At a fairground in rural Northern Ireland, IRA foot soldier Fergus (Stephen Rea) and a unit of other IRA fighters, including a woman named Jude (Miranda Richardson) and led by Maguire (Adrian Dunbar), kidnap Jody (Forest Whitaker), a black British soldier, after Jude lures him to a secluded area with the promise of sex. The IRA demands the release of jailed IRA members, threatening to execute Jody in three days if their demands are not met. Fergus is tasked to guard Jody and develops a bond with the prisoner, much to the chagrin of the other IRA men. During this time, Jody tells Fergus the story of the Scorpion and the Frog.
In 1982, Johnny and Sarah Sullivan and their daughters Christy and Ariel enter the United States on a tourist visa via Canada, where Johnny was working as an actor. The family settles in New York City, in a rundown Hell's Kitchen tenement occupied by drug addicts, transvestites, and a reclusive Nigerian artist/photographer named Mateo Kuamey. Hanging over the family is the death of their five-year-old son Frankie, who died from a brain tumor. The devout Roman Catholic Johnny questions God and has lost any ability to feel true emotions, which has affected his relationship with his family. Christy believes she has been granted three wishes by her dead brother, which she only uses at times of near-dire consequences for the family as they try to survive in New York.
County Cork, Ireland, 1920. Dr. Damien O'Donovan is about to leave his native village to practise medicine in a London hospital. Meanwhile, his brother Teddy commands the local flying column of the Irish Republican Army. After a hurling match, Damien witnesses the summary execution of his friend, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, by British Black and Tans. Although shaken, Damien rebuffs his friends' entreaties to stay in Ireland and join the IRA, saying that the war is unwinnable. As he is leaving town, Damien witnesses the British Army vainly trying to intimidate a railway guard and the train driver for refusing to permit the troops to board. In response, Damien decides to stay and is sworn into Teddy's IRA brigade.
A thirty-something Dublin busker ("Guy", played by Glen Hansard) sings and plays guitar on Grafton Street, a Dublin shopping district. He struggles with the trials of performing on the street. Lured by his music, an unnamed young Czech immigrant flower seller ("Girl", played by Markéta Irglová) talks to him about his songs. Delighted to learn that he also repairs Hoovers (a brand name that became synonymous with vacuum cleaners in the United Kingdom and Ireland), she insists that he fix her broken vacuum cleaner.
Gerry Boyle (Gleeson) is a Sergeant in the Garda Síochána, stationed in the Connemara Gaeltacht of western Ireland. He is crass, confrontational, and regularly indulges in alcohol, narcotics, and prostitutes while on duty. Despite this, Sgt. Boyle lives by a very strict ethical code and shows love and concern for his ailing mother, Eileen (Flanagan).
The sequel takes places a couple of months after the events of the first film, and follows the story of Niko, who must deal with his mother Oona getting re-married and thus, he gains a stepbrother named Jonni, whom Niko hates at first. However, when Jonni gets kidnapped by eagles, Niko flies off to rescue him. During his journey in saving his little stepbrother, Niko is joined by an old, near-blind reindeer named Tobias, who is revealed to be the former leader of Santa's Flying Forces. However, standing in Niko's way is also White Wolf, Black Wolf's younger sister, who is the leader of the eagles and wants revenge on Niko for her brother's death. Now, Niko and the rest of the team must come up with a plan to save Jonni, defeat White Wolf and return home.
In the northside of Dublin, Jimmy Rabbitte aspires to manage the world's greatest band, with only one music in mind: soul. Disgusted with bands in Ireland, and beginning with his friends Outspan and Derek, he assembles a band in the tradition of 1960s black American recording artists like Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. By advertising for applicants in a newspaper and asking around to promising acquaintances, Jimmy holds auditions at his parents' home and assembles a band together. Unlike his idols, Jimmy's band is white.
Lady Susan Vernon, encore jeune et belle veuve aux mœurs assez scandaleuses, est une femme égoïste et manipulatrice, une mère tyrannique qui cherche à marier à un riche imbécile sa fille de seize ans, Frederica, qu'elle traite avec mépris et cruauté. Frederica, protégée par la lucide Catherine Vernon, belle-sœur de Lady Susan, tombe amoureuse de Reginald De Courcy, le frère de cette dernière. Mais Lady Susan a jeté son dévolu sur lui et compte bien l'épouser elle-même.
Dublin, en 1985, Conor Lalor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo ), un jeune lycéen de 15 ans, est contraint de changer de lycée car ses parents, touchés par la crise économique, n'ont plus d'argent pour payer ses études. Dans ce nouvel établissement, il subit l'ambiance désastreuse du lycée religieux « Synge Street ». Inspiré par les groupes mythiques de l'époque tels que The Cure, Duran Duran ou encore A-ha, le jeune garçon forme un groupe de musique avec l'aide de ses nouveaux camarades et de son grand frère Brendan (Jack Reynor), pour séduire la belle et mystérieuse mannequin Raphina (Lucy Boynton).
Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) is a woman living as a man in order to find work in the harsh environment of 19th-century Ireland. After living as a male for thirty years, Albert, working as a hotel waiter, is known for his extreme dedication to his job, as well as for a very introverted personality. Albert has been secretly saving all his earnings to buy a tobacco shop to gain some measure of freedom and independence.
In the film, the Taliban are ruling Afghanistan. Their regime is especially repressive for women, who, among other things, are not allowed to work. This situation becomes difficult for one family consisting solely of three women, representing three successive generations: a young girl, her mother, and her grandmother. With the mother's husband and uncle dead, having been killed in battle during the Soviet invasion and their civil wars, there are no men left to support the family. The mother had been working as a nurse in a hospital, but the Taliban cut off funding to the hospital, leaving it completely dysfunctional with no medicines and very little equipment. One foreign woman working as a nurse in the hospital is arrested by the Taliban. The mother does some nursing outside the hospital and receives payment from the caretaker of a patient, but after the patient dies the mother cannot find any more work.
Syracuse "Circus" (Colin Farrell) is trawling with his fishing boat and pulls up a catch and finds a barely dressed young woman caught in his net. He sees she is alive and resuscitates her. She calls herself Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) and refuses the idea to be taken to hospital as she doesn't want to be seen by anyone else. Circus accepts she has no memory to explain her situation. He shelters her in a caravan house in a quiet harbor that belonged to his late mother. This makes him late picking up his wheelchair bound daughter Annie (Alison Barry) who stays with his ex-wife Maura (Dervla Kirwan). During Annie's dialysis, he tells her a story about a fisherman that catches a woman out of the sea. Annie explains the woman could be a magical selkie. Annie receives a new powerchair from the CRC, and is returned home being greeted by Maura's boyfriend Alex (Tony Curran). Maura flips Circus off for missing the doctor for news on a kidney match for Annie, he returns to his empty house alone.
Ivan Cooper organise une marche pacifique pour l'égalité des droits entre catholiques et protestants, en Irlande du Nord. Mais la manifestation dégénère et des manifestants sont abattus par des soldats de l'armée britannique. Cette fusillade sanglante a fait 13 morts et 14 blessés par balles. Une 14e victime mourra quelques mois plus tard succombant à ses blessures.
Un psychiatre s'intéresse au journal intime d'une patiente, Rosemary McNulty, accusée d'avoir tué son enfant issu d'une relation illégitime avec un sympathisant anglais. Enfermée dans un hôpital psychiatrique, sur le point d'être démoli, depuis une cinquantaine d'années, elle est suivie psychologiquement par le psychiatre qui est engagé pour réévaluer son état. Il découvre son attachement pour la Bible et elle lui raconte tout ce qu'elle a vécu et pourquoi elle a passé sa vie dans cet hôpital...