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Calvary sees Brendan Gleeson team up with director John Michael McDonagh to create a truly great film about a priest who is told that he will be killed in one week.

Calvary tells the story of a Catholic priest, Father James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson), who is living in a small isolated community in Ireland.

On a random Sunday, one confession suddenly includes a threat to kill him in a week's time. The reason? A matter of principle.

Despite being a good priest, it seems that the wrongdoings of the Catholic church are being laid at his feet and conflicted about how to respond, Father James tries to go on as normal.

Any attempt to figure out who wants to kill him proves difficult as a number of other challenges present themselves.

His parishioners are a very eclectic bunch and with his estranged daughter (Kelly Reilly) back in town Father James' life begins to fall apart as he faces his own personal Calvary.

Directed by John Michael McDonagh, Calvary was his second directorial feature after the critically acclaimed film The Guard (2011).

Despite writing incredible screenplays for both movies, Calvary is considerably more polished and tackles weighty issues with great sensitivity.

But it's not all doom and gloom, it's actually a darkly comic tale with Brendan Gleeson putting in a brilliant performance. It's a treat to watch him effortlessly play this role.

Is Calvary Worth Watching?

Calvary is a tense character drama that has a beautifully blended cast. Gleeson, as mentioned, is superb so much so that he was nominated over ten times at various Award ceremonies around the world.

Overall, Calvary is a brutally honest story that keeps the audience second-guessing.

Thankfully the finale does not leave you hanging for answers in any way. I was totally engrossed in this film, and can not wait for Gleeson and McDonagh to work together again.

A brilliant dark comedy that is a must-watch for everyone.

Where To Watch Calvary?

Calvary used to be on Netflix however, it is no longer available. Instead, you can either rent it on Amazon Prime or watch it for free if you subscribe to Disney+.

As an alternative, check out Calm With Horses which is similar in style and equally as good.

The Cast Of Calvary

The rest of the cast all give exceptional portrayals of their complex characters. Kelly Reilly plays the tragic suicidal daughter of Father James, giving a suitably fragile performance.

Chris O'Dowd as Jack Brennan and Dylan Moran as Michael Fitzgerald are brilliant, tackling roles very different from their usual styles. Plus Aiden Gillen as Dr. Frank Harte has a number of great scenes with Gleeson in the pub.

There's even a small role for Gleeson's real-life son, Domhnall Gleeson who plays Freddie Joyce.

But which one of these multi-layered difficult characters is the potential killer of Father James Lavelle?

Brendan Gleeson (The Guard) as Father James

Chris O'Dowd as Jack Brennan

Kelly Reilly as Fiona

Aidan Gillen as Dr. Frank Harte

Dylan Moran as Michael Fitzgerald

Isaach de Bankolé as Simon

M. Emmet Walsh as The Writer, Gerald Ryan

Marie-Josée Croze as Teresa

Domhnall Gleeson as Freddie Joyce

David Wilmot as Father Leary

Pat Shortt as Brendan Lynch

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  • Amazing Screenplay
  • Brilliant Brendan Gleeson
  • Excellent Cinematography


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