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By interchanging bawdy gaiety and a ponderous attitude to emphasise the film's spiritual message, Calvary feels extremely disjointed, struggling to balance its dualistic tone on top of its oversized ensemble cast.
The film has much more talking than acting, so McDonagh is wise to give it all the zest he can muster... But McDonagh, for all his agility as a writer, stumbles in fleshing out the story.
For all the film’s merits, the suspicion persists that McDonagh’s a little too pleased with his own fulminating thesis. Time and again the writing is showing off for effect, delivering a fire-and-brimstone sermon with cocky swagger.