Special Report

The Best Movies Set in Ireland

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

30. Ryan’s Daughter (1970)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (9,900 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 73% (2,500 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 50% (18 reviews)
> Directed by: David Lean

This period melodrama takes place in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, when Irish rebels attempted to overthrow British rule. It centers around the affair between a married Irish schoolteacher (Sarah Miles) and a British soldier (Christopher Jones). Their romance unfolds against a fraught socio-political backdrop.

Source: Getty Images

29. Angela’s Ashes (1999)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (21,347 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (22,699 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 51% (86 reviews)
> Directed by: Alan Parker

This sweeping drama culls from the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of the same name by Frank McCourt and depicts the author’s adolescent experiences. It opens in Brooklyn before following McCourt and his family back to their native Ireland, where they struggle to survive.

Source: Jeff Spicer / Getty Images

28. The Playboys (1992)
> IMDb user rating: 6.3/10 (1,206 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 54% (1,021 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 92% (24 reviews)
> Directed by: Gillies MacKinnon

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Shane Connaughton co-wrote this period drama, which was filmed in his Irish birthplace of Redhills, County Cavan. It tells the story of an unwed mother (Robin Wright) whose romantic desires stir up her small village in the 1950s.

Source: Courtesy of STX Entertainment

27. The Foreigner (2017)
> IMDb user rating: 7.0/10 (108,142 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 72% (16,373 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 66% (126 reviews)
> Directed by: Martin Campbell

From the director of 2006’s “Casino Royale” comes this geopolitical action thriller, shot in both Northern Ireland and England. When his daughter is killed in a terrorist bombing, a vengeful ex-military operative (Jackie Chan) gets embroiled in a deadly IRA conspiracy.

Source: Courtesy of Savoy Pictures

26. Circle of Friends (1995)
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10 (8,377 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 73% (16,827 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 78% (36 reviews)
> Directed by: Pat O’Connor

This coming-of-age drama, based on the bestselling novel of the same name, takes place at the University of Dublin in 1957. Once childhood friends, three young women reconnect at college and each embarks on her own romantic adventure. The conflict between carnal desire and religious orthodoxy is a recurring theme.

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