The Secret of Roan Inish

Critics Consensus

The Secret of Roan Inish is a gentle fairy tale filled with optimism that's suitable for the whole family.



Total Count: 44


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,309
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Movie Info

In this family film, set in Ireland, ten-year-old Fiona is sent to Donegal to live with her grandparents. On the nearby island of Roan Inish, she spies a wild child. Fiona believes that the child is her long-lost brother, who mysteriously disappeared when his cradle floated out on the tide.


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Critic Reviews for The Secret of Roan Inish

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (2)

  • The rhythms are placid and the camerawork (by Haskell Wexler) is simple and unfussy. The film's a charm.

    May 3, 2013 | Full Review…
  • John Sayles' latest marks his entry into family-pic terrain, a crossing that draws pleasant but unexciting results.

    Mar 11, 2008

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic
  • Moving from passion fish to mystical seals, versatile filmmaker John Sayles' latest is a first-rate, all-ages fairy tale steeped in Irish folklore.

    Mar 11, 2008
  • This is all rather low-key and uninsistent, but the settings are gorgeous, and Haskell Wexler's cinematography makes the most of them.

    Mar 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Tales within tales, a subtle sense of economic and social realities, fine landscape photography and strong performances make for an engrossing, unusual fantasy.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • One of Mr. Sayles's artistic strengths (and commercial liabilities) is his refusal to make movies that knock you over the head with larger-than-life characters and emotions.

    Mar 19, 2005 | Rating: 4.5/5

Audience Reviews for The Secret of Roan Inish

  • Nov 07, 2014
    The (uninteresting & very much avoidable) Secret of Roan Inish
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Sep 25, 2012
    Very cute. It doesn't need to be grand to be effective.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2011
    Great children's movie. Great Irish folklore too.
    Sean G Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2009
    A beautiful tale makes you want to believe in Magic.
    Wahida K Super Reviewer

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