10 best Irish films according to Rotten Tomatoes, RANKED

10 best Irish films according to Rotten Tomatoes, RANKED

Need a movie to watch? Look no further, for we have compiled for you the list of the best Irish films according to Rotten Tomatoes.

We all love a good film, and often times we love to dip into a movie close to home that recounts Ireland’s story and stars some of the best actors and actresses to hail from the Emerald Isle.

And, so, who better than Rotten Tomatoes, that distinguished and beyond-reproach online movie ranking site, to help you choose which Irish film to tuck into on a Friday evening?

We’ve done the hard work for you; here are the ten best Irish films according to Rotten Tomatoes.

10. The Wind that Shakes the Barley, 2007 (90%) – the tragedy of the Treaty

The iconic Wind that Shakes the Barley is one of the best Irish movies according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Credit: Susanlenox / Flickr

Rotten Tomatoes have got their ranking skills off to a good start, earning the Wind that Shakes the Barley its well-deserved spot on this list, a superb movie directed by Ken Loach and starring Cillian Murphy.

It is a penetrating story that follows two brothers who fight for Irish independence before tragically splitting following the Anglo-Irish Treaty, emblematic of the reality of the time. Which side will you take?

9. The Magdalene Sisters, 2003 (91%) – exposing the Magdalene Laundries

The Magdalene Sisters is another movie that insightfully grasps the tragedy of the time, in this instance the barbaric Magdalene Laundries that were overseen by the Catholic Church.

This movie follows the particular story of four young women who were cast away by their families to be placed under the ‘care’ of the Church, where they were forced into servitude and abuse.

8. Bloody Sunday, 2002 (92%) – one of the seminal moments of recent Irish history

Bloody Sunday is one of the best Irish films according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Where the ‘Bloody Sunday’ murders took place. Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Starring James Nesbitt, Bloody Sunday is undoubtedly one of the best Irish movies on Rotten Tomatoes, as it recounts one of the seminal moments of the recent conflict.

14 civilians were killed in Derry by British soldiers in January 1972. The movie itself revolves around two young men caught up in the brutal events, one a civil-rights campaigner and another a young Catholic boy.

7. In the Name of the Father, 1993 (94%) – the story of the Guildford Four

In the Name of the Father, 1993 (94%) – the story of the Guildford Four.
Credit: @keepcoolharvey / Instagram

Another of the outstanding events of the conflict, this film is “impassioned and meticulously observed” according to Rotten Tomatoes, and we certainly don’t disagree.

The film documents the true story of young Irish men accused of an IRA bombing in 1974 who fight to reveal the truth of their innocence from an English jail.

6. The Snapper, 1993 (97%) – a light-hearted Irish comedy

Roddy Doyle, whose novel inspired the movie. Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

One of the best Irish films on Rotten Tomatoes is The Snapper, and it moves away from the theme of Irish history and into the realms of drama and comedy.

From the novel by Roddy Doyle, The Snapper is a film about a young, unmarried Irishwoman who refuses to reveal to her family the identity of her baby’s father.

5. Once, 2007 (97%) – a Dublin street musical

'Once' is one of the best Irish movies according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Glen Hansard. Credit: Matthew Straubmuller / Flickr

Kicking off our list of the top five Irish films on Rotten Tomatoes is the movie Once, which “sets the standard for the modern musical”, according to the website.

It is a moving musical set in the streets of Dublin featuring Glen Hansard and his band The Frames, telling the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant who write, rehearse and sing their songs.

4. Brooklyn, 2015 (97%) – the legacy of Irish emigration

The most recent of the Irish films on this list, Brooklyn stars world-famous Irish actress Saoirse Ronan who plays Eilis Lacey, a young Irish girl who has moved to New York City.

A romance in NYC rids her of the homesick she felt for her native land, but is eventually forced to choose between her life in America and that back home. Truly deserving of its 97% rating.

3. My Left Foot, 1989 (97%) – the best of Daniel Day-Lewis  

'My Left Foot' stars Daniel Day Lewis and is one of the best Irish films according to Rotten Tomatoes.
Credit: @_themoviebros_ / Instagram

This is Daniel Day-Lewis at his best, as he plays the true story of an Irish man Christy Brown who had cerebral palsy and was paralysed from birth.

Brown uses his left foot to learn how to write, becoming a well-known author and painter, and the performance led to Day-Lewis winning an Academy award.

2. Darby O’Gill and the Little People, 1959 (100%) – one for the kids

Credit: @golden.age.girls / Instagram

One of only two Irish films on Rotten Tomatoes to achieve a 100% rating, this movie follows the life of Darby O’Gill, a fiddle-playing caretaker of an Irish governor’s estate.

Strongly playing on Irish mythology and story-telling, Darby falls into the land of the leprechauns, and the chaos ensues. A favourite for the kids to watch.  

1. Odd Man Out, 1947 (100%) – the best of the Irish films on Rotten Tomatoes

Credit: @illswallowyoursoul / Instagram

And we’ve made it; the best Irish film according the Rotten Tomatoes. An honourable prize, and certainly a deserving movie for it.

Made in 1947, a wounded Johnny McQueen, an IRA man, takes shelter in the alleys of Belfast, which are rife with peril, while a merciless police hunt closes in on the man on the run.