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At first, it sounded like a tall order to find an actor who could effectively fill the position as the male lead in A Quiet Place Part II after (SPOILER ALERT) writer and director John Krasinski’s character, Lee Abbott, sacrificed himself to save his children in the first film. However, Cillian Murphy proved to be a wonderful fit with his stunning performance as Emmett in the equally intense sequel. While watching the film, if you were ever curious where you might have seen the Irish actor before or if you wanted to explore his filmography any further, allow us to guide you in the right direction with the following movies (and one TV show) you can stream, rent (or purchase) digitally now, starting with another instant classic that sees Murphy at odds with the apocalypse.
28 Days Later… (2002)
A young man (Cillian Murphy) wakes up from a month-long coma to discover that a virus that turns the infected into enraged, mindless, uncontrollable killers has wreaked havoc on London.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: Before playing a desperate survivor of the alien invasion at the center of A Quiet Place Part II, Cillian Murphy played a desperate survivor of the Rage Virus in director Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later…, a unique, realistic take on the zombie movie genre from the mind of screenwriter Alex Garland.
A crew of astronauts set out to save the Earth by reigniting the dying Sun with a nuclear blast.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: In his second time working with director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland, Cillian Murphy, again, plays one of a group of brave people hoping to save the world in Sunshine - one of the most visually stunning, conceptually unique, and criminally underrated space movies of its time, if not of all time.
Red Eye (2005)
A young hotel manager (Rachel McAdams) discovers that the stranger (Cillian Murphy) sitting next to her on a late night flight back to Miami is part of a politically motivated assassination plot which she holds the key to achieving.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: As the eponymously named Jackson Rippner, Cillian Murphy is the sinister threat whom Rachel McAdams’ Lisa Reisert struggles to save herself (and a Homeland Security official) from in Red Eye - a relatively lighter and more psychological change of pace for director Wes Craven.
In Time (2011)
In a future in which people stop aging past 25 and time is literally money, an impoverished man (Justin Timberlake) must go on the run with the daughter of a wealthy socialite (Amanda Seyfried) as his hostage when a century-old stranger gives him all the time he has left, instantly making him a murder suspect.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: While not necessarily playing a bad guy, Cillian Murphy’s In Time character, timekeeper Raymond Leon, is certainly the antagonist of this romantic thriller with a highly inventive dystopian sci-fi concept.
The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012)
Young, orphaned billionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) returns to Gotham City to become a vigilante and eventually takes on his former mentor (Liam Neeson), an eccentric terrorist (late Oscar winner Heath Ledger), and a destructive tyrant (Tom Hardy).
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: Cillian Murphy’s most iconic villain role is, arguably, as Dr. Jonathan Crane (a.k.a. “Scarecrow”) in Batman Begins (before reappearing in The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises), which is ironic since he initially auditioned to play Batman when the first of Christopher Nolan’s DC movies was in development.
In a world in which cutting edge technology allows people to enter other people’s dreams, a top-notch thought extractor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his crew are hired by the last man they stole from to pull off the opposite task: implant an idea in the mind of his business rival.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: In his first collaboration with writer and director Christopher Nolan outside of the Dark Knight Trilogy, Cillian Murphy plays the unwitting target of the titular subconscious idea-planting procedure of Inception - one of the most celebrated and unique mind-bending thrillers (and best movies on Amazon Prime) you could dream of.
During a critical moment in the early years of World War II, a combined 400,000 soldiers from the British, Belgian, and French armies find themselves stranded near the beach of a French port town as the German Army surrounds them by sea and air.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: In his most recent collaboration with writer and director Christopher Nolan outside of the Dark Knight Trilogy, Cillian Murphy plays an unnamed British soldier saved by a civilian boat after narrowly avoiding the horrors occurring on the titular shores of Dunkirk - a technical marvel that, debatably, has changed the war movie genre forever.
In The Heart Of The Sea (2015)
The sole survivor of a whale attack (Brendan Gleeson) that cost the lives of many whalers on a dangerous expedition off the coast of New England in 1820 recounts the events to a young author (Ben Whishaw) 30 years later.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: Just a couple of years before he played a fugitive of oceanside terrors, Cillian Murphy played one of many whalers (including MCU stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Holland) who had no choice but to endure cruel nature of the waters and its beastly inhabitants in In the Heart of the Sea - director Ron Howard’s retelling of the true story that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick.
Peaky Blinders (2013-2019)
The head of a family of organized criminals will stop at nothing to maintain control of his community in 1920s England.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: Another period piece that has earned Cillian Murphy much acclaim is Peaky Blinders - a hit Netflix exclusive series in which he plays Tommy Shelby, a former soldier of the British Army who is now the ruthless leader of the titular gang.
The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006)
A medical student (Cillian Murphy) and his brother (Pádraic Delaney) are torn apart by a civil war for Independence brewing between republican rebel and British special forces in 1920s rural Ireland.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: As his fame in the States was beginning blossom, Cillian Murphy got to represent his home county’s torrid history in the 20th Century in The Wind That Shakes the Barley - a powerful war drama and heartbreaking story of sibling rivalry at its core which won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
The lives of a man who has recently dumped his girlfriend, a famed cop and his thieving arch enemy, and a woman with an infamous mustache intersect in ways that range from funny to terrifying in Dublin.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: Before his fame in the States began to blossom, Cillian Murphy got to represent the torrid side of modern society in his home country in Intermission - an engrossing and delightfully dark ensemble comedy featuring nearly every Irish A-list actor you could think of (yes, even Colin Farrell).
Free Fire (2016)
A simple illegal arms deal suddenly spirals completely out of control, resulting in a relentless, deadly shoot-out in an abandoned warehouse in 1978 Boston.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: Cillian Murphy also got to keep his natural accent when playing a member of the IRA as part of the glorious ensemble cast of Free Fire - a rollicking, hilariously offbeat, 90-minute gunfight and one of the coolest movies on Netflix at the moment from co-writer and director Ben Wheatley and producer Martin Scorsese.
Breakfast On Pluto (2005)
An Irish transgender woman (Cillian Murphy) escapes to London, both in search of liberation from her ignorant peers and to find her long-lost mother.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Cillian Murphy: While his role allowed him to keep his natural accent, Breakfast on Pluto sees Cillian Murphy’s character Patrick “Kitten” Braden at odds with the IRA and several other challenging entities in this dark, yet whimsical, period piece from visionary director Neil Jordan.
Despite his consistently impressive filmography, I would not be surprised if many fans’ favorite work of Cillian Murphy turned out to be A Quiet Place 2, streaming on Paramount+ at some point around mid-July. However, if you were to choose from 12 films and one TV show starring the Irish actor above, which would be your favorite?