March 7, 2015 | Rome, Italy | Clear 4°C
Search film reviews:
Genre: Keyword:

Comedy-Romantic Comedy

Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes)

Argentine director Damián Szifron shows how little things gone amiss can produce dark twists.

Drama

The Heart Machine

Skype, make-believe and lies can be "fun," but don't count on an enduring relationship.

Blue Ruin

Jeffrey Saulnier's low-budget thriller transforms rural Virginia into into a medieval dungeon.

Trois couleurs: Blanc (Three Colors: White)

Kieslowski's "Three Colors: White" still ranks among the "sweetest" revenge movies ever concocted.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Michael Keaton is the mesmerizing fall guy in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s movie about acting, celebrity and identity.

Horror

Sinister

Scott Derrickson's foray into paranormal serial killings contrives its suspense.

Eden Lake

James Watkins saw the brooding talent of Jack O'Connell but stock horror has its limits.

The Babadook

Jennifer Kent's psychological horror thriller is at once predictable but enticingly off-kilter.

Thrillers

Night Moves

Kelly Reichardt's movie can't decide if it's about ecoterrorism or youth estrangement.

Science Fiction

I Origins

Mike Cahill goes off the rails in his sci-fi bid to makes eyes into a faith-driven life form.




Date: 2014
Directed by: John Michael McDonagh
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach de Bankolé

Calvary

English director John Michael McDonough's film is a high stakes moral thriller — not about the mob or terrorism but about the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. The film follows seven days in the small town life of a husky priest named Father James (Brendan Gleeson) following a death threat he receives during confession. The seething confessor says he was abused as a boy. "You know what, Father, I am going to kill you, in seven days." Why Father James? "Because you're a good priest, and no one will believe it when a good priest is killed."

Father James likely knows who's threatened him, but he refuses to change his routine, continuing to check in with parishioners, listening to the depraved ramblings of adulterers, callous non-believers, and abused women — all the while suffering the spineless greed of a fellow priest. But Father James also knows real world life. He's a widower who took the vows after the death of his wife. He has a daughter, Fiona (Kelly Reilly), who lives in London and has personal woes of her own. She recently attempted suicide. Her visit to the town will only complicate his crisis.

McDonough's film, with generous Father James (the ever-steady Gleeson) at its center, is about both Catholic hypocrisy and the existence of deeply decent priests who push forward despite their doubts and fears. Father James believes in the power of love and forgiveness. Though his life is in imminent danger, it is salvation he knows, trusts and ultimately refuses to forsake.

Reviewed by: Molly Hannon
Day and Boarding International High School in the Heart of Rome

Everything you need to know about visiting or moving to Tuscany, Italy.