The Secret of Roan Inish (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Secret of Roan Inish (1995)

The Secret of Roan Inish



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Secret of Roan Inish Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This whimsical family film, set in Ireland, follows the quest of a 10-year old girl to solve the mystery of her long-lost brother. The film is set after World War II. Young Fiona has been sent to her grandparents Donegal home by her alcoholic, widowed father. At their home she and her adolescent cousin Eamon discover their ancestral roots and they get involved with a half-human, half-seal, "Selkie." Fiona also encounters another mystery. Upon the nearby island of Roan Inish, she spies what looks to be her long lost baby brother Jamie who mysteriously disappeared when his cradle floated out on the tide. She is convinced that the wild child she saw is her brother; soon she convinces her grandfather too. Together, they go to the island.more
Rating: PG (for some moments that may be disquieting to small children)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: John Sayles
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 25, 2000
Samuel Goldwyn Films


Suzanne Gallagher
as Selkie's Daughter
Pat Slowey
as Priest
Fergal McElherron
as Sean Michael
Eddie Erskine
as Bar Patron
Pat Howey
as Priest
Eugene McHugh
as Bar Patron
Tony Rubini
as Bar Patron
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Secret of Roan Inish

Critic Reviews for The Secret of Roan Inish

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (15)

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

Full Review… | May 3, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

John Sayles' latest marks his entry into family-pic terrain, a crossing that draws pleasant but unexciting results.

Full Review… | March 11, 2008
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.

March 11, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Tales within tales, a subtle sense of economic and social realities, fine landscape photography and strong performances make for an engrossing, unusual fantasy.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
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.

Full Review… | March 19, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Secret of Roan Inish

The (uninteresting & very much avoidable) Secret of Roan Inish

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

If I was a twelve year old girl this film would rock my world. Because I mean dude, SEALS! Also the beautiful cinematography by Haskell Wexler is there to be appreciated by all ages and both sexes.

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

A beautiful tale makes you want to believe in Magic.

Wahida K

Super Reviewer

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