(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we put our hands together, drop to our knees, and then realize that’s a terribly uncomfortable position in which to watch movies featuring men of God as lead characters.)
When it comes to priests (preachers, pastors, etc) in movies, they typically fall into just a handful of character types. There are exceptions, of course, but the majority of them seem to find life as casual guys (Mass Appeal), pervs (Spotlight), or the last line of defense against the devil Himself (The Exorcism of Emily Rose). As with most professions, though, people who choose this line of work are typically more complicated than those one-note descriptions suggest. They’re not all good or all bad and instead usually offer the same gray slate as the rest of us.
Keep reading for a look at six movies with memorably atypical lead portrayals of men of God.
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Every year around this time we take a look at the highest rated movies on IMDb. The movies are rated year round by IMDb users, and provides one of the largest sampling of mainstream public opinion on films. Find out the 40 top films on the IMDB best movies of 2014 list, after the jump.
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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 »
The 2014 Sundance Film Festival starts today, and with the opening of theater doors, hundreds of brand new movies will be revealed to the world. Some we’ve already heard of and are excited for — The Raid 2 and Life Itself come to mind — but the majority of them are wholly unknown. They’re films most audiences don’t yet know anything about, with massive stars, from famous directors, or featuring exciting premises..
Below I’ve pulled the titles of 25 2014 Sundance Films you may not have heard of yet, but sound absolutely amazing for one reason for another. Read More »