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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2013: #87. John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary


Director/Writer: John Michael McDonagh
Producer(s): Reprisal Films’ Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo with Octagon Films’s James Flynn
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Cast: Kelly Reilly, Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, Dylan Moran, Marie-Josée Croze, Killian Scott, Isaach De Bankolé

Now with three films between them, the McDonaghs have managed to not necessarily re-invent the Brit crime thriller, but add to its pantheon of sinners and saints with memorable noir-world characters and with situational predicaments that are both brutal and titter. Martin’s In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths received tons of praise as so did John Michael McDonagh’s debut The Guard, which I was more on the fence than sold on, so I’m thinking that Calvary will also stray away from the formulaic and that Brendan Gleeson will once again be up to task.

Gist: Gleeson plays a priest who is a good man intent on making the world a better place, he is continually shocked and saddened by the spiteful and confrontational inhabitants of his small country town. One day, his life is threatened during confession, and the forces of darkness begin to close in around him.

Release Date: TIFF followed by London BFI looks just about right. Look for Sony Pictures Classics to once again possibly work with McDonagh.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).


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