Jonathon Hession
Chris Nashawaty
August 01, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Calvary

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
100 minutes
Limited Release Date
08/01/14
performer
Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly
director
John Michael McDonagh
distributor
Fox Searchlight Pictures
genre
Comedy

We gave it a B-

Brendan Gleeson’s Father James, a man with a scruffy ginger beard, flowing black cassock, and bottomless well of empathy, is out of step with the cynics and sinners in his seaside parish. The title of John Michael McDonagh’s Irish import refers to the site of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. In a sense, the film itself is a slow death march: One of the priest’s confessors threatens to kill him for the church’s sins. Unlike the director’s last collaboration with Gleeson, 2011’s The Guard, Calvary never quite finds its footing (the tone is muddled; the villagers are quirky cartoons). Gleeson’s beautiful acting deserves a better movie. B-

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