St. Paddy’s Flick Picks: Best St. Patrick’s Day Movies to Bring Out Your Inner Irish!

Krystal DeVille

Far and Away (1992) Tom Crez and Nicole Kidman.

St. Patrick’s Day, a global celebration of Irish culture, is best known for its vibrant parades, green attire, and festive spirit. Integral to this celebration are movies that capture the essence of Ireland and its rich cultural heritage.


When choosing Irish movies to watch for St. Patrick’s Day, we seek those that mirror Irish culture, history, and exemplary storytelling. This selection contains a variety of genres to satisfy everyone, from fairy tales lovers to Irish family story enthusiasts.

Movie TitleCategoryBrief Description
The Quiet ManClassic ChoicesA nostalgic view of 1950s Ireland, combining romance, drama, and humor.
Darby O’Gill and the Little PeopleClassic ChoicesA fantastical tale filled with Irish folklore and leprechauns.
BrooklynContemporary PicksA poignant story of Irish immigration and adaptation in 1950s Brooklyn, New York.
The Secret of KellsContemporary PicksAn animated film exploring Irish mythology with visually stunning storytelling.
Leap YearFamily-Friendly MoviesA light-hearted romantic comedy set in the Irish countryside.
The Luck of the IrishFamily-Friendly MoviesA fun Disney movie with a touch of Irish magic, ideal for families.
In BrugesIrish Culture TwistDark humor and a deep exploration of Irish identity in a Belgian setting.
OnceIrish Culture TwistA heartwarming musical set in Dublin, showcasing the power of music and love.
Michael CollinsDocumentaries/BiopicsA biopic delving into the life of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins.
The Wind That Shakes the BarleyDocumentaries/BiopicsPortrays Ireland’s struggle for independence in the early 20th century.
Waking Ned DevineComedies/Feel-GoodA comedy set in a small Irish village revolving around a lottery win.
Sing StreetComedies/Feel-GoodA coming-of-age story in 1980s Dublin, filled with music, charm, and nostalgia.
Far and AwayAdditional RecommendationAn epic romantic drama showcasing the Irish struggle and adventure in 19th-century America.
The Boondock SaintsAdditional RecommendationAn action-packed thriller exploring Irish-American identity and vigilante justice in Boston.


The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man (1952).
Image Credit: IMDb

“The Quiet Man” is a cinematic treasure that takes viewers back to the picturesque landscapes of 1950s Ireland. This is one of the best Irish movies! If you have not seen this, watch it now 🙂

Directed by John Ford and featuring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, this film delightfully mixes romance, drama, and humor, making it one of the Irish movies to watch. The plot follows Sean Thornton (played by Wayne), an American boxer who returns to his ancestral Irish family home in Ireland, and falls for the spirited Mary Kate Danaher (played by O’Hara).

This movie beautifully encapsulates the essence of rural life on the Emerald Isle, the close-knit community, and the endearing eccentricities of its inhabitants.

Its portrayal of Ireland’s lush countryside, traditional customs, and the spirited character of its inhabitants offers a nostalgic and heartwarming view of Irish culture.

Darby O’Gill And The Little People

Sean Connery and Janet Munro in Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959).
Image Credit: IMDb

An enchanting journey into Irish folklore, This 1959 Walt Disney movie revolves around Darby O’Gill, a caretaker of an estate, who engages in a battle of wits with a band of leprechauns, making it among the facilitated Irish movies to watch.

The film is renowned for its special effects, especially the scenes featuring the leprechauns, and for bringing Irish myths to life.

It includes tales of the wily king of the leprechauns and a banshee, providing a fantastical perspective on Irish legends. The film’s whimsical storytelling, coupled with its portrayal of rural Irish life and traditions, makes it a beloved classic for audiences of all ages.

KinVibes Pro-Tip: Organize a ‘Classic Irish Movie Night‘ with family or friends. Enhance the experience by decorating the viewing area with Irish-themed items and serving traditional Irish snacks and drinks.


Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen in Brooklyn (2015).
Image Credit: IMDb


Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson in Brooklyn (2015)
Image Credit: IMDb

“Brooklyn,” a more recent cinematic offering, beautifully narrates the story of Irish immigration. This 2015 movie, adapted from Colm Tóibín’s book, is set in the 1950s. It traces the journey of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish woman who starts a new life in Brooklyn, New York.

Starring Saoirse Ronan, this film delicately navigates themes of love, identity, and the struggle to adjust to a new life while remaining tethered to one’s roots. This is among the best Irish movies to watch for a powerful performance.

It is a poignant reflection on the Irish diaspora experience and the emotional journey of finding one’s place between two worlds. The film’s narrative is a touching tribute to the resilience and spirit of Irish immigrants who ventured far from home in search of a better life.

The Secret Of Kells

The Secret of Kells (2009)
Image Credit: IMDb

“The Secret of Kells” is an enchanting animated film that stands out for its unique visual style and storytelling. Released in 2009, this movie delves into the mystical and mythical aspects of Irish culture.

It revolves around a young boy, Brendan, living in the Abbey of Kells, who embarks on a magical quest to complete the legendary Book of Kells.

The film is a celebration of Irish mythology, art, and history, with its stunning animation inspired by traditional Irish illuminations and Celtic designs.

It offers a visually captivating and culturally rich experience, making it a contemporary masterpiece in the realm of animated films.

The Boondock Saints

Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus in The Boondock Saints (1999).
Image Credit: IMDb

“The Boondock Saints,” directed by Troy Duffy, is a cult classic film that has garnered a dedicated fan base for its unique blend of action, drama, and dark humor. The movie stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as Connor and Murphy MacManus, two Irish-American brothers living in Boston.

After an act of self-defense turns into a publicized killing, the brothers become vigilantes, believing they are on a mission from God to rid the city of evil, particularly targeting organized crime.

What sets “The Boondock Saints” apart is its gritty portrayal of the brothers’ crusade against corruption intertwined with themes of morality, justice, and Irish Catholic identity. The film is known for its stylized action sequences, sharp dialogue, and the strong chemistry between the lead actors. It also features Willem Dafoe in a memorable performance as an eccentric FBI agent pursuing the brothers.

While “The Boondock Saints” is more of an action-packed thriller than a traditional St. Patrick’s Day film, it resonates with the holiday through its exploration of Irish-American culture and identity. The brothers’ strong sense of justice and their connection to their Irish heritage are central to the story, making the film a unique addition to St. Patrick’s Day movie marathons for those who enjoy action films with a distinctive edge.


Family with toddlers watching TV.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Leap Year

Leap Year (2010).
Image Credit: IMDb

“Leap Year,” a 2010 romantic comedy, provides a light and enjoyable viewing experience perfect for family audiences. The film stars Amy Adams as Anna, who plans to travel to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day, following an Irish tradition. However, her plans go awry, leading to a series of comical events and a charming encounter with Declan, an Irish innkeeper played by Matthew Goode.

The movie is set against the backdrop of the lush Irish countryside, offering breathtaking views and a romantic storyline filled with humorous twists. It’s a delightful film that combines romance, comedy, and a touch of Irish charm.

The Luck Of The Irish

The Luck of the Irish (2001 TV Movie).
Image Credit: IMDb

This Disney Channel original movie is a fun and adventurous family film that incorporates elements of Irish folklore. Released in 2001, “The Luck of the Irish” follows a teenager, Kyle, who discovers his family’s heritage is linked to leprechauns.

The movie blends modern-day life with mythical elements, creating an entertaining story about identity, heritage, and luck. It’s filled with engaging characters, light-hearted humor, and a storyline that weaves in aspects of Irish culture and folklore.

The film is an excellent choice for a family movie night, especially for those looking to add a magical Irish twist to their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.


Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in In Bruges (2008).
Image Credit: IMDb

In Bruges

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in In Bruges (2008).
Image Credit: IMDb

“In Bruges,” a film directed by Martin McDonagh, masterfully intertwines dark comedy with a profound exploration of themes like guilt, redemption, and morality, all set against a backdrop of Irish culture.

The story revolves around two Irish hitmen, Ray and Ken, portrayed by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, who are sent to Bruges, Belgium, after a job gone wrong.

The film’s sharp, witty dialogue and unexpected comedic moments are balanced with deeper, introspective explorations of the characters’ inner conflicts, many of which are rooted in their Irish backgrounds.

The interaction between the charming, medieval city of Bruges and the protagonists’ grappling with their own identities and pasts creates a unique cinematic experience that’s both entertaining and thought-provoking.


Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in Once (2007).
Image Credit: IMDb

“Once” is a beautiful, low-budget indie film that has garnered international acclaim for its heartwarming story and enchanting music. Set in Dublin, it tells the tale of a street musician and a Czech immigrant, played by musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who meet and collaborate to create music.

The film captures the everyday life and struggles of its characters, blending the rawness of real life with the magic of music. The soundtrack, featuring songs like “Falling Slowly,” complements the narrative perfectly, weaving a touching story of love, dreams, and artistic creation. “Once” is a testament to the power of music and its ability to connect people, making it a standout film that offers a slice of Dublin life.

Far And Away

Far and Away (1992).
Image Credit: IMDb

“Far and Away,” directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, is a sweeping romantic drama set against the backdrop of 19th-century Ireland and America.

The film tells the story of Joseph Donnelly (Cruise), a young Irish tenant farmer, and Shannon Christie (Kidman), the daughter of a wealthy landlord. Their journey begins in Ireland, where they rebel against the harsh conditions imposed by landlords, and then shifts to America, where they seek a better life during the Oklahoma Land Rush.

“Far and Away” portrays the Irish struggle for land and opportunity in their homeland and as immigrants in America.

The film captures the spirit of adventure and determination that characterized much of the Irish immigration experience during that era. The portrayal of the character’s journey from Ireland to America is both epic and personal, illustrating the broader historical context while focusing on the individual dreams and challenges faced by Joseph and Shannon.

The movie’s depiction of the lush Irish countryside, contrasted with America’s vast, open landscapes, visually represents the protagonists’ journey and their enormous cultural differences. The film’s dramatic and romantic elements and its historical backdrop make it a fitting choice for St. Patrick’s Day, as it reflects on themes of Irish identity, resilience, and the pursuit of dreams in the face of adversity.

KinVibes Pro-Tip: For films like ‘In Bruges,’ consider researching the historical and cultural references mentioned in the movie. This could be a fun way to deepen your understanding of Irish culture and history.


Michael Collins

Liam Neeson in Michael Collins (1996).
Image Credit: IMDb

“Michael Collins” is a powerful biopic that dives into the turbulent life of one of Ireland’s most iconic figures, Michael Collins, played by Liam Neeson. Directed by Neil Jordan, the film chronicles Collins’ role in the Irish struggle for independence, particularly his leadership in the guerrilla warfare against British rule and his subsequent involvement in the Irish Civil War.

The movie does an excellent job of portraying the complex political and social landscape of early 20th-century Ireland, bringing to light Collins’ strategic brilliance, as well as the moral dilemmas he faced.

This film not only provides an insight into a pivotal period in Irish history but also serves as a tribute to a man whose legacy has significantly shaped modern Ireland.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley

The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006).
Image Credit: IMDb

Directed by Ken Loach, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” is a gripping portrayal of Ireland’s fight for independence and the subsequent civil war.

Set in the 1920s, the film follows two brothers who join the Irish Republican Army to fight against British rule. The narrative provides an intense, raw, and emotional depiction of the struggle for freedom, the brutality of conflict, and the painful divisions within families and communities that arose during this period.

It’s a powerful examination of the political and personal conflicts that defined this era in Irish history, making it a significant film for those interested in understanding the complex layers of Ireland’s past.


family watching movie at home tv indoors with popcorn.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Waking Ned Devine

Ian Bannen and David Kelly in Waking Ned Devine (1998).
Image Credit: IMDb

“Waking Ned Devine” is a delightful comedy set in a small Irish village. The story begins when the residents discover that one of their own, Ned Devine, has won the lottery.

When they find Ned passed away from the shock of his win, the villagers hatch a plan to claim the prize money.

The film, directed by Kirk Jones, is filled with quirky characters, witty humor, and a heartwarming plot that captures the essence of a close-knit community. The picturesque Irish countryside provides a perfect backdrop for this charming tale of friendship, fortune, and clever schemes.

Sing Street

Jack Reynor and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo in Sing Street (2016).
Image Credit: IMDb

“Sing Street,” directed by John Carney, is a feel-good, coming-of-age movie set in 1980s Dublin. The film follows a teenager, Conor, who starts a band to impress a girl he likes. Along with the engaging storyline, the film features a fantastic soundtrack that captures the essence of the 80s, including original songs that are as catchy as they are poignant.

“Sing Street” is not just a story about music and young love; it’s also a narrative about finding one’s identity, family dynamics, and the social realities of Dublin during that time. It’s a joyful, uplifting film that resonates with audiences of all ages, making it a modern classic in the feel-good genre.


The essence of St. Patrick’s Day movies lies in their ability to transport audiences into the heart of Irish culture and history. These films often showcase Ireland’s stunning landscapes, portray its rich traditions, and delve into the nation’s tumultuous history. From the rolling green hills and quaint villages to the bustling streets of Dublin, these movies provide a visual feast that captures the natural beauty and architectural charm of Ireland.


Irish storytelling is renowned for its depth, wit, and lyrical quality. The selected movies excel in storytelling, whether through compelling narratives, engaging character development, or the adept weaving of Irish folklore and mythology into their plots.

These films range from heartwarming tales and romantic comedies to intense dramas and historical epics, each offering a unique narrative experience steeped in Irish sensibilities.

KinVibes Pro-Tip: After watching a film, try writing a short story or a poem that captures its essence or themes. This exercise can enhance your appreciation for Irish storytelling.


Recognizing that different viewers have different tastes, the list includes a mix of genres. This diversity ensures that there’s something for everyone – from light-hearted comedies and family-friendly movies that all ages can enjoy to more serious, thought-provoking films that delve into significant historical events or cultural aspects of Ireland.

This variety also allows for a more comprehensive exploration of Irish life and traditions, showcasing the many facets of Irish society.


The films on this list represent both traditional and modern Ireland. Classics like “The Quiet Man” offer a nostalgic look at Ireland’s past, while contemporary films such as “Brooklyn” depict the more recent experiences of the Irish, including themes of emigration and identity.

This blend ensures a balanced representation, acknowledging Ireland’s rich heritage while recognizing its evolution and current place worldwide.


Finally, these movies resonate with the themes of St. Patrick’s Day – a celebration of Irish culture, history, and people.

They evoke the spirit of the holiday, whether through their depictions of Irish folklore, the celebration of Irish art and music, or their exploration of what it means to be Irish. Watching these films becomes a way to participate in the festivities, offering a cultural immersion that complements the traditional wearing of green, parades, and other celebratory activities.


What Makes A Movie Suitable For St. Patrick’s Day?

A movie is considered suitable for St. Patrick’s Day if it embodies elements of Irish culture, history, or traditions. This can include movies set in Ireland, films that showcase Irish folklore or mythology, or stories that explore themes relevant to the Irish experience, such as immigration.

Movies that evoke the spirit of the holiday, whether through humor, drama, or the celebration of Irish art and music, are also ideal. The key is that these films should offer viewers a glimpse into the Irish way of life, its people, and its heritage, thereby complementing the festive atmosphere of St. Patrick’s Day.

Are There Any St. Patrick’s Day Movies For Children?

Yes, there are several St. Patrick’s Day movies suitable for children. Films like “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” offer a fantastical adventure into Irish folklore, while “The Secret of Kells” is an animated film that brings Irish myths to life through beautiful storytelling and visuals.

“The Luck of the Irish,” a Disney Channel original movie, is another family-friendly option that combines modern-day life with mythical elements, creating an entertaining and educational experience for young viewers.

How Can I Create A St. Patrick’s Day Movie Marathon?

To create a St. Patrick’s Day movie marathon, select a range of films representing different aspects of Irish culture and history. Include a mix of genres – from classics and family-friendly movies to contemporary films and documentaries – to cater to varied tastes.

Set up a comfortable viewing area and consider decorating it with St. Patrick’s Day-themed items. You can also include intermissions with Irish snacks and beverages to complete the experience. Plan your movie lineup in advance, considering the length of each film to ensure a seamless marathon.

Are These Movies Available On Streaming Platforms?

Many of the movies recommended for St. Patrick’s Day viewing are available on various streaming platforms. However, availability can vary depending on your location and the specific platform. Popular streaming services often have a selection of Irish-themed movies, especially around St. Patrick’s Day.

For titles not available on streaming platforms, you can check DVD or Blu-Ray options, or look for digital rental or purchase options on online movie stores.

Can Movies Enhance The Understanding Of Irish Culture?

Yes, movies can significantly enhance the understanding of Irish culture. They provide a visual and narrative representation of Irish life, history, and traditions, making them an accessible and engaging medium for cultural education.

Films can portray the nuances of Irish society, depict historical events, and celebrate Irish art, music, and folklore. By engaging with these stories, viewers can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Ireland’s rich cultural heritage, beyond the stereotypes and surface-level representations.


From classics to contemporary gems, these movies offer a window into the heart of Irish culture and are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. They remind us that the essence of this holiday transcends borders, bringing people together through the universal language of cinema.

About Krystal DeVille

Hello! I’m Krystal DeVille. By day, I wear many hats: a homeschool teacher, wife, and mother. By night, I’m a fervent journalist, pouring my thoughts and experiences onto paper. Parenthood, for me, has been an exhilarating roller-coaster filled with emotions, invaluable lessons, and moments of sheer joy. With three wonderful kids of my own, I’ve journeyed through the highs and lows — from sleepless nights to their very first steps and those unforgettable proud parent moments.

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