Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn (Image courtesy of BBC Films)

St. Patrick’s Day has transcended past religion and culture to become a celebration of all things Irish. It’s a day full of green attire, parades, traditional food, and of course, the occasional pint of Guinness. There are plenty of great films out there that capture the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, from heartwarming Irish tales to classic drama movies.

If you’re looking for a chilled-out way to celebrate this festive occasion, why not grab some popcorn and settle in for a movie night? In this article, we’ll explore ten of the best movies to watch on St. Patrick’s Day 2023 to get you in the mood for the luck of the Irish.

Five best films that celebrate Irish culture to watch on St. Patrick’s Day 2023

1) The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006)

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Padraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham, Orla Fitzgerald

Director: Ken Loach

Genre: War Drama

Runtime: 126 minutes

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

St. Patrick's Day Irish films movies
Image courtesy of Mubi

The movie takes its title from a traditional Irish ballad that describes the beauty of Ireland and the pain of oppression. It follows two brothers, Damien and Teddy O’Donovan, who join the Irish Republican Army to fight against the British forces that occupy their country. 

If you’re an Irish patriot looking for a moving film to watch on St. Patrick’s Day, The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a great choice as it provides a vivid and insightful portrayal of the Irish struggle for independence.

2) The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan, Kerry Condon

Director: Martin McDonagh

Genre: Tragicomedy

Runtime: 114 minutes

Where to watch: HBO Max

The most recent film on this list, The Banshees of Inisherin takes you on a journey to the isolated life in the islands of Ireland. The film revolves around the broken friendship of a simpleton and a self-proclaimed musician. 

It starts out as a comedy drama but slowly becomes  a twisted portrayal of male loneliness. The film is an apt choice for St. Patrick’s Day if you’re up for some authentic Irish brand of comedy, breathtaking cinematography and Oscar-nominated performances from the entire cast.

3) Sing Street (2016)

Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Aidan Gillen

Director: John Carney

Genre: Coming-of-age musical

Runtime: 106 minutes

Where to watch: Hoopla

On St. Patrick’s Day, Sing Street is a perfect movie to watch for those who want to celebrate the spirit of Irish creativity and culture. The film’s joyful and energetic vibe, combined with its nostalgic 80s setting, will have you tapping your feet and singing along with the catchy tunes. 

Set in Dublin in the 1980s, the movie tells the story of a teenage boy named Conor who forms a band to impress a girl he likes. So, if you’re looking for a feel-good film with great music and a lot of heart, Sing Street is the perfect choice.

4) The Quiet Man (1952)

Starring: John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond 

Director: John Ford

Genre: Classic rom-com drama

Runtime: 129 minutes

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

The Quiet Man is a classic Irish-American film that is beloved by audiences around the world, making it an excellent choice for St. Patrick’s Day viewing if you’re into old films. The movie is set in rural Ireland and tells the story of Sean Thornton, an Irish-American boxer. Sean returns to his homeland to reclaim his family’s farm and find love. 

Irish films St. Patrick's Day
Image courtesy of Mubi

The film is known for its beautiful scenery, featuring lush green landscapes and charming Irish villages. Furthermore, it’s also famous for its romantic storyline where Sean falls in love with Mary Kate Danaher, played by the legendary Maureen O’Hara.

5) Brooklyn (2015)

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson 

Director: John Crowley

Genre: Romantic period drama

Runtime: 112 minutes

Where to watch: Apple TV

On St. Patrick’s Day, Brooklyn is an excellent choice for those who want to celebrate the Irish-American experience. It honors the contributions of Irish immigrants to American culture as they move to start a new life.

The story follows Eilis Lacey as she moves to New York City from Ireland in the 1950s.  If you’re a fan of Saoirse Ronan, this one’s a no-brainer. 

May the luck of the Irish be with you on this St. Patrick’s Day, and may the films here inspire you to embrace life with a true Irish sense of adventure. Sláinte!

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You can also share any questions you have about Irish films to watch on St. Patrick’s Day. Until then, stay with us here at Spiel Times for more content.

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