The Worst Irish Accents To Grace The Big Screen

Photo: Moviestore/Rex/Shutterstock.
Today is St. Patrick's Day, which means countless folks of all races, creeds, and colors are bound to wear shamrock-print boxers, order a round of car bombs from the bar, and belt out "Danny Boy" at the top of their lungs. If they're really feeling festive, they might try imitating Lucky the Leprechaun.
They're in good company. Many an Oscar winning thespian has tried to affect the Emerald Isle lilt, with mixed success. For every convincing Cate Blanchett in Veronica Guerin, there's a Sean Connery or Tom Cruise ready to remind us that sometimes, it's just better to reach out to Gabriel Byrne or Cillian Murphy's agent and call it a day. (Not that it really matters all that much; Connery ended up taking home an Academy Award for his role as a supposedly Irish cop in The Untouchables.)
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If you're looking to see which movie stars have done Dublin wrong, you've come to the right place. If you'd rather hear the real deal, consult this list of top Irish films. Oh, and note to casting directors: Next time, just hire Saoirse Ronan.
1 of 13
Julia Roberts, Michael Collins

In this biopic about Irish patriot and revolutionary Michael Collins, Julia Roberts plays Collins' lover Kitty Kiernan. Unfortunately, she doesn't play it with a convincing accent.
2 of 13
Sean Connery, Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)
Connery is the Dick Van Dyke of Irish accents, but we love him anyway, even when he's throwing his natural Scottish burr behind lines like, "He's as dead as Julius Caesar" in The Untouchables.
3 of 13
Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman, Far and Away (1992)
This Ron Howard-directed vanity project saw the then-couple struggle for authenticity. Better luck next time, JOE-sif and Shan'en.
4 of 13
Tommy Lee Jones, Blown Away (1994)
Who better to play an Irish terrorist wreaking havoc on Boston than native Texan Tommy Lee Jones? All he needs is a pot of gold.
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5 of 13
Chris O'Donnell, Circle of Friends (1995)
His last name may be O'Donnell, but Minnie Driver's leading man still struggled to play a convincing Irishman in this '90s favorite.
6 of 13
Julia Roberts, Mary Reilly (1996)
The native Georgian is 0-2 when it comes to Irish accents, having also been lambasted for her accent in Michael Collins, also released in 1996. At least she tried, though. Co-star John Malkovich didn't use an accent at all to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
7 of 13
Richard Gere, The Jackal (1997)
Gere's portrayal of IRA sniper Declan Mulqueen is about as Irish as a shamrock shake.
8 of 13
Brad Pitt, The Devil's Own (1997)
Pitt is less than convincing in his portrayal of an IRA gunman trying to pull one over on Harrison Ford's character. Critics were also torn on his marble-mouthed Irish traveler in Snatch. According to dialect coach Brendan Gunn, it was Pitt's idea to be indecipherable in the latter film.
9 of 13
Kevin Spacey, Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)
Here's what dialect coach Brendan Dunn had to say about working with Spacey on his portrayal of a Dublin gangster: "He didn't want to do the Dublin accent, so he didn't work at it, which was frustrating," Dunn told the Telegraph. "Usually I get hired if somebody's half-serious about the project, so it's unusual for the actor not to practice. I think Kevin is the only person I've ever been disappointed with."
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10 of 13
Kate Hudson, About Adam (2001)
Hudson's Dublin lilt isn't terrible, but it's inconsistent at best. Still, she had a lot on her plate, also singing several old standards for the film.
11 of 13
Cameron Diaz & Leonardo DiCaprio, Gangs of New York (2002)
Oscar or no, accents have never been Leo's strong suit. His Irish accent goes in and out, while Diaz's attempt is equally weak.
12 of 13
Justin Theroux, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
We get that a Charlie's Angels sequel isn't exactly My Left Foot, but c'mon. "I'm going to teach you and your friends about peen"?
13 of 13
Gerard Butler, P.S. I Love You (2007)
According to Butler's dialect coach Brendan Gunn, the Scottish actor had "the attention span of a 3-year-old." That's probably why his brogue sounds so cartoonish.