He combined his theatrical and journalistic experience-as a magazine fact checker and writer-to co-script "In the Name of the Father" (1993) with director Jim Sheridan. George first collaborated with Sheridan on his 1985 play "The Tunnel", based on his experiences as a prisoner in British jails in Northern Ireland, in which the future filmmaker starred and directed. "In the Name of the Father" earned Sheridan and George an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay-thorough research, passionate political themes, witty dialogue, and strong characterization made it an outstanding screenplay.
Reuniting with Sheridan, George made his feature directorial debut with the similarly-themed "Some Mother's Son" (1996), and with Sheridan again behind the camera, the two collaborated again on "The Boxer" (1997), which like "In the Name of the Father" also starred Daniel Day-Lewis, this time as a former IRA activist released from prison after 14 years and drawn back into old conflicts. Then George wrote and directed the HBO telepic "A Bright Shining Lie" (1998), an adaptation of the Neil Sheehan book about John Paul Vann (Bill Paxton), a Lt. Colonel in Vietnam who was forced out of the military because of his outspoken opinions about the war and who later to returned as a civilian advisor.
In 2000 George teamed with Jack Maple to create the CBC crime drama "The District" (2000-2004), starring Craig T. Nelson as a hard-nosed, lounge-singing former transit cop who heads up the Washington, D.C., police force-George also wrote and directed several episodes of the series. Back on the big screen, George contributed to the screenplay for the military drama "Hart's War" (2002), which starred Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell in a WWII era tale of P.O.W.s involved in a court martial trial that masks a plot to strike back at their captors. George directed his next big-screen project, co-written with Keir Pearson, "Hotel Rwanda" (2004), his most significant project to date. The movie told the true-life tale of Rwanda hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), who used his considerable skills and resources to protect over 1,000 Tutsis fleeing genocide in 1994. Anchored by a powerful performance by Cheadle, the film topped many critics' lists as one of the best of the year, and George was catapulted into the upper echelons of dramatic filmmakers.