Barry Keoghan‘s popularity has risen steadily in the past few months, especially after the release of Saltburn, but with an extensive list of roles in different movies, which are his best? Over the many years that Keoghan has gracefully made a presence on the big screen, he has been nominated for numerous awards. These include Best Male Actor — Motion Picture Drama for Saltburn at the 2023 Golden Globes, and a win for Best Supporting Actor for The Banshees of Inisherin at the BAFTAS.
Before we explore Keoghan’s best movies, it’s worth noting his brief yet satisfying appearance in Matt Reeves‘ The Batman. Taking on the iconic role of Joker, Keoghan set himself up for a huge role and impact on the future of the DC Universe, with endless opportunities. In recognition of his recent run of achievements, let’s dive into some of the best Barry Keoghan movies.
5. ‘Eternals’ (2021)
Marvel Studios Eternals brings one of Barry Keoghan’s most famous roles. In the role of Druig, Keoghan brings a nuanced portrayal of a man who grapples with the burden of his powers and the moral codes that are associated with them. Keoghan’s ability to represent the intense inner conflict contributes significantly to the film’s narrative richness, making Druig a standout character offering a refreshing escape from traditional superhero stereotypes.
In Eternals, a group of beings, who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years, must reunite to protect the human race from an evil group called the Deviants. The Eternals struggle with their memories and loyalties as they must overcome interval divisions and forge alliances. The chemistry between Keoghan and his co-stars is palpable, adding to his character’s depth and the overall dynamics of the Eternals team. Keoghan’s performance allows the audience to empathize with Druig, making him a memorable presence in the film.
Eternals is available to stream on Disney+ in the U.S.
4. ‘Dunkirk’ (2017)
In a Christopher Nolan film renowned for its immersive cinematography and relentless tension, Barry Keoghan manages to stand out against its dominating ensemble cast to carve a space for his inspired character. Dunkirk, a gripping war story, follows the evacuation of Allied forces from the beaches of Dunkirk, France. Through three intertwining timelines, the film explores the experiences of soldiers desperate to return home safely, showcasing the resilience of the human spirit.
In his role of George, a young, inexperienced soldier, Keoghan delivers a compelling yet heartbreaking portrayal, and although his dialogue is limited, his performance is clear. His seamless facial expressions and body language capture the fear, and desperation of wartime, making George a relatable and sympathetic figure. Keoghan’s contribution to Dunkirk exemplifies not only his acting talent, but also his skill in bringing depth and humanity to a character.
Dunkirk is available to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S.
3. ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ (2022)
Keoghan exhibits a remarkable knack for immersing himself in the intricacies of his characters. His talent lies in channeling a profound spectrum of emotions, infusing each portrayal with an authentic depth, ranging from moments of vulnerability to instances of dark humor. In the haunting drama, The Banshees of Inisherin, the island of Inisherin becomes a backdrop for dark secrets. Keoghan’s character, Dominic, finds himself at the center of a community coming to terms with its tragic history.
As a series of mysterious deaths surface on the island, tensions rise and Dominic must navigate personal demons. The Banshees of Inisherin provides a canvas for Keoghan to showcase his adeptness and talent for navigating complex characters. Keoghan’s performance affirms his status as a standout in the entertainment industry, as he cements his place as a formidable actor.
The Banshees of Inisherin is available to stream on Max in the U.S.
2. ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ (2017)
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is one of A24’s most underrated films, and easily just as much one of Barry Keoghan’s underestimated roles. In this 2017 psychological thriller directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) befriends a troubled teenager named Martin (Keoghan), in hopes of sending him on the right path. As their relationship unfolds, Steven’s perfect family undergoes a sinister turn when Martin’s true intentions come to light and a supernatural force begins to torture Steven’s family.
Keoghan’s performance is nothing short of alluring, showcasing his ability to embody complicated figures. Portraying the unsettling character of Martin, Keoghan delivers a chilling and sophisticated performance full of jarring expression. He disconcerts dialogue as he unravels the intricate layers of the personality of his character with an eerie calmness that conceals the underlying malevolence. What sets Keoghan apart in The Killing of a Sacred Deer is his adeptness at controlling an atmosphere to his liking, in this case, a sense of discomfit with the other characters.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is available to stream on Netflix in the U.S.
1. ‘Saltburn’ (2023)
Predictably, Barry Keoghan’s standout performance as Oliver Quick in the film that gained global acclaim, Saltburn, is his number-one movie to date. Keoghan has dominated the conversation surrounding the best performances of the year. Whether vulnerability, intense emotions, or resilience, he handles the subtleties embedded in the script. Saltburn follows a deeply disturbed Oliver (Keoghan) as he becomes quickly infatuated with his classmate Felix (Jacob Elordi) and everything surrounding him.
Felix later invites him to spend the summer with him at his family’s estate in Saltburn, however, things don’t go as planned. Keoghan’s ability to connect with the audience on a visceral level is what makes him a star. His on-screen charisma and magnetic presence elevate the film and leave a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to witness his exceptional talent unfold on screen.
Saltburn is available to stream on Prime Video in the U.S.
There Is Extraordinary Diversity in the Best Barry Keoghan Movies
Barry Keoghan’s cinematic journey is marked by his remarkable versatility and talent that transcends genres, and it has only just begun. From intense dramas to psychological thrillers, he has delicately perfected each role, capturing audiences with his compelling performances.
Keoghan’s commitment to storytelling is shown through his seamless ability to adapt to diverse characters, and with his promising future ahead, audiences eagerly anticipate the next chapter in his career. Keoghan is set to feature in the upcoming thriller, Bring Them Down, directed by Christopher Andrews, alongside Christopher Abbott, Paul Ready, and Colm Meaney.
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