Seven Psychopaths (movie)

'Calvary' takes a funny-serious look at life and death

'Calvary' takes a funny-serious look at life and death

It takes a moment. As "Calvary" opens, a small-town Irish priest sits to hear a confession. A few beats have likely come and gone before a viewer realizes that the image isn't cutting away, that the audience is being asked to watch a man listen. It's unusual but also unexpectedly riveting.

Written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, "Calvary" reveals itself over and over to be a movie of such surprises, a serious-minded, lightly comedic rumination on life, death, faith and community. In its steady assemblage of details over an incidental, episodic structure it accrues a building sense of moral gravity.

That the priest is played by an actor with the...

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