Oscar-nominated Liam Neeson has played iconic roles and is surely among Ireland and the world's most loved actors.

Recently here at IrishCentral, we had a debate about our favorite Neeson movies. One team member said that categorically "Michael Collins" had to be on the top ten list, while another said "Taken's" Brian Mill was surely the most famous and beloved of his characters. 

As our Liam Neeson favorites were rattled off, we turned to Rotten Tomatoes to see what the experts think.

Using the platform's "Tomatometer," a score based on the opinions of hundreds of film and television critics and "a trusted measurement of critical recommendation for millions of fans," we were able to see Neeson's best films.

Read on to check out Liam Neeson's best films - that is, the ones he acted in, we skipped over narrator and voice-over gigs here - according to the critics!

These are Liam Neeson's most popular movies of all time:

1. "Schindler's List" (1993)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 98%

Neeson was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his depth and nuance in his portrayal of Schindler, a German businessman who helped to save the lives of 1,100 Jews during World War II. This widely acclaimed 1993 film has been considered the crowning achievement of director Steven Spielberg’s career.

2 (tie) - "Husbands and Wives" (1992)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93%

In 1992, Liam Neeson appeared as part of an ensemble cast along with Mia Farrow, Sydney Pollack and Juliette Lewis in this highly-rated Woody Allen film that examines two self-destructing marriages.

2 (tie) - "Ordinary Love" (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93%

In this tearjerker, “Joan [Lesley Manville] and Tom [Neeson] have been married for many years. An everyday couple with a remarkable love, there is an ease to their relationship which only comes from spending a lifetime together. 

“When Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer, the course of her treatment shines a light on their enduring devotion, as they must find the humor and grace to survive a year of adversity.”

3. "Widows" (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91%

This critically acclaimed drama sees Neeson sharing the big screen with Viola Davis. The plot goes that "following the loss of their respective husbands in a police shootout, the widows of these criminals come together to execute a robbery that their partners were planning."

4. "Kinsey" (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90%

Liam Neeson starred in the leading role of this Bill Condon-directed biopic about sex professor and researcher Alfred Kinsey. This 2004 film co-starring Laura Linney, Peter Sarsgaard, and Timothy Hutton was a critical smash.

5. "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 89%

This Coen Brothers' series of six short movies isn't technically a movie but it makes Rotten Tomatoes' cut. The short movies all occur in 19th-century post-Civil War America during the settling of the Old West.

6. "Batman Begins" (2005)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 85%

Neeson played the role of mentor turned adversary to Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne in the 2005 film directed by Christopher Nolan. The role gave Neeson the opportunity to play the bad guy for a change.

7 (tie) - "Darkman" (1990)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 83%

Neeson played the titular vigilante, burned by an explosion, and left for dead by a ruthless mobster in this 1990 Sam Raimi cult film. It was one of Neeson’s first opportunities to carry a film.

7 (tie) - "Silence" (2016)

 Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 83% 

Silence is a 2016 epic historical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and with a screenplay by Jay Cocks and Scorsese, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, and Ciarán Hinds. The plot follows two 17th-century Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Edo-era Japan via Macau to locate their missing mentor and spread Catholic Christianity.

8 (tie) - "Duet for One" (1986)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 80%

In this British drama that stars Julie Andrews as a concert violinist who suddenly has multiple sclerosis, a young-looking Neeson plays a junk collector who finds his way into the violinist's bed.

8 (tie) - "The Grey" (2012)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 80%

Based on the short story "Ghost Walker," this survival thriller follows a number of oil-men stranded in Alaska after a plane crash who must survive multiple packs of Canadian grey wolves. During one emotional scene, director Joe Carnahan encouraged Neeson to channel the grief from the death of his wife Natasha Richardson.

9. "Michael Collins" (1996)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 78%

An Irish classic, this film sees Neeson play the titular role of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, which saw him land a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.

10. "Five Minutes of Heaven" (1998)

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 76%

A film that likely hit close to home for the Co Antrim native, "Five Minutes of Heaven" is about the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

*Originally published in 2021. Updated in February 2024.