The Secret of Roan Inish (1994) - Drama, Family, Fantasy

Hohum Score



Young Fiona lives with her grandparents in a small fishing village where she takes an active role to unravel the mysterious secrets.

IMDB: 7.5
Director: John Sayles
Stars: Jeni Courtney, Eileen Colgan
Length: 103 Minutes
PG Rating: PG
Reviews: 8 out of 66 found boring (12.12%)

One-line Reviews (33)

The first 1/3 of the film's narrative was difficult to follow, and only in the last 20 minutes or so did the film manage to sustain my interest.

The only event that had occurred, excluding the painfully boring exposition, was the little girl chasing the naked kid for 40 seconds or so only to lose him in his little boat.

Slow paced, beautifully photographed, well acted and directed, this is a unique gem of a movie.

You became immersed in a mythical world which was totally believable.

The film can be recommended for older children, but keep in mind that the pace is slow and the car chases are kept to an absolute minimum.

I highly recommend it to anyone interested in their Irish stock.

The actors and actresses give stunning performances and repeatedly throughout the movie I had to remind myself that characters weren't real.

The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, and it'll make you want to move home in a hurry.

This film struck me as borderline unwatchable.

The Secret of Roan Inish is a unique film which reveals in a slow paced story, the relationship of the Irish people to the sea and land.

Its tales of when "man and beast lived side-by-side, sharing the sea", of "monsters shedding their past skins", of a little girl's self determination and slow journey back to her roots, are designed specifically for the Irish diaspora.

The scenery of the coast of Ireland is breathtaking and director John Sayles makes good use of it.

Nothing Happened!!.

Evocative, somewhat slow - an excellent children's film.

I'm a Sayles fan, but this film was terribly dull most of the time - I think I fell asleep while watching it.

The film builds slowly, mesmerisingly towards a cathartic act of mercy, incorporating several nuanced diversions which either bolster the narrative or flesh out its highly evocative portrait of a sea-faring community.

The whole world revealed by director Sayles is enticing and intriguing magic.

This was a surprisingly enjoyable movie in a beautiful location that made me want to go hunting it down (unfortunately, as far as I could tell Roan Inish doesn't exist- in fact the original source book is based in Scotland).

The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, the script well written, the actors all wholly believable.

This movie felt very calm and enjoyable to me.

What sets this film apart from others is how it is a "family film" without resorting to clichés, but instead, is the kind of movie entertaining to all age groups without talking down to anyone.

It's creepy, for one thing, there's some material, that isn't suitible at all, and it just had no Plot to it.

At the beginning, there's too much exposition from blarney-gushing Oirish characters, the late middle segue sequence goes on a bit too long and the pacing tends to slow up towards the end.

The story might be a tad difficult to follow unless you concentrate, and unless you have an ear for the dialect, I'd suggest leaving the closed captioning on the first time you view it, as the Donegal Irish speech is not an easy one to decipher at first.

I wanted to leave.

Mostly Dull .

Particularly fascinating is the performance of John Lynch, whose character tells the legend of the Selkie (played by his sister, Susan Lynch).


The scenery is stunning, the girl is luminous and the story told with an air of wonder and mystery.

Ignoring these issues, the film works fairly well as a children's fantasy, though I suspect most kids and adults will find "Roan Inish" too plain and too slow.

DP Haskell Wexler uses the beauty of the Irish countryside to paint a stunning image of the landscape and sea that makes one wish to return to the old sod.

The faces of the people are very evocative as well, with many rugged, homely appearances that feel very honest and comfortable.

The images of the seal woman are breathtaking, painful in their uncertain waking beauty.