10. Belfast (2021)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (78,534 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 92% (1,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (327 reviews)
> Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical drama follows 9-year-old Buddy (Jude Hill) as he comes of age during the onset of The Troubles. The story unfolds through a series of childhood adventures against an encroaching backdrop of political unrest. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
9. The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (50,362 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (25,000 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (117 reviews)
> Directed by: Ken Loach
Ken Loach’s sweeping drama channels Irish history through the story of two brothers in arms (Cillian Murphy and Pádraic Delaney). Joined together in Ireland’s fight for independence, the brothers are pitted against each other in the subsequent civil war. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, it was also the highest-grossing independent Irish-made film of its time.
8. The Commitments (1991)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (34,153 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 90% (28,407 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89% (45 reviews)
> Directed by: Alan Parker
A group of working-class Dubliners form an unlikely soul covers band in this inspired musical dramedy. Of its two separate soundtrack albums, one achieved triple-platinum status while the other reached gold status. The film also won four BAFTA Awards out of six nominations.
7. Philomena (2013)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (97,066 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (52,457 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91% (200 reviews)
> Directed by: Stephen Frears
Adapted from a “nonfiction novel,” this stunning drama alternates between past and present and highlights a number of important issues. At the heart of the story is Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irishwoman who wants to find the missing son she was forced to abandon as a teenager. She enlists the help of a journalist (Steve Coogan) and their journey leads to some stark revelations.
6. The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (8,888 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (7,336 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (45 reviews)
> Directed by: John Sayles
This independent fantasy drama was inspired by folklore about the selkies, mythological beings who could transform from seals into humans. It takes place in the small fishing village of Roan Inish, where a young girl uncovers the secret behind her brother’s disappearance. Hollywood Reporter critic Michael Rechtshaffen called it “a first-rate, all-ages fairy tale.”
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