The Rise of Barry Keoghan: A Cinematic Journey


Barry Keoghan, an Irish actor known for his captivating performances and unique screen presence, has rapidly emerged as one of the most promising talents in contemporary cinema. With a career spanning over a decade, Keoghan has demonstrated remarkable versatility across various genres, earning critical acclaim and a growing fan base. This article explores Barry Keoghan’s most notable movies, highlighting his journey from an aspiring actor to a Hollywood star.

Early Career and Breakthrough Roles

1. Rebellion (2016)

Barry Keoghan’s early career saw him taking on roles in television series and independent films in Ireland. His breakthrough came with the miniseries “Rebellion,” which chronicles the events of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. Keoghan’s portrayal of Cormac McDevitt, a young rebel, showcased his ability to convey deep emotion and complexity, setting the stage for his future success.

2. Mammal (2016)

In the same year, Keoghan starred in the critically acclaimed drama “Mammal,” directed by Rebecca Daly. The film tells the story of a grieving mother, played by Rachel Griffiths, who forms an unconventional bond with a troubled young man, portrayed by Keoghan. His performance in “Mammal” was praised for its raw intensity and emotional depth, earning him recognition in the independent film circuit.

Rise to International Fame

3. Dunkirk (2017)

Keoghan’s first major international role came in Christopher Nolan’s epic war film “Dunkirk.” He played George Mills, a young civilian who, along with his friends, sets out to aid in the evacuation of British soldiers from Dunkirk during World War II. Despite sharing the screen with an ensemble cast, Keoghan’s performance stood out for its sincerity and poignancy, contributing to the film’s critical and commercial success.

4. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

In the same year, Keoghan delivered a haunting performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’ psychological thriller “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.” He played Martin, a mysterious teenager who brings chaos into the lives of a successful surgeon, portrayed by Colin Farrell, and his family. Keoghan’s chilling portrayal of Martin earned him widespread acclaim and established him as a formidable talent in the industry.

5. American Animals (2018)

Keoghan continued to showcase his versatility with his role in “American Animals,” a true-crime drama directed by Bart Layton. The film tells the story of a group of college students who plan a heist to steal valuable books from their university library. Keoghan played Spencer Reinhard, one of the ringleaders of the heist. His performance captured the character’s internal conflict and naivety, further solidifying his reputation as a skilled actor.

Recent and Upcoming Projects

6. Calm with Horses (2019)

In the critically acclaimed Irish crime drama “Calm with Horses,” Keoghan played Dympna Devers, a small-time criminal who involves his friend, played by Cosmo Jarvis, in violent activities. Keoghan’s portrayal of Dympna was praised for its authenticity and complexity, earning him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards.

7. The Green Knight (2021)

Keoghan’s role as the Scavenger in David Lowery’s fantasy epic “The Green Knight” showcased his ability to bring a unique and memorable presence to even smaller roles. The film, based on the Arthurian legend, received widespread acclaim for its visual artistry and Keoghan’s performance contributed to its atmospheric and otherworldly feel.

8. The Batman (2022)

In one of his most high-profile roles to date, Keoghan appeared in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman.” Although his character, the Joker, was revealed in a brief but impactful scene, it left audiences eagerly anticipating his future in the franchise. Keoghan’s take on the iconic villain hinted at a fresh and intriguing interpretation, adding to his growing list of diverse and compelling characters.

9. Eternals (2021)

Keoghan joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his role as Druig in “Eternals,” directed by Chloé Zhao. His character, a member of the immortal race known as the Eternals, brought a brooding and complex presence to the ensemble cast. Keoghan’s performance was noted for its intensity and depth, adding a new dimension to the superhero genre.


Barry Keoghan’s cinematic journey is a testament to his extraordinary talent and dedication to his craft. From independent dramas to blockbuster franchises, he has consistently delivered compelling performances that resonate with audiences and critics alike. As he continues to take on diverse and challenging roles, Barry Keoghan is poised to become one of the defining actors of his generation, leaving an indelible mark on the world of cinema.


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