Ireland is a country rich in culture, history, and natural beauty, and it has inspired countless filmmakers to tell stories set against its breathtaking backdrop.

When I studied abroad there in college, I found it to be such a welcoming place. And I did some of my best writing while sitting in pubs there. And met some of the best people.

From stirring dramas to charming comedies and everything in between, Ireland has served as the setting for some of the most memorable films ever made.

Whether you are a fan of historical epics, heartwarming comedies, or gripping dramas, there is sure to be a film on this list that captures your imagination and transports you to the stunning landscapes of Ireland.

So grab a pint of Guinness, settle in, and discover the best that Irish cinema has to offer.

Quietman'The Quiet Man'Credit: Republic Pictures

What Are the Best Movies Made In and About Ireland?

There have been many great movies made in and about Ireland. Here are some of the most highly regarded:

  • The Quiet Man (1952) - A classic film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, The Quiet Man tells the story of an American boxer who returns to his ancestral home in Ireland and falls in love with a local woman.
  • My Left Foot(1989) - This biographical film tells the story of Christy Brown, an Irishman with cerebral palsy who learned to write and paint with his left foot. Daniel Day-Lewis won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Brown.
  • The Field(1990) - Directed by Jim Sheridan and based on a play by John B. Keane, this film stars Richard Harris as a farmer who will stop at nothing to keep his land.
  • The Commitments(1991) - Directed by Alan Parker, this film is a musical comedy about a group of working-class Dubliners who form a soul band. It is based on a novel by Roddy Doyle.
  • The Crying Game(1992) - Although not set entirely in Ireland, this film is an Irish-British production and was directed by Neil Jordan. The film tells the story of a British soldier who is kidnapped by the IRA and becomes involved with one of his captors.
  • In the Name of the Father(1993) - This film is based on the true story of the Guildford Four, a group of Irishmen who were wrongly convicted of a terrorist bombing in England in 1974. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as one of the falsely accused men.
  • The Snapper(1993) - Directed by Stephen Frears and based on a novel by Roddy Doyle, this comedy-drama tells the story of a young woman in a working-class Dublin family who becomes pregnant and must deal with the fallout.
  • Michael Collins(1996) - Directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson, this film tells the story of Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins and his fight for Irish independence from Britain.
  • The Boxer(1997) - Directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, this film tells the story of a former IRA member who tries to rebuild his life and boxing career after being released from prison.
  • Waking Ned Devine(1998) is a beloved Irish comedy film directed by Kirk Jones. The film is set in a small village in Ireland, where the residents discover that one of their own has won the lottery. However, they soon find out that the winner, Ned Devine, has died from the shock of winning, and they hatch a scheme to claim the prize money for themselves. The film stars Ian Bannen, David Kelly, and Fionnula Flanagan, and is known for its heartwarming humor and stunning Irish scenery.
  • Angela's Ashes (1999) - Based on the best-selling memoir by Frank McCourt, this film tells the story of a poor Irish family in the 1930s and 1940s. It was directed by Alan Parker and starred Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle.
  • The Magdalene Sisters (2002) - Set in 1960s Ireland, this film tells the story of three young women who are sent to a Magdalene laundry, a Catholic institution for "fallen" women. The film is a powerful indictment of the treatment of women in the Irish Catholic Church.
  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley(2006) - Set during the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, this film tells the story of two brothers who join the Irish Republican Army to fight for Irish independence.
  • Once(2007) - A musical film about a street musician and a Czech immigrant who collaborate on a series of songs, Once won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
  • Hunger (2008) - Directed by Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender, this film is based on the true story of IRA member Bobby Sands, who led a hunger strike while imprisoned in Northern Ireland.
  • The Secret of Kells(2009) - An animated film directed by Tomm Moore, The Secret of Kells tells the story of a young boy in medieval Ireland who helps to complete the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript.
  • The Guard(2011) - This comedy-thriller stars Brendan Gleeson as a quirky Irish policeman who teams up with an uptight FBI agent to solve a drug-smuggling case.
  • Philomena (2013) - Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench, this film tells the true story of an Irish woman who sets out to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption decades earlier.
  • Calvary (2014) - Starring Brendan Gleeson, this film tells the story of a good-hearted priest in a small Irish town who is threatened with murder by one of his parishioners.
  • Brooklyn (2015) - A romantic drama set in the 1950s, Brooklyn tells the story of a young Irish woman who emigrates to New York and falls in love with an Italian-American plumber. It stars Saoirse Ronan.
  • Sing Street (2016): An uplifting musical sure to put a smile on your face.
  • The Banshees of Inisherin (2022): Darkly comedic exploration of friendship and isolation on a remote island.

You can also check out the Oscar-winning short film, An Irish Goodbye, made by the Irish filmmaking duo Tom Berkeley and Ross White.

These are just a few examples of the many great movies made in and about Ireland.

Let me know your favorites in the comments.