Calvary: Ambitious but good 



I love movies that divide audiences. Walking out of a theater and hearing people loving and hating a film just goes to show you how many perspectives people can have when watching something. Calvary seems to be one of those movies and after really thinking on it, I found myself on the side of loving it.

The story follows Father James, Brendan Gleeson, a good priest in a small, modern day Irish town that receives a death threat during confession. Despite such a dramatic plot, Calvary has a terrific sense of dark humor woven throughout the story, relieving you from some of the heavier topics discussed throughout the film.

One of the things that impressed me most though was its confidence in its audience’s intelligence. Too often I find movies leading you along and basically handing you the ending 30 minutes in. It was highly refreshing to see a movie offer up every clue so subtly and leaving it up to you to piece it together. The ending might seem a little ambiguous, but if you pay close attention, the meaning behind it is very intentional and clear.

Gleeson delivers a fully rounded character who is likeable and strong, but finds real moments of vulnerability that make him so believable. Alongside him were some truly standout performances, particularly from David Moran who plays Michael Fitzgerald, a rich banker completely disconnected from reality.

Although this movie has a cynical shroud covering much of it, Calvary at its core is a positive film that challenges you to think and dig a bit deeper to find the true messages and meanings. It’s very unique and if you want something a bit different from your usual summer movie, I highly recommend it. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.

4 out of 5 stars

Directed By: John Michael McDonagh

Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Dylan Moran, Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen

Theater: Landmark Keystone Art Cinema

You can read more of Collin’s thoughts on this movie and see some of his work at


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