After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him.
9 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brendan Gleeson ... Father James
Chris O'Dowd ... Jack Brennan
Kelly Reilly ... Fiona Lavelle
Aidan Gillen ... Dr. Frank Harte
Dylan Moran ... Michael Fitzgerald
Isaach De Bankolé ... Simon
M. Emmet Walsh ... The Writer
Marie-Josée Croze ... Teresa
Domhnall Gleeson ... Freddie Joyce
David Wilmot ... Father Leary
Pat Shortt ... Brendan Lynch
Gary Lydon Gary Lydon ... Inspector Stanton
Killian Scott ... Milo Herlihy
Orla O'Rourke ... Veronica Brennan
Owen Sharpe ... Leo
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Storyline

Father James is a small-town priest in Ireland whose Sunday confessionals suddenly include a threat to kill him in a week's time as a matter of principle. Deeply troubled and conflicted about how to respond, Father James tries to go on with his calling through that week. However, that proves impossible as he is confronted with a troubling variety of spiritual challenges from both his estranged daughter and his own parishioners. In those dispiriting struggles, Father James' life begins to fall apart as time runs out towards a confrontation that seems to crystallize his values and what he wants his life to be. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Killing a priest on a Sunday. That'll be a good one.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual references, language, brief strong violence and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When it came to shooting, John Michael McDonagh almost by accident noticed how the mountain in the background gave 'this looming presence, this sinister aspect' and made a decision to include it in every shot thereafter. See more »

Quotes

Father James Lavelle: I've always felt there's something inherently psychopathic about joining the army in peacetime. As far as I'm concerned, people join the army to find out what its like to kill someone. I hardly think that's an inclination that should be encouraged in modern society, do you? Jesus Christ didn't think so, either. And the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" does not have an asterisk beside it, referring you to the bottom of the page where you find a list of instances where it's okay to kill people.
Milo Herlihy: ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The closing credits are inter-cut with empty shots of every main location that Father James Lavelle and his daughter Fiona had a significant conversation in. See more »

Connections

Referenced in All Things Must Pass (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Hong Kong Blues
Written and Performed by Hoagy Carmichael
Published by Songs of Peer Ltd.
Courtesy of Pavilion Records Limited
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User Reviews

 
An Irish High Noon
2 August 2014 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Writer/director John Michael McDonagh and actor Brendon Gleeson re-team (The Guard, 2011) in what can be viewed as one giant leap for both filmmaker and actor. Mr. McDonagh is immensely talented and seems to be a natural at keeping his viewers unsure of what's coming.

Set and filmed in a western Irish coastal town, the film has a most unusual first scene, including an acknowledgment of such as the priest (Gleeson) says "Certainly a startling opening line". This occurs in the confessional with an extreme close-up as the unseen (by us) parishioner then says "I'm going to kill you Father". With Sunday week as the promised deadline, the movie follows the Priest with a placard for each day, as he makes his way through the maze of local town characters. He also receives a visit from his daughter (Kelly Reilly), fresh off a suicide attempt (he was married prior to joining the priesthood).

The film bounces from very dark humor to extreme philosophical and theological discussions between the town folks and the priest. We quickly learn what a good man he is, and struggle to understand why the locals flash such vitriol his way. The Catholic Church, and all that implies these days, certainly plays a key role, but more than that, this is about the make-up and character of people.

This is not the place to go into detail about the story, as the film is best unwrapped and interpreted by each viewer. What can be said is that this is exceptional filmmaking: it's well directed, beautifully photographed, superbly acted, has a terrific script, and encourages much discussion.


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Details

Country:

Ireland | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 April 2014 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Calvary See more »

Filming Locations:

Rush, County Dublin, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,149, 3 August 2014

Gross USA:

$3,600,006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,887,741
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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