Dancing at Lughnasa (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dancing at Lughnasa1998

Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Dancing at Lughnasa Photos

Movie Info

Based on the Brian Friel play, this is a story of the sisters of the Mundy family. The summer of 1936, when the action of DANCING AT LUGHNASA takes place, is beautiful, but Europe is on the verge of terrible change. Through that glorious summer, at the very edge of Europe, in Ballybeg, Donegal, the Mundy family shelter in their small home - five sisters, one brother and Michael, the love child of Christina, the youngest sister. The film is seen through the eyes of the boy. He feels the joy and security of his close-knit clan, but its secrets and sorrows begin to break through. They will tear this world apart. The arrival of Michael's father, a Welsh man, Gerry Evans, on his way to fight for Franco in Spain, unleashes repressed passion. The Eden of Ballybeg is changed forever.

Watch it now


Meryl Streep
as Kate Mundy
Michael Gambon
as Father Jack Mundy
Catherine McCormack
as Christina Mundy
Kathy Burke
as Maggie Mundy
Sophie Thompson
as Rose Mundy
Brid Brennan
as Agnes Mundy
Rhys Ifans
as Gerry Evans
Darrell Johnston
as Michael Mundy
Lorcan Cranitch
as Danny Bradley
Peter Gowen
as Austin Morgan
Dawn Bradfield
as Sophie McLoughlin
Marie Mullen
as Vera McLoughlin
John Kavanagh
as Father Carlin
Kate O'Toole
as Chemist
View All

Critic Reviews for Dancing at Lughnasa

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (8)

It is all memory and no drama. Onstage, they dance, and they are dancing now. On film, somehow, they are dancing then. It is not enough.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Friel apart, the making of the film is impressive. In addition to Streep, her sisters are as vital as the script allows.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Play-based historical drama has mature themes.

January 23, 2020 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Soapy melodrama masquerading as high art.

January 12, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

so beautifully captures the details of its time and place and its characters' lives that it's difficult to resist being drawn in.

June 23, 2002 | Full Review…

A meditative film that lyrically affirms the small acts of love, courage, and kindness that knit a family together in the face of hardship and change.

March 3, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dancing at Lughnasa


A strong cast and a a sweet story about sisters in a small Irish town.

Sunil Jawahir
Sunil Jawahir

Super Reviewer


Where is the plot? Out of curiousity I would like to know if there was actually a plot. I saw some interesting and well-done characters, but I never saw them do much of anything, and nothing ever happened. I am thus led to the conclusion that these actors were paid to make characters and talk, but there was never a script written for them to know what to do in a scene. I'm sorry to those of you that liked the movie, but I couldn't find a purpose or a reason to make this film.

Liz  <3 Movies
Liz <3 Movies

Super Reviewer

Dancing at Lughnasa Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features