounding 14 more.


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Saoirse Ronan plays a young Irish girl who travels to America in the 1950s in search of a better life than her small hometown in Ireland could offer her. 

When she returns to Ireland after a death in the family, things get complicated as she has to make a choice between her old home and new home.

Brooklyn was a hit at the 2016 award season including best picture, best actress, and best adapted screenplay nominations at the Oscars. 


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Set in the 1960’s, the movie, The Magdalene Sisters, follows a group of young girls who are sent to live and work in Magdalene asylums, or homes for “fallen women,” though their crimes aren’t criminal. 

The girls, all of whom were deemed too promiscuous or had gotten pregnant and were forced to give up their children for adoption, were under the abusive eye of nuns and priests and tried to be redeemed before being released back into society.


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Daniel Day-Lewis stars in this biographical courtroom drama based on the true story of the Guildford Four. 

In the movie, In the Name of the Father, four people were falsely convicted of the 1974 Irish Republican Army’s Guildford pub bombings, which killed four off-duty British soldiers and a civilian. 

The film received seven Oscar nominations back in 1994, including best actor, best director, and best picture.


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In The Crying Game, an unlikely friendship develops between Fergus, an Irish Republican Army volunteer, and Jody, a kidnapped British soldier lured into an IRA trap by Jude, another IRA member. 

When the hostage-taking ends up going horribly wrong, Fergus escapes and heads to London, where he seeks out Jody’s lover, a hairdresser named Dil. Fergus adopts the name “Jimmy” and gets a job as a day laborer. He also starts seeing Dil, who knows nothing about Fergus’ IRA background.


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In The Guard, an unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is partnered with an up-tight F.B.I. agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring.             

This dark comedy was well-received by critics and audiences alike when it was released in 2011. It quickly went on to become the most successful independent Irish film of all time in terms of box office sales.


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This is a coming-of-age drama about is lovable rogues from Cork, Conor and Jock, as they navigate their awkward teenage years, hatching plans and adventures to help distract from their tough home lives and their inability to stay out of trouble at school.

Their latest quest is to find a missing bale of cocaine worth 7,000,000 euros lost off the shore of Ireland.

This film, Young Offenders, came on my radar after I met one of the lead actors (Jock played by Chris Walley) proud family on my travels in Ireland. 


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The film, Calvary, takes place in a small town in Ireland where Father James is a Catholic priest.

During a confessional, a parishioner declares that after being abused as a kid at the hands of another priest, he is going to kill Father James.

As Father James decides how to deal with the threat, he discovers that many in the town have experienced domestic abuse, racism, suicidal tendencies and extreme views. 

A look into the dark consequences from the past of the Catholic Church.

Scenes from Ireland


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The classic film, The Princess Bride, features the Cliffs of Mohir in the epic scene where the main characters all climb a sheer cliff otherwise known as The Cliffs of Insanity.

The 702 foot cliffs are located near Doolin, Ireland on the west coast, one of my favorite small towns in Ireland.


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Harry Potter and Dumbledore also take a look at the Cliffs of Mohir.

In this film, they appear standing on a rock which is moving towards a sea cave in the face of a towering cliff.


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Skellig Islands of the South-west Coast of Ireland is also now known as Ahch-To to Star Wars fans from the movie Star Wars – The Force Awakens.

You have to take a ferry to get there, but you just might find Jedi Master Luke Skywalker on his hideaway planet.

The town of PortMagee on the mainland runs excursions to the islands and they now have a Star Wars festival… of course on May the 4th.

Looking for a Travel Guide Book about Ireland?

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Inspired to visit Ireland?