Calvary movie poster

Calvary presents the viewer with a very particular week in the life of a small-town priest in modern Ireland. Father James — played with thickened, toughened, but still lively and sharp-witted humanity by Brendan Gleeson — labors, as we all do, under a sentence of death. The difference in his case is that he knows when it’s coming: on Sunday, and at the hands of one of his flock. His killer, who delivers the date through a confessional screen, was sexually abused for years as a child, and has decided that the only revenge worth seeking is the killing of a “good priest.” How to pass the time until the confrontation? For Father, the answer is mostly by being what he is, and tending to his duties. Writer-director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) paints a rich portrait of the priestly life (and life in general) by concentrating on the details; the cloudbanks of ordinary sin and ordinary suffering that thrill and vex his congregation, highlighted by occasional sunbursts of extraordinary pain and extraordinary — well, let’s just say it — grace. 2014.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


eastlaker Aug. 23, 2014 @ 12:31 p.m.

Saw this last night. Strong performances all around. Unfortunate that a couple in the theater collapsed in fits of giggles at completely inopportune moments.


Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader