He made his directing debut with the short film Six Shooter (2004), with Brendan Gleeson, which won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. He made his feature film debut with In Bruges (2008), with Colin Farrell, Gleason, and Ralph Fiennes. The film earned Farrell the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, while Gleeson was nominated in the same category. McDonagh won the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
His next film was Seven Psychopaths (2012), with Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, and Željko Ivanek; followed by Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), with Frances McDormand, Harrelson, Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage. Three Billboards was nominated for 7 Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for McDonagh and Best Supporting Actor for Harrelson), winning Best Actress for McDormand and Best Supporting Actor for Rockwell.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- The Second Death (2000) – directed by John Michael McDonagh – executive producer – short
- Six Shooter (2004) – director, writer – short
- In Bruges (2008) – director, writer
- The Guard (2011) – directed by John Michael McDonagh – executive producer
- Seven Psychopaths (2012) – director, writer
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) – director, writer