''Michael Collins'' is a 1996 biopic about the eponymous Irish revolutionary. It was directed by Neil Jordan and starred Creator/LiamNeeson, Creator/AlanRickman, Creator/CharlesDance, and Creator/JuliaRoberts.

Set between 1916 and 1922 the story follows Michael Collins (Neeson) as he builds the Irish Republican Army into a fighting force capable of taking on the British Empire, and achieving independence for Ireland. While he eventually succeeds in driving the British Government to the bargaining table, the compromises that must be made serve to drive the Irish apart, and Collins finds himself at war with his own former comrades and friends.

The film has a slightly undeserved reputation for historical inaccuracy; while it does take certain liberties and definitely conflates certain characters, it doesn't approach the level of ''Film/{{Braveheart}}''. It also doesn't pretend to be remotely objective.

A ''huge'' hit in Ireland where the real life Collins is a national hero. It is, in fact, the most successful Irish-produced movie ever made. Helping was its being given the Irish equivalent of a PG rating (despite its highly violent content); the board decided that, due to its historical material, parents should be allowed to determine whether or not their children should see it.

Compare and contrast ''Film/TheWindThatShakesTheBarley'', which covers the same period.

!!This film provides examples of:

* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Inevitable, of course. Of particular note is the film's depiction of the Croke Park massacre on Bloody Sunday 1920 (there have been ''several'' Bloody Sundays in Ireland), the death of Harry Boland, and the idea that De Valera was behind the assassination of Collins.
* CharacterTitle
* CombatPragmatist: The IRA. Use of an ImprovisedWeapon? Check. Creeping up and assassinating officials? Check. [[ExternalCombustion Car bombs?]] Check. Collins himself pioneered this "urban guerrilla warfare" which was taken up by movements from Israel to China from the 1930s onward.
* CompositeCharacter: The film version of Ned Broy is a mix of the ''real life'' Broy (who actually survived the war, becoming chief of the Irish police force), David Neligan (who never got caught), and others.
* DeadpanSnarker: Collins big time, Broy and Bollard to lesser extents.
* DisguisedInDrag: Collins gets de Valera through the streets when breaking him out of prison by dressing him up in a prostitute's fur coat and hat.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: "The Squad" in the [=IRA=]. Also known as "The Twelve Apostles."
* FakeOutMakeOut: Collins does this to Kitty at a train station after some British soldiers ask to see her papers ("Can a man not say goodbye to his wife in peace?"). Kitty is rather unimpressed, accusing him of "taking liberties".
* AFatherToHisMen: Collins, who takes CrazyPrepared measures to keep his men alive during Bloody Sunday and is almost tearful when he realizes that Broy has been arrested and is most likely doomed.
* FiringSquad: What the leaders of the Easter Rising get to face. De Valera doesn't since he was born in America, and the British government can't risk alienating the US as an ally in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.
* ForegoneConclusion: The film starts with Joe O'Reilly consoling Kitty over the death of Collins.
* GeneralFailure: Éamon de Valera is portrayed as this as ''every'' major decision made by him (usually over Collins' protests) almost always fails, backfires, and generally makes things worse.
* GreatEscape: A minor one based on RealLife allowing De Valera to escape by using a wax mold of the prison key from Lincoln Gaol in Lincoln, England (now HMP Lincoln).
* GreyAndGreyMorality: After the British leave war breaks out between Collins' faction and the hard-line republicans. The film sympathises with Collins but his Irish opponents aren't totally demonized either.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Practically everyone (through CompositeCharacter in some cases).
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Éamon de Valera.
** In part, this is due to poor communication; many interpret the film as falsely suggesting that De Valera was responsible for the assassination of Michael Collins, which was never the director's intent.
** Even though it showed De Valera being not at all aware of the plan to assassinate Collins-rather, extremely upset by the divide which occurred between them. Collins' assassin even seems to take advantage of his being too distraught to give a reply so he can organize an ambush.
** The British authorities and the Black & Tans (predictably enough). While the latters' conduct was by no means admirable, their actions in Croke Park were greatly amped up for the [[RuleOfDrama sake of drama]].[[note]]During the actual shooting, RICSR officers fired on the tribunes with rifles because they mistook ticket sellers for IRA shooters. In the film, the armoured car rolls onto the playing field and machine-guns the assembly when the players decide to carry on the game in spite of the raid.[[/note]] [[WordOfGod Neil Jordan]] himself admitted that, by exaggerating the atrocities, he essentially wanted to make the subject matter LighterAndSofter.
* ImprovisedWeapon: Collins' use of a flaming sod of turf and some empty rifles in order to obtain weapons from the RIC.
* InMediasRes: The film begins when Kitty finds out that Michael is killed. It then flashes back six years.
* ItsPronouncedTropay: His name is not Boy, it's ''Broy''.
* LaResistance: Until the Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed, Collins is always a member or leader of these.
* LoveTriangle: Between Michael, his best friend Boland, and Kitty. It happened in RealLife too, and helped to drive them apart.
* MeaningfulFuneral: Collins' actual funeral and the fact that it was attended to by 500,000 people, 1/5th of the population of Ireland.
* MoreDakka: Collins tells his IRA subordinates to account for every bullet they use when engaging [=RIC=] officers. So an aversion. Collins was actually Finance Minister in the underground Sinn Fein government of Ireland at the time, and had been an accountant with the Royal Mail before, giving him a head for those matters.
** A minor one occurs with the killing of an RIC detective. When reading the papers about the incident which say he was "riddled with bullets", Collins calls his men out on it, telling them that bullets don't grow on trees and that "[they] did well, but go easy on the riddlin'."
* NiceHat: At the ceremony to take down the British flag Collins asks the British officer if he (Collins) gets the hat, too.
* {{Oireland}}: Thoroughly {{averted}}.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Roberts' accent is infamously bad. The common consensus is that Aidan Quinn's accent is also patchy at best, but you don't notice it because Roberts' is so much worse.
** Rickman's occasionally slips too, if only slightly.
* OhCrap: Collins' realization that the duplicate prison key broke.
** A major one after the Bloody Sunday operation against the Cairo gang is conducted. Collins is happy until he hears Broy is missing.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: The film consistently depicts the morality of the IRA's terrorist/guerrilla war against the UK largely in terms of what side Collins is on. When Collins is for revolution, revolution is the answer; when Collins decides that the revolution is over and turns his forces against those who want to keep the war going, that's that. The movie makes only half-hearted attempts at ambiguity, clearly basing itself on the audience siding with Collins.
* RefugeInAudacity: One of the most wanted men in Ireland doesn't even bother with disguises while blithely cycling around Dublin. TruthInTelevision. This is because Collins went to great pains to ensure that his face was never photographed, hence the British literally had no idea who they were looking for. He finally revealed himself at the treaty negotiations.
** In the film, the government agents are frustrated by the fact that the only photograph they have of him is from behind, with only half his face showing.
** At least one government agent is killed by simply walking up and shooting him ''in broad daylight'', although his assassins make a quick escape using bicycles.
* ReverseMole: Broy.
* RousingSpeech: Collins stumps for a candidate, turning the crowd to his side (even when though he says the man they would be voting for is in prison), gets attacked by the police and persuades Broy to switch allegiances.
* StiffUpperLip: A rare villainous example-the intelligence agent in the park who is given a chance to say a prayer before being shot.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified
* WeaponForIntimidation: In an early scene, the IRA hold up an RIC barracks using a flaming sod of turf and some empty rifles in order to get loaded guns.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: The heart of the controversy surrounding the film.