Last year we were figuring out how to safely celebrate St Patrick’s Day at home under the threat of Covid and here we are, a year later, and most restrictions have been/are being lifted. What a difference a year makes, eh? As amazing as “no restriction living” sounds, I’m not ready to jump back into “before life” quite yet. We all have to find our own way back to our own new normal. No judgement (unless you are anti-vax).
Some, like myself, may not be ready to go to a busy bar or crowded party to celebrate St Patrick’s Day yet. Some, like myself, may prefer to stay home and enjoy a quieter night with fewer people. We can have a few drinks, listen to The Pogues, and then pop some popcorn, and queue up any of these amazing Irish movies to binge for St Patrick’s Day.
We included a variety of genres so there is something for everyone. All movies are listed in alphabetical order and not ranked in any manner. All summaries are courtesy of IMDb.
In 1971, a young and disoriented British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the deadly streets of Belfast.
A woman newly released from prison seeks a date to bring to her best friend’s wedding.
3. Albert Nobbs
Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th-century Ireland, where women aren’t encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man so she can work as a butler in Dublin’s most elegant hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living.
Based on the best-selling autobiography by Irish expatriate Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The film opens with the family in Brooklyn, but following the death of one of Frankie’s siblings, they return home, only to find the situation there even worse. Prejudice against Frankie’s Northern Irish father makes his search for employment in the Republic difficult despite his having fought for the I.R.A., and when he does find money, he spends it on drink.
A middle-aged Irish farmer, who still lives at home with his mother, sets off on a mission of revenge when his mother is murdered.
A young boy and his working-class Belfast family experience the tumultuous late 1960s.
7. Black ’47
Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, the drama follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family.
A dramatization of the Irish civil rights protest march and subsequent massacre by British troops on January 30, 1972.
Two Irish Catholic brothers become vigilantes and wipe out Boston’s criminal underworld in the name of God.
An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him.
A group of young Cardboard Gangsters attempt to gain control of the drug trade in Darndale, chasing the glorified lifestyle of money, power and sex.
3 women, who’ve been friends since childhood, meet at university in Dublin in 1957. Student and boyfriend life begins.
14. Crock of Gold
A look at the life of Irish singer/songwriter and Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan.
Five unmarried sisters make the most of their simple existence in rural Ireland in the 1930s.
Desmond’s wife leaves him and their 3 kids after Christmas 1953. Unemployed in Dublin, the authorities place the kids in orphanages. Employed again, Desmond tries to get his kids back.
17. Extra Ordinary
Rose, a mostly sweet and lonely Irish driving instructor, must use her supernatural talents to save the daughter of Martin (also mostly sweet and lonely) from a washed-up rock star who is using her in a Satanic pact to reignite his fame.
18. Far and Away
A young Irish couple flee to the States, but subsequently struggle to obtain land and prosper freely.
19. Good Vibrations
A chronicle of Terri Hooley’s life, a record-store owner instrumental in developing Belfast’s punk-rock scene.
When an island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by bloodsucking aliens, the heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive.
21. High Spirits
When a hotelier attempts to fill the chronic vacancies at his castle by launching an advertising campaign that falsely portrays the property as haunted, two actual ghosts show up and end up falling for two guests.
Irish republican Bobby Sands leads the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike.
23. In America
A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell’s Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child.
A man’s coerced confession to an I.R.A. bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.
A variety of losers in Dublin have harrowingly farcical intersecting stories of love, greed and violence.
26. Into the West
Grandpa Ward gives a horse he found to his grandchildren, who keep it in their tower-block flat in Dublin. The horse is stolen from them, and the two young boys set out to find it and flee on it.
27. Leap Year
Anna Brady plans to travel to Dublin, Ireland to propose to her boyfriend Jeremy on February 29, leap day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day must accept it.
28. Michael Collins
Neil Jordan’s historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
29. My Left Foot
Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb – his left foot.
Tells the story of a hundred years of a life as seen through the eyes of thirty Irish centenarians.
A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.
An Irish fisherman discovers a woman in his fishing net whom his precocious daughter believes to be a selkie.
33. Ordinary Love
An extraordinary look at the lives of a middle-aged couple in the midst of the wife’s breast cancer diagnosis.
34. P.S. I Love You
A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her 10 messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life.
A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.
When the kinetic Rory moves into his room in the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, his effect on the home is immediate. Most telling is his friendship with Michael, a young man with cerebral palsy and nearly unintelligible speech. Somehow, Rory understands Michael, and encourages him to experience life outside the confines of home.
37. Ryan’s Daughter
Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.
38. Sing Street
A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.
39. Tara Road
Two women — one American, one Irish — swap houses and alter the course of their lives.
40. The Boxer
Young Danny Flynn is released from prison 14 years after “taking the rap” for the IRA and tries to rebuild his life in his old Belfast neighborhood.
41. The Butcher Boy
The antisocial son of an alcoholic father and a bipolar mother grows up in 1960s Ireland.
42. The Commitments
Jimmy Rabbitte, an unemployed Dublin boy, decides to put together a soul band made up entirely of the Irish working class.
43. The Crying Game
A British soldier kidnapped by IRA terrorists soon befriends one of his captors, who then becomes drawn into the soldier’s world.
44. The Field
When a field (which has been farmed by the McCabe family for generations) goes up for auction, the patriarch of the McCabe family will stop at nothing to prevent a rich American from buying it.
45. 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.
A single mother living in the Irish countryside with her son begins to suspect he may not be her son at all, and fears his increasingly disturbing behavior is linked to a mysterious sinkhole in the forest behind their house.
47. The Irish Pub
The tradition of the Irish pub. Speaking to pub owners all over Ireland, Alex Fegan gets into the heart of what makes “the Irish pub” the institution that it is.
Three young Irish women struggle to maintain their spirits while they endure dehumanizing abuse as inmates of a Magdalene Sisters Asylum.
49. The Matchmaker
Marcy is an assistant to Senator John McGlory, who is having problems with a re-election campaign. Desperate for Irish votes, McGlory’s chief of staff Nick sends Marcy to Ireland to trace McGlory’s relatives or ancestors. Marcy arrives at the village of Ballinagra when it is preparing for an annual Matchmaking Festival. A well-dressed, handsome and single young lady, she becomes the center of attention for two professional matchmakers, Dermot and Millie, as well as for bartender Sean.
50. The O’Briens
Two years after the death of his wife, an Irish Father summons home his two Sons & Daughter, causing all to fear the worst, but he is not the only one with a secret…
Young Fiona lives with her grandparents in a small fishing village where she takes an active role to unravel the mysterious secrets.
A woman keeps a diary of her extended stay at a mental hospital.
53. The Snapper
20 year old Irish girl Sharon Curly lives at home with her large family. But notoriety in her neighbourhood suddenly arrives when, after a night out on the town, she becomes pregnant and refuses to divulge the identity of the baby’s father.
54. The Van
Set in the fictional Dublin suburb of Barrytown, Bimbo is a baker who loses his job after being made redundant. Bimbo then acquires the help of his best friend, Larry, to set up a successful burger van.
Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.
Two teenage boys cycle 160km on stolen bikes pursued by police to find a missing bale of cocaine worth 7 million euro. Set around the real event of Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure in 2007 of 440 million euro.
57. Veronica Guerin
An Irish journalist writes a series of stories about drug dealers.
When a lottery winner dies of shock, his fellow townsfolk attempt to claim the money.
59. Widows’ Peak
In 1934, an English widow moves to Widows’ Peak, Ireland. She befriends other widows and the son of one. Hostility escalates between her and an Irish spinster.
A pair of star-crossed lovers in Ireland get caught up in their family’s land dispute.
We hope this list of Irish movies to binge for St Patrick’s Day help you find the perfect movie lineup. If you can’t find anything here, check out Bingeworthy Irish TV Shows and Movies to Binge, or this great comedy binge list or drama binge list or any of our binge lists.
How will you be celebrating St Patrick’s Day? Will you be going out or staying in? Have you seen any of these movies on this list? Are there any you are looking forward to seeing?
However you decide to celebrate, we wish you a very happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day.