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CALVARY's Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is a good priest who is faced with sinister and troubling circumstances brought about by a mysterious member of his parish. Although he continues to comfort his own fragile daughter (Kelly Reilly) and reach out to help members of his church with their various scurrilous moral - and often comic - problems, he feels sinister and troubling forces closing in, and begins to wonder if he will have the courage to face his own personal Calvary. (c) Fox Searchlight
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Brendan Gleeson delivers a typically towering yet warm performance in "Calvary." Too bad the movie's something of a mess."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"A dark and profoundly funny tale of an institution failing its sheep and its best shepherds."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"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."
‑ Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times
"Father James' stature grows in our eyes, due in great part to Gleeson's powerful performance, which at the very least deserves an Oscar nomination if not the award itself."
‑ Charles Koplinski, Illinois Times
"Devilishly satirizes charming Irish comedies. . .With a wallop, we ponder what would happen to such a cinematically quaint town and genre when its last moral center is gone."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"It serves as a marvelous showcase for Gleeson, a great old-lion actor who shows, in the film's many close-ups, a quiet, weary yet unbending faith, and a face on which emotion can play like a wave on the beach."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"To say Gleeson "stars" in Calvary seems inadequate. He dominates it ..."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"It's not exactly a walk on the wild side, but it will take a stout heart to deal with the hostility and venom dished out by an assortment of troubled parishioners, all introduced taking Holy Communion, of all things."
‑ John Urbancich, Your Movies (
"Intense and compassionate, it revolves around the complicated concept of forgiveness."
‑ Susan Granger, SSG Syndicate
"Admirable work indeed, but also a painful walk in the darkness. Meanwhile, Brendan Gleeson's tender scenes with Kelly Reilly and Marie-Josée Croze shape the movie's loving soul."
‑ John Wirt, Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
"Both the comedy and the violence are watered down by a dark melancholy."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
""Calvary" is often wound tightest in the most unexpected places."
‑ Tom Russo, Boston Globe
"Tough as it is, Calvary is food for the soul."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Thanks to writer-director John Michael McDonagh's powerhouse script and Brendan Gleeson's superb central performance, Calvary earns its sour stripes -- it's a bruising beauty of a film."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"It's billed as a black comedy, but at its root, Calvary wants to move you emotionally and still you as the closing credits soberly roll. It succeeds on both counts."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
More reviews for Calvary on Rotten Tomatoes