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Movies & TV

15th Feb 2024

10 must-see movies at the 2024 Dublin International Film Festival

Stephen Porzio

Dublin International Film Festival

The Dublin movie festival returns this month for another film-packed, star-studded line-up.

The annual Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) kicks off this month on 22 February, running until 2 March.

You can check out DIFF’s typically excellent line-up of movie screenings, conversations with special guests and other fascinating events in full on its website right here.

But for JOE’s own guide on what films to check out at the jam-packed festival, scroll below.

The Beast

Plot: “2044: the world is controlled by artificial intelligence and human emotions are a threat. Gabrielle (Lea Seydoux) decides to ‘purify’ her DNA in a machine that will plunge her into her past lives and rid her of all strong feelings. She then meets Louis (George MacKay) and feels a powerful connection, as if she had always known him. Writer-director Bertrand Bonello’s loose adaptation of Henry James’ 1903 novella, The Beast in the Jungle, The Beast is set in three different time periods – 2044, 2014 and 1910.”

Reasons to watch: Its wild sci-fi premise, its great cast, already received great reviews on the festival circuit

Date: Tuesday, Feb 27, 4pm, Light House Cinema

Dear Jassi

Plot: “After an eight-year hiatus the cult filmmaker Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) is back with a Romeo-and-Juliet tale inspired by true events. In 1996 India, Canadian-born girl Jassi (Pavia Sidhu) falls in love with Mithu (Yugam Sood), a rickshaw driver who is beneath her social status. Is their love strong enough to fight the dictates imposed by Punjabi society?”

Reasons to watch: Tarsem Singh’s return to the big screen, Dear Jassi was awarded the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival

Date: Thursday, Feb 29, 8pm, Light House Cinema

Drive-Away Dolls

Plot: “Co-written and directed by Ethan Coen (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, No Country for Old Men), this comedy caper follows Jamie (Margaret Qualley), an uninhibited free spirit bemoaning yet another breakup with a girlfriend, and her demure friend Marian (Geraldine Viswanathan) who desperately needs to loosen up. In search of a fresh start, the two embark on an impromptu road trip to Tallahassee, but things quickly go awry when they cross paths with a group of inept criminals along the way.”

Reasons to watch: The director, the cast – which also features Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal

Date: Tuesday, Feb 27, 9pm, Light House Cinema

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

Plot: “This Canadian French-language comedy-horror-drama centres on Sasha (Sara Montpetit), a teenage vampire too sensitive to kill people for their blood. Forced to fend for herself when her parents cut off her blood supply, she meets Paul (Félix-Antoine Bénard), a very depressed boy, who volunteers to be her next meal.”

Reasons to watch: The great premise, already earning very good reviews.

Date: Wednesday, Feb 28, 8.30pm, Light House Cinema

King Frankie

Plot: “This Irish drama revolves around Frankie (Peter Coonan), a humble Dublin taxi driver, who runs his own tiny taxi firm. After his father’s death, he comes face to face with something that happened ten years ago, and the first thing that he must do is forgive himself.”

Reasons to watch: Peter Coonan’s lead role, DIFF director Grainne Humphreys calls it “a very clever film that says a lot about contemporary Ireland”

Dates: Saturday, Feb 24, 7pm, Light House Cinema / Tuesday, Feb 27, 7pm, Light House Cinema

Check out JOE’s recent interview with Coonan ahead of King Frankie right here:


Plot: “This US drama follows Sylvia (Oscar winner Jessica Chastain), a social worker who leads a simple and structured life. This is blown open, when Saul (Peter Sarsgaard), suffering from early onset dementia, follows her home from their high school reunion.”

Reasons to watch: Already earned great acclaim from critics, Sarsgaard won the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for his performance

Date: Wednesday, Feb 28, 6pm, Light House Cinema

Red Rooms

Plot: “This Canadian French-language movie is a mix of a courtroom drama and a serial killer thriller, focusing on a model (Juliette Gariépy) and her growing obsession with a sadistic murderer who allegedly broadcasted torturing and killing his victims for a paying audience on the dark web.”

Reasons to watch: 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the dark intriguing premise

Date: Saturday, Feb 24, 9pm, Light House Cinema


Plot: “In this South Korean horror mystery thriller, a pregnant woman (Jung Yu-mi) tries to figure out how to stop the violent and grotesque sleepwalking behaviours of her husband (late Parasite star Lee Sun-kyun), before he harms himself or their family.”

Reasons to watch: Already acclaimed by critics, the incredible premise

Date: Sunday, Feb 25, 8.15pm, Light House Cinema


Plot: “Twig, a powerful retelling of the Greek tragedy Antigone, is set in Dublin’s inner city where an ancient city wall cordons off a neighbourhood which is rife with drugs. When the local crime lord, Leon (Brian F. O’Byrne), vows to let her brother Paulie’s body rot in the street, Twig (Sade Malone), young and iron-willed, defiantly sets out to do the right thing.”

Reasons to watch: The Dublin setting, the ambitious modern-day updating of Antigone

Dates: Thursday, 22 February, 6.30pm, Light House Cinema / Thursday 22 February, 9pm, Light House Cinema

The Surprise Film

“Each year at DIFF, the Surprise Film is shown amid great speculation and no one – not even the projectionist – knows the film’s title until the first few frames on screen slowly reveal its true identity.”

Reason to watch: Previous surprise films have included 300, Another Round and Get Out

Date: Saturday, 2 March, 5pm, Light House Cinema

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