I like to imagine Martin McDonagh and John Michael McDonagh in a constant state of sibling rivalry, with each brother looking to top the other with every project. Martin wrote the masterful stage play The Pillowman (among others) before making one of the best crime comedies of the past decade with In Bruges. John made a strong directorial debut with 2011’s pitch-black buddy cop comedy The Guard and topped himself with 2014’s Calvary. I’ve reached the point where any movie bearing the McDonagh name feels like a priority.
And that makes John Michael McDonagh’s new film, War On Everyone, a priority. The new trailer is all the evidence to I need to know that yes, his distinctive, cynical, and hilarious voice is still ringing loud and clear.
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Posted on Monday, June 20th, 2016 by Angie Han
In a few weeks we’ll see Alexander Skarsgård as king of the jungle in The Legend of Tarzan, but later this year he’ll get in touch with his wild side in an entirely different way. Directed by John Michael McDonagh (The Guard, Calvary), War on Everyone stars Skarsgård and Michael Peña as two very corrupt cops who get in over their heads in New Mexico. If Shane Black’s The Nice Guys left you wanting more in the “pitch-black buddy action-comedy” subgenre, War on Everyone should have you covered.
War on Everyone hit Berlin and SXSW earlier this year to strong reviews, and now it’s gearing up for a theatrical release in the U.K. (No U.S. release date has been announced yet, alas.) As smuch, the first War on Everyone red-band trailer has just arrived, and you can watch it after the jump. Read More »
Writer/director John Michael McDonagh is following up Cavalry with a new movie called War on Everyone, featuring Michael Peña and Alexander Skarsgård in the lead roles. They play “two corrupt cops in New Mexico who set out to blackmail and frame every criminal unfortunate enough to cross their path.” Now the first image is out for the film, and while McDonagh’s name should be enough to raise your interest, seeing Skarsgård flip us the bird in this War on Everyone image might help. Read More »
Writer/director John Michael McDonagh follows up The Guard with a new film called Calvalry, once again starring Brendan Gleeson. Here, Gleeson gets to play a different type of character, but still one who has to deal with deep, real darkness. He’s a priest, and a pretty good one. But during one confession session, an unidentified man says he plans to kill Gleeson. He’s got one week to get his things in order, and what follows seems like a bizarre mystery. The cast also features Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillan, Dylan Moran and Kelly Reilly, and there’s some fun to be had watching Littlefinger glower about, perhaps plotting some violence against Gleeson. Check out a great Calvary trailer below.
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The opening scene of John Michael McDonagh‘s Calvary is a frightening juxtaposition that perfectly sets the tone for what’s to come. Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is taking confession from a mysterious man who admits to being molested by a priest as a child. Not this specific priest, though, another one, and to get revenge he tells Father James he’s going to kill him for no good reason. In an instant, McDonagh has sucked the audience in.
Much like McDonagh and Gleeson’s previous film The Guard, Calvary is wholly original. It blends elements of mystery, a detective story and comedy with lots of philosophical ruminations. As Father James spends what might be his final week alive dealing with the townspeople, one of which is his would-be murderer, he tries to solve the riddle by delving into their problems (alcoholism, depression, adultery, etc) through his Catholic beliefs. The result is an ambitious, slow-burn drama with dynamite performances from top to bottom that just misses the mark because it’s trying to do too much. Read More »
A noble, wise priest is told he’s going to be killed in a week simply because he’s good. That’s the start of Calvary, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (The Guard), which had its world premiere this week at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, which stars Brendan Gleeson, generated solid buzz for its mix of pseudo-detective story and philosophical rumination. And now, you’ll all get a chance to see it as Fox Searchlight acquired it for domestic distribution. It’s their second Sundance purchase, following I Origins. Read More »
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we get weird with black and white, get haunted for s and giggles, kill a priest for funsies, send some kids to jail, and try not to die while skiing.
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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The Guard, which was picked up at Sundance by Sony Pictures Classics, is one of those movies you’re going to be quoting and turning your friends on to. Though it seems pretty surface based on a general description, once you see it, you realize it’s a truly special movie complete with humor, action, heart and one of the most memorable characters in recent years. That character, Sergeant Gerry Boyle played by Brendan Gleeson, is sort of Bad Lieutenant Light. He’s got plenty of bad habits – drinks on the job, says horrible things – but is actually a decent guy and great cop. Put that character in the middle of a simple murder mystery, co-starring Don Cheadle and Mark Strong, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, and you’ve got one of the best movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Read More »