It may have snuck up on you unawares, or you may have been taking note of it as the year progressed, but 2014 has been an unbelievable six months (so far) for Irish cinema. Back in January, we had a chat with Grainne Humphreys, the director of the Jameson International Dublin Film Festival, and when we asked what was it about this year's festival that was going to make it stand out, she talked about how 2014 was “going to be a bumper year for Irish cinema, with a staggering amount of great Irish talent and films on display”. This is a statement that has proven to be eerily prophetic.

Let's start off with the biggie: Calvary, a film which divided audiences, but managed to get a rare five-star review from us. People going in expecting The Guard 2.0 were left disappointed, but everyone else realised that the pitch black humour mixed with the psychology of modern Irish guilt made for one of the all-time greatest Irish movies, and even all these months later we're still convinced that Brendan Gleeson deserves some Oscar attention for his role.

Then, of course, there was Frank (review HERE), from the director of What Richard Did, furthering on his international calling card status. The fantastic cast, headed (geddit?) by Michael Fassbender, was a standout Irish film in a year full of standout Irish films, solely because it was so profoundly unique in its story and in its storytelling.

Run & Jump (review HERE) was probably the best Irish film that nobody went to see this year, even though it starred something of a US star with Will Forte (Nebraska, 30 Rock) giving a fantastically reigned in performance, but the film was stolen wholesale by Maxine Peake's heartbreaking, screen-scorching turn as the wife of a brain-damaged husband. If you didn't get round to catching it in cinemas, it's definitely one to hunt down when it hits DVD later this year.

Irish documentaries were also on form this year. There was the lovely Hill Street (review HERE) dealing with the burgeoning Irish skateboarding scene, and finally, Living In A Coded Land (review HERE), an experimental cinematic essay on the history of Irish colonialism. Not exactly to everyone's tastes, but those who are looking for something a bit different from their documentaries came away extremely satisfied.

Of course, not everything was a resounding success, but even in the degrees of failures, there is evidence that Irish cinema is attempting to push new boundaries in what it feels can and can't be potential movie fodder. Dark psychological thriller Stalker was a bit of mess, but managed to stick in your mind for days afterwards thanks to its grimy storyline. Slapstick comedy The Stag mixed The Hangover-esque laughs with genuine emotional pathos, and even if it wasn't the funniest film of the year, it still felt like something we hadn't seen Ireland try to make before. Same goes for sci-fi horrors like The Last Days On Mars and Collider, the former an all-star cast and a relatively big budget, the latter filmed on a shoestring but full of big ideas, and both entering relatively new terrain for Irish film-makers.

And the year's not over yet! We've managed to get a sneak peak at some of the upcoming Irish films still to come in the last six months of 2014, and some of them are well worth your time and attention. Love Eternal (review HERE) is one part beautiful love story, one part haunting psychodrama, and will end up on many end of year Best Of lists. As a follow up to Charlie Casanova, director Terry McMahon had his work cut out for him, but he pulled it out of the bag with Patrick's Day, a beautiful, aching drama featuring a leading performance from Moe Dunford that should do for him what What Richard Did for Jack Reynor. It's getting its Irish premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh this year, and we highly recommend you get along to it. Another cycling documentary arrives in the form of Rough Rider, focusing this time on Irish journalist Paul Kimmage, as he attempts to dismantle the drug misuse within the Tour De France. Last, but not least, Glassland – also receiving its Irish premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh – features Jack Reynor, Toni Collette, Will Poulter and Michael Smiley, from the director of the critically acclaimed Pilgrim Hill, and deals with addiction and the criminal underworld within Ireland.

Looking back, and looking forward, it's difficult to imagine another year being this filled with quality and inspiration when we see that the local cinema is filled with such great cinema made by locals. And we didn't even get round to mentioning Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie, which is genuinely in with a shot of being the biggest Irish box office hit of all time. (As far as we can tell, it just has to beat the current record-holding $65 million of In The Name Of The Father.) So there we have it. Proof positive that 2014 is, IN FACT, the greatest year for Irish cinema ever. Bring on 2015!