The Secret of Roan Inish

The Secret of Roan Inish
The Secret of Roan Inish
  • PG
  • 1h 42m
  • 1995
Certified Fresh95%
Common Sense Media Iconage 8+
Ten-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. She soon learns the local legend that an ancestor of hers married a selkie -- a seal who can turn into a human. Years earlier, her baby brother washed out to sea in a cradle, and some think that he is being raised by the seals. Then Fiona catches sight of a naked little boy on the abandoned isle of Roan Inish and takes a more active role in uncovering the mysteries which abound.
© 1993 Skerry Movies Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Certified Fresh95%
Critics Consensus: The Secret of Roan Inish is a gentle fairy tale filled with optimism that's suitable for the whole family.
New Yorker
Bruce Diones

The rhythms are placid and the camerawork (by Haskell Wexler) is simple and unfussy. The film's a...

June 22, 2017
Dennis Harvey

John Sayles' latest marks his entry into family-pic terrain, a crossing that draws pleasant but un...

June 21, 2017
Hollywood Reporter
Michael Rechtshaffen

Moving from passion fish to mystical seals, versatile filmmaker John Sayles' latest is a first-rat...

June 21, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 8+
Common Sense Says
Gentle Irish folk tale of a young girl's island odyssey.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some images in this film may be frightening to young children: a cradled infant boy floats into the stormy sea and disappears while birds attack two men on the shore, preventing them from rescuing the baby; a "Selkie" (legendary seal) unsettlingly sheds its skin to become a woman. The opening scene takes place at the funeral of a young mother; the sound of a wailing baby intensifies the sadness. There is a startling moment when a young man suddenly stabs a knife into a table. Stories and superstitions are related throughout, some of which humanize sea creatures and sometimes make them appear threatening. Drinking takes place in local pubs. A naked toddler runs along the beach in several sequences.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Family
  • Release Date:February 3, 1995

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