When is the movie Belfast coming out in Northern Ireland? Cast, plot and what critics say about Kenneth Branagh’s film

It won “Best Screenplay” at the Golden Globes this month, is tipped for Oscar glory and finally on Friday Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast hits cinemas in Northern Ireland.

he coming-of-age drama set at the start of the Troubles chronicles the life of 9-year-old working-class Buddy and his family caught up in the ensuing conflict.

The film held its home premiere at the city’s Waterfront in November, but it’s been a few months since local fans have been eager to finally see it.

Belfast hits the big screen here on Friday January 21, with cinemas across the country showing the hour and 38 minute film.

The scintillating cast of Branagh’s semi-autobiographical film includes Jamie Dornan (Pa), Caitriona Balfe (Ma), Ciaran Hinds (Pop), Judi Dench (Granny), and young stars Jude Hill (Buddy) and Lewis McAskie (Will).

Already met with rave reviews, Belfast currently has a critic score on online site Rotten Tomatoes of 87%, while the Audience score is even higher at 91%.

Although it was nominated for seven Golden Globes, it only won one – Best Screenplay for Kenneth Branagh at the ceremony earlier this month.


Lewis McAskie, Caitriona Balfe, Jude Hill, Kenneth Branagh, Jamie Dornan and Ciaran Hinds


Lewis McAskie, Caitriona Balfe, Jude Hill, Kenneth Branagh, Jamie Dornan and Ciaran Hinds

However, Belfast was also nominated for 11 gongs at the 27th Critics Choice Awards, which replaced the Golden Globes as the precursor to Oscar success.

Speaking on BBC’s The One Show on Wednesday, star Ciaran Hinds said the way the film was made “took me back to my childhood”.

“I would have been around 16 when the Troubles broke out in August 1969. I guess I had a different perspective on that,” he said.

“Belfast at that time…was pretty quiet and some might say a boring place. When it all started, for a teenager, it was pretty exciting, before realizing the horror that was about to unfold.

“A lot of the programmes, dramas and films made about Northern Ireland at that time…they were taken from some kind of political lens or social lens.

“This whole story is seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy. It’s very exciting, dynamic… it’s funny and painful. Moving. It’s about family and love and so full of humanity.