Not interested in seeing if any of the Irish nominations win an Academy Award tonight? We have the best Irish movies out there all lined up as your perfect Oscars alternative. 

If you need a break from your hectic life or just fancy cuddling up on the couch what better way to pass the time than by watching an Irish movie?  The Academy Awards may be on tonight but we can understand if you'd prefer to give the Oscars a miss. (They are very long!) The best Irish movies of all time are more than enough for an award-ceremony alternative.

From the comic genius of the late David Kelly in Waking Ned Devine to the brilliant soundtrack in The Commitments, we've put together our choice of the top Irish movies that you'll want to add to your Netflix list.

Read more: Top Irish movies to watch on Netflix

Waking Ned Devine

Charming comedy set in a tiny, rural Irish town. When lottery winner Ned Devine is found dead - lottery ticket in hand and all - the townsfolk band together to fool the authorities into thinking Ned is alive, so they can receive the cash and share it. Starring Ian Bannen and Fionnula Flanagan.


A beautiful, romantic, original musical set in the streets of Dublin. Glen Hansard of The Frames plays a street musician who meets fellow musician and Czech immigrant (Marketa Irglova). Together they work through pain, the past and new love through captivating music. Hansard and Irglova won the Oscar for Best Original Song (2007).

The Crying Game

The controversial film that put Irish director/screenwriter Neil Jordan on the map. Set in rural Ireland and bustling London, IRA member Fergus (Stephen Rea) develops a friendship with his captive, Jody (Forest Whittaker), and the kidnapping goes horribly wrong. Fergus then flees to London, where he seeks out Jody's girlfriend, Dil. An intense and thorny plot ensues.

Read more: Top ten movies to watch before you visit Ireland (VIDEOS)

The Snapper

Endearing Roddy Doyle novel-turned-screenplay. An unwed 20-year-old named Sharon Curly shakes up a working class Irish community when she becomes pregnant and refuses to name the father. Though full of quick wit and sarcastic banter, the dramedy has its touching, "family values" moments. Starring Colm Meaney and Tina Kellegher.


A dark comedy with an Irish star-studded cast. Intermission follows the lives of a handful of dysfunctional characters whose choices all unwittingly affect each other's lives. Set in Dublin, the film takes on the grand themes of life, love and the law. Starring Cillian Murphy and Colin Farrell.

In the Name of the Father

Oscar-nominated film based on the real-life experiences of Gerry Conlon, the alleged leader of the Guildford Four. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Conlon, a Belfast man wrongly imprisoned for the 1974 IRA bombing of a pub in the U.K. Nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, In the Name of the Father shows one man's 15-year struggle for his innocence and for truth.

 The Field

A story about an Irishman's love of his land from director Jim Sheridan. Bull McCabe (played by Richard Harris, who was nominated for an Oscar for the role) is a farmer in Ireland's rural west. When his field is threatened to be sold to an outsider, Bull will do anything in his power to stop it from happening. An unforgettable film about the conflict between "old" and "new" Ireland.

My Left Foot

A true story about an Irishman who overcomes his disability to become an amazing painter, poet and writer. Another film from Jim Sheridan, it documents the extraordinary life of Christy Brown (Daniel Day-Lewis), a working class Irishman born with crippling cerebral palsy. With the encouragement of his mother, played by Brenda Fricker, Christy learns to write and draw with his only functional limb - his left foot. Both Day-Lewis and Fricker won Academy Awards for their roles.

Read more: Who were the top Irish American Oscar winners of all time?

The Quiet Man

A beloved classic starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. This romantic drama from director John Ford tells the story of Sean Thornton, a retired American boxer who relocates to Ireland to reclaim his family's farm, and Mary Kate Danaher, the fiery Irishwoman he falls in love with. Though its portrayal of Ireland may be a bit outdated, the film is a genuine tribute to Eire, and both an American and Irish favorite.

The Commitments

Legendary Irish film about a group of down-and-out Dubliners who form a soul band. Jimmy Rabbitte has dreams of creating the ultimate soul group, and succeeds in bringing together a bunch of talented, eclectic characters. But eventually personalities clash, and the survival of the band is threatened. This adaptation of the Roddy Doyle novel featured a relatively unknown cast at the time, but was welcomed with critical acclaim and a successful box office run.


"In America"

A touching film starring Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou, among others. Documents the adventures, struggles, and triumphs of a family of Irish immigrants living in a rough neighborhood in New York City.

"When Brendan Met Trudy"

Yet another great product of Roddy Doyle's writing. Quirky, charming film about a teacher who meets and subsequently falls for a woman in a pub who turns out to be a burglar. 

What do you think it the best Irish movie of all time? Let us know in the comments section, below. 

* Originally published in 2013.

A scene from "The Snapper," one of the best Irish movies of all time.