Calvary (2014) – Brendan Gleeson as an Irish Priest Facing Death


Calvary is a dark comedy about an Irish priest who is a simple, good man who is threatened by one of his parishioners during confession. The father has a daughter (WHA??) and he does his best to help his congregation, but worries about his own impending doom.

The father is threatened by a nameless man, who says he is going to kill the priest because he is innocent. Killing a bad priest has meaning, and can be explained, but killing a good priest would have no meaning, and would therefore have some degree of meaning. I guess. Anyways, he does his best to continues in his mission of helping folks, but his church is burned down, and he hears the spiritual crises of his people while thinking about what will happen to him.


Calvary comes from writer/director John Michael McDonagh, who certainly sounds Irish as hell, and he last made The Guard, which I’ve been meaning to see cause it looked really good, and he wrote Ned Kelly, so he definitely has a knack for writing funny accents.


Calvary Trailer

Calvary Release Date

April 2014 – UK
No US release date yet.

Who’s In It?

Brendan Gleeson . . . Father James Lavelle 
Chris O’Dowd
Kelly Reilly
Aidan Gillen
Dylan Moran
M. Emmet Walsh

What’s Good About It?

Calvary has Brendan Gleeson. That alone makes it worth watching. Combine that with the fact that there’s a talented writer/director, and it’s set in Ireland, which is woefully underutilized in movies, and you have something special on your hands.

What’s Bad About It?

I think Calvary, and films like it, struggle at the box office because of the lack of really recognizable Irish stars like Gleeson and Colin Farrell, who hardly ever plays an Irishman.

Plus people are racist against my people. I don’t get to play the race card very often. It felt good.

Our Clever Prediction

I’d say Calvary will make between $10 and $12.5 million worldwide. It depends on it’s international release schedule, as I could see it getting either a very limited theatrical run stateside, or, more likely, going straight to On Demand, which would be a shame, since it looks like it has some beautiful views of Ireland.

Also, this is my second Kelly Reilly film this week. I must be in love with her soulless ginger body. That was racist against my people. I’m going to have to go to confession… Maybe I’ll threaten a priest, see if he reacts as poignantly as Brendan Gleeson.