User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5

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  1. Aug 1, 2014
    6
    There is a lot to like and admire in 'Calvary', not least a compelling opening demonstrating Brendan Gleeson's skill as an actor, and a strong ending with a powerful final moment. These two stand out scenes book end a film which, whilst containing great ensemble acting and intelligent writing, is to loosely directed to be totally successful. There is no real narrative drive beyond its almost inevitable conclusion. Gleeson is superb as the very human priest under threat of being murdered by a member of his own community. Living with this knowledge and battling his own demons he still carries on with the day to day effort of positively influencing the disparate bunch of characters he encounters on a daily basis. The screenplay, which takes place over the course of a week, examines the differing views on the church; from its hypocrisies, the cynicism of the non believers, to the almost obsessive nature of the converted. It is all served up with a delicious dose of black humour (I love the line ' Friends are enemies you've not made yet') which successfully makes its points without trivialising the serious nature of the film generally.
    It certainly holds the attention and can also boast a fine supporting cast from which Chris O'Dowd stands out as the local butcher.
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Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jul 31, 2014
    75
    Some of Calvary is uncomfortably bleak... But writer-director John Michael McDonagh—brother of the English playwright and filmmaker Martin McDonagh (In Bruges)—has an ear for wry humor, providing his characters with a steady supply of acerbic wit.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 31, 2014
    90
    McDonagh walks a hazardous tightrope from scene to scene, from amiable comedy to black-hearted farce to heartbreaking tragedy, often trying to strike all those notes within seconds. It doesn’t all work equally well, but the cumulative effect is powerful.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Jul 31, 2014
    100
    The film is then not so much a meditation but a reverie, a swirl of emotions and ideas, managing to be both calmly reflective and skittishly anxious at the same time. Calvary is a serious comedy, a funny drama, a ruminative film about life and a lively film about death.