Calvary - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Calvary Reviews

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April 26, 2014
Calvary treads worryingly close to the theater work of John Michael McDonagh's younger sibling, and never quite lives up to such lofty standards.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
February 22, 2014
Full of promise, but Calvary settles hard into a film about inevitability in its third act. And I have a hard time finding insight in a closed circle of inevitability. If everything the characters do is inevitable, why did we bother?
Full Review | Original Score: B-
April 7, 2014
Perhaps to compensate for his talky script and repetitive structure, McDonagh's direction is distractingly fussy, all asymmetrical framing and on-the-nose symbolism. The one grace note is Gleeson.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 3, 2014
I've seen so many movies, with great dialogue, that aren't about anything; here's a film on a fascinating subject, but the dialogue is terrible.
July 29, 2014
Every parishioner of Father James' a flamboyant figure of comic dysfunction, nihilism or misanthropy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4
July 31, 2014
The reliance on specific genre cliches undermines the movie's more serious intentions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 11, 2014
[T]he kooky residents of a small Irish village... go search of a black comedy, but get stuck in a dramatic thriller that goes nowhere.
August 15, 2014
Brendan Gleeson delivers a typically towering yet warm performance in "Calvary." Too bad the movie's something of a mess.
Full Review | Original Score: C
September 2, 2014
...a rather one-note premise that's employed to often disastrously dull effect...
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
November 2, 2018
I found the film tiring.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
April 10, 2014
Calvary's gruelling central issue of abuse has been enough to quieten much criticism of the film, but in truth, most of the time it is coasting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 26, 2019
It's too bad that McDonagh's script is too cheekily self-possessed to give such dignity to any other character besides Father Lavelle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.8/5
July 31, 2014
Calvary, however, offers no redemption or even catharsis - at best, some talk of forgiveness - and McDonagh's crude drollery, if that's the word for it, feels forced, fake, as though anger is acceptable if delivered with a punch line.
July 29, 2014
One may feel dissatisfied by the 11th-hour turn toward lyrical fatalism, and mildly insulted by the presumptuous attitude it seems to choose as it sends us on our way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
July 31, 2014
Self-conscious dialogue, stiff characterizations and unimaginative filmmaking prove to be a recipe for the forgettable.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
August 1, 2014
Good actors like Chris O'Dowd, Moran, Gleeson, and Walsh are acting their hearts out, but they can't make these characters seem like more than puppets.
August 7, 2014
The irony and fatalism that have driven "Calvary" forward reach an end point that, while doubtlessly dramatic, doesn't jibe with the Father James we've come to know and love.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 22, 2014
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
June 25, 2020
In his second collaboration with John Michael McDonagh, Brendan Gleeson gives us the best performance in his entire career as he conveys the expressions of his character in front of a beach. [Full review in Spanish]
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
January 8, 2020
It's Gleeson's understated performance as a man trying to follow Jesus' example while everyone around him says, "What's the point?" that elevates Calvary to the realm of the divine.
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