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The Cillian Murphy movies you might have missed

After winning an Oscar for Oppenheimer, here are the Cillian Murphy films worth watching next

Cillian Murphy has made some great films in his career including The Wind that Shakes the Barley and Red Eye. (PA Images)
Cillian Murphy has made some great films in his career including The Wind that Shakes the Barley and Red Eye. (PA Images)

Cillian Murphy is the man of the moment after his Best Actor win at the Oscars for his performance as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan's biopic about the father of the atomic bomb.

The actor has had a long and varied career in the entertainment industry, with several stand out roles like Tommy Shelby in BBC's Peaky Blinders and his previous collaborations with Nolan in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Dunkirk and Inception. Murphy has also, of course, appeared in some big name blockbusters like A Quiet Place Part II and 28 Days Later.

But Murphy has an huge array of other films that film fans may not have seen yet, and after he swept the board this awards season it seems like the perfect time to dive into some of his other films that might have been missed.

1 | Disco Pigs (2001)

Jul 03, 1985; Dublin, IRELAND; Actor CILLIAN MURPHY as Pig and actress ELAINE CASSIDY as Runt in the Temple Films drama, 'Disco Pigs.'
Disco Pigs adapts Edna Walsh's thought-provoking play, and stars Cillian Murphy and Elaine Cassidy as two people in a toxic co-dependent relationship. (PA Images)

One of Murphy's early roles that showed the actor's skills as a dramatic performer, Disco Pigs charts the relationship between Pig (Murphy) and Runt (Elaine Cassidy) who are born on the same day and can't live without each other. The romantic drama explores their co-dependent relationship and the struggle that Runt goes through in order to become a free agent again.

Read more: What will Christopher Nolan do next?

Murphy delivers an electrifying performance as the volatile Pig, with his violent outbursts onscreen allowing the actor to show his ability to deliver a brash, shocking performance. It's a dark and gripping tale that explores its central toxic relationship in intriguing ways, and it was written by Enda Walsh who Murphy has continued to collaborate with in several stage plays.

2 | The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)

Ireland.Cillian Murphy and Liam Cunningham in a  scene from (C)The Weinstein Company/Pathe  film: The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) .  Plot: Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces.  Ref: LMK110-J10155-300823 Supplied by LMKMEDIA. Editorial Only. Landmark Media is not the copyright owner of these Film or TV stills but provides a service only for recognised Media outlets.
One of Cillian Murphy's most acclaimed roles is in Ken Loach's was drama The Wind that Shakes the Barley. (Pathe)

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Released a year after he starred as Scarecrow in Batman Begins, Murphy gained critical acclaim for his war drama The Wind that Shakes the Barley which is set during the Irish War of Independence.

Directed by Ken Loach, the film tells the tale of two brothers, Damien (Murphy) and Teddy (Pádraic Delaney) during the fight against the British forces. It won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006, and was a huge commercial success thanks to its thought-provoking examination of the Irish revolution.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley is available to buy and rent on the Sky Store and BFI Player.

3 | Red Eye (2005)

A fan favourite of Cillian Murphy's work is Red Eye, which he stars in opposite Rachel McAdams. (PA Images)

Murphy may have recently told GQ that he doesn't think Red Eye is "a good movie" and instead is "a good B movie", but there's a reason the thriller remains a fan-favourite. The film follows Lisa (Rachel McAdams) who meets stranger Jackson Rippner when her flight is delayed and instantly connects with him, and luckily they're sat together on the same flight, except he's actually trying to kidnap her.

Wes Craven's film is a high-octane thriller that will have viewers on the edge of their seats as they urge Lisa to tear down Jackson, and it proved to be a big box office success. It also helped show Murphy's skills at playing a villain, something he also proved in Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.

Red Eye is available to stream on Paramount+.

4 | Breakfast on Pluto (2005)

Cillian Murphy earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Breakfast on Pluto. (PA Images)

Murphy takes on the role of transgender woman Patricia "Kitten" Braden in Breakfast on Pluto, which tells her coming-of-age story as she searches for her mother after leaving Ireland in favour or London. Full of imaginative visuals and a unique story, the film also stars Stephen Rea, Brendan Gleeson and Liam Neeson.

Praise was heaped on Murphy for his performance, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe in the musical and comedy category at the time. By today's standards it might be questioned why a cis-gender actor would play a transgender role, but it is still a moving film.

Breakfast on Pluto is available to buy and rent on the Sky Store and BFI Player.

5 | Sunshine (2007)

Prod DB © DNA - Ingenious Film Partners - MPC - UK Film Council / DR SUNSHINE (SUNSHINE) de Danny Boyle 2007 GB avec Michelle Yeoh, Cillian Murphy, Benedict Wong et Rose Byrne science fiction, vaisseau spatial, angoisse
Cillian Murphy led an A-list cast in Danny Boyle's sci-fi thriller Sunshine. (PA Images)

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Danny Boyle reunited with Murphy after 28 Days Later in this sci-fi thriller, which follows a group of astronauts sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the sun. The actor is joined by an incredible cast including Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Hiroyuki Sanada and Michelle Yeoh.

The film is led brilliantly by Murphy who delivers an emotional performance in this tense drama, with Boyle's stunning visuals emphasising Alex Garland's thrilling script. While it has been hit with scientific inaccuracy criticism, which Nolan would no doubt agree with given his penchant for making realistic sci-fi films, Sunshine is still a great movie to watch, if you haven't already.

Sunshine is available to stream on Disney+.

6 | Free Fire (2017)

<p>Cult British director Ben Wheatley ('Kill List', 'Sightseers', 'High Rise') returns with a lean, mean gangster thriller, where rival criminal gangs get drawn into a deadly firefight when an arms deal goes badly wrong. With Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, and Armie Hammer, it's Wheatley's highest profile cast to date and expectations are sky high. (Credit: Studiocanal) </p>
Cult British director Ben Wheatley made lean, mean gangster thriller Free Fire. (Studiocanal)

Murphy has done drama, he's played villains, and in Free Fire he gets to stretch his action star muscles. Ben Wheatley's all-guns-blazing movie is set in 1970s Boston where gang member Chris (Murphy) and his group try and buy weapons from a rival gang.

With tensions running high, things soon descend into chaos when all parties involved turn on each other and must fight to survive the night. Wheatley delivers his trademark directing to the piece, giving viewers little time to breathe before everything goes wrong.

Free Fire is available to stream on Netflix.

Watch: Cillian Murphy says he is 'proud to be Irish' after best actor award win