User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 64
  2. Negative: 5 out of 64

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  1. Aug 4, 2014
    10
    This is my favourite movie of the year. Brilliant in all respects - funny, moving, thought provoking. One of those movies that make you sit there during the end credits simply trying to take it all in. Gleason is great and really needs to start getting the recognition he deserves.
  2. Aug 3, 2014
    10
    Finally a film that takes a serious look at faith and redemption, rather than either sneering or patronising people of faith. Brendan Gleeson is in fine form as Father James, a world weary priest who holds to the faith though surrounded by darkness and cynicism. The fact that a film could even have a priest who is a good man is a triumph of sorts in itself - in a world where anti-christianFinally a film that takes a serious look at faith and redemption, rather than either sneering or patronising people of faith. Brendan Gleeson is in fine form as Father James, a world weary priest who holds to the faith though surrounded by darkness and cynicism. The fact that a film could even have a priest who is a good man is a triumph of sorts in itself - in a world where anti-christian prejudice demands that all christians are portrayed as hypocrites at best or deviant perverts at worst. At the same time it confronts the disgraceful scandal of pedophilia without flinching. The film at its heart is about the search for redemption, but without succumbing to easy answers, and speaks of how each one of us must work out our salvation by confronting our own demons. Best film I have seen this year. Expand
  3. Aug 25, 2014
    10
    This film which I imagine will be controversial is a power house. It does not leave you and you want to talk about it with other people. It tells of a priest in an Irish village who is the target of hatred from his neighbors because of the scandals that have dogged the church recently. The fierceness of this hatred against a man who is quite clearly innocent may strike some asThis film which I imagine will be controversial is a power house. It does not leave you and you want to talk about it with other people. It tells of a priest in an Irish village who is the target of hatred from his neighbors because of the scandals that have dogged the church recently. The fierceness of this hatred against a man who is quite clearly innocent may strike some as improbable, but the film is not asking for the credibility a naturalistic film would. This is a fable with modern Ireland a calvary, and the wrongly targeted priest a type of Christ. It is moving, well shot, directed, and acted, especially by Brendan Gleeson. It should be seen. Expand
  4. Nov 9, 2014
    10
    Absolutely phenomenal. This film had me speechless. Brendan Gleeson and Chris O'Dowd are both on their game, and the directorial style is very clean and punctuated. What had me the most, however, was the powerful screenplay. It argues for and against the many complex arguments that encircle the Catholic church without being too safe or too proselytizing, making profound statements onAbsolutely phenomenal. This film had me speechless. Brendan Gleeson and Chris O'Dowd are both on their game, and the directorial style is very clean and punctuated. What had me the most, however, was the powerful screenplay. It argues for and against the many complex arguments that encircle the Catholic church without being too safe or too proselytizing, making profound statements on society, religion, and life as a whole – and sneaking in further commentary on art, wealth, medicine, relationships, and everything else that concerns the human experience. A heart stirring score by Patrick Cassidy wraps this gem of a film with a bow on top. A must see for everyone. Expand
  5. Sep 21, 2014
    10
    This was extremely well done. The visuals, the script, the music, the pace and the acting were all top notch. I would not say it was hilarious, but it had me chuckle at the witty lines throughout. My enjoyment of it came primarily just because it was such a high quality product, with several parallel ideas working well together. Very polished yet relaxed and not forced somehow. TheThis was extremely well done. The visuals, the script, the music, the pace and the acting were all top notch. I would not say it was hilarious, but it had me chuckle at the witty lines throughout. My enjoyment of it came primarily just because it was such a high quality product, with several parallel ideas working well together. Very polished yet relaxed and not forced somehow. The audience is not forced to strain to understand obscure references or tortured with overly complex plot lines, but the ideas were deep and could elicit great conversation afterwards in any group of watchers. Even though it uses what you might think of as hackneyed vehicles such as the "good priest" and the "bitter atheist" to convey its ideas, it does so incredibly deftly and I was left just admiring the result. Surely better than the incredibly over-rated Boyhood, which I also enjoyed but which was not nearly as well done as this. I want to give this a 9 but I would say 9.5 because even while it had a few shortfall moments that had me feeling disappointed, they were rescued immediately by the pacing and the next good idea in the script. Expand
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 20, 2014
    58
    Calvary becomes a lurid Agatha Christie yarn with something important to say about the church and Ireland that McDonagh can't fully articulate. Pulp keeps getting in the way.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 15, 2014
    60
    Calvary is most assuredly not a comedy. It is a weighty, powerful drama -- albeit one with comic moments -- that dabbles in weighty, powerful themes.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Aug 14, 2014
    75
    Gleeson is great as the troubled, conscientious priest, but until an abruptly shocking finale, his fatalism turns the ticking clock into a congested hourglass.