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A Guide to the Best Irish Films of the Last Decade

Once (2007): 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.


The Irish film industry has generated some of the most esteemed movies of recent years. Irish filmmakers have been testing the limits and fashioning singular tales that have entranced audiences worldwide, from cogitative dramas to jocose comedies. This article takes a closer glimpse at some of the top Irish films of the last decade, delving into their motifs and contributing to understanding why they are so highly lauded.

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Themes in Irish Cinema

Irish cinema has long explored identity, family, and politics. These themes have become even more prominent in Irish films in recent years. Irish filmmakers are willing to tackle difficult topics with sensitivity and nuance, from exploring identity in films such as ‘Once’ to the political commentary in ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley.

Rising Stars

The success of recent Irish films can be attributed to the emergence of gifted actors, directors, and scribes. Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, and John Carney are now seen as symbols of brilliance in Irish cinema. Moreover, these burgeoning luminaries are expanding the limits and crafting compelling tales that will continue to enthrall spectators for a long time.

Critical Acclaim

Despite their limited funds and scant assets, several Irish films have earned worldwide praise. Films such as ‘Room,’ ‘The Lobster’ and ‘Brooklyn’ have succeeded at major awards such as the Academy Awards and BAFTA. This is proof of the proficiency and commitment of those involved in producing these films, demonstrating that marvelous tales can be told without huge allocations or lavish costs.

Notable Films

Recognizing how much talent exists within Ireland’s film industry is challenging. With so many great films being made each year, narrowing down a list of essential viewing can be difficult. To help guide you through this cinematic landscape, here are five notable Irish films from the last decade:

  1. Once (2007) – Directed by John Carney, ‘Once’ tells the story of two musicians from Dublin who find inspiration in each other as they struggle with everyday life. The film was praised for its heartfelt performances and simple yet effective direction style, which garnered it an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

  2. The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006) – Directed by Ken Loach, this historical drama tells a story set during Ireland’s fight for independence from Britain in 1920s Cork County. It was praised for its nuanced portrayal of a complex political situation and explored themes such as loyalty and sacrifice.

  3. The Lobster (2015) – Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Lobster” is a dusky comedy set in an apocalyptic future where those without a paramour must find one within 45 days or face transmogrification into an animal.

  4. Room (2015) – Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, ‘Room’ tells the story of a mother and son held captive in a small room. It was praised for its powerful performances and nuanced exploration of the complex relationship between mother and child.

  5. Brooklyn (2015) – Directed by John Crowley, ‘Brooklyn’ follows an Irish immigrant struggling to find her place in 1950s New York City. It was praised for its complex and thought-provoking exploration of identity and belonging.


The last decade has witnessed numerous remarkable films produced in Ireland. Irish filmmakers have been challenging conventions and creating singular narratives that have engaged viewers across the globe, from stimulating dramas to droll comedies. This article has illuminated some of the preeminent Irish films of the last decade, examining their motifs and providing an understanding of why they are so highly celebrated.

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