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The Playlist

Review: John Michael McDonagh's Inventive, Masterful Black Comedy 'Calvary'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • July 30, 2014 6:34 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Something black and acidic runs through the veins of those McDonagh brothers; there’s just something not quite right with these lads...and thank goodness for that. Playwright and younger sibling Martin McDonagh made a splash in Ireland’s theater scene with his hilarious, tart, pitch-black plays and then impressed film audiences with two wicked black comedies (“In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths”). Older bro John Michael McDonagh possesses a similar talent, and an ear for devilish dialogue, and having penned “Ned Kelly,” he made his feature-length debut with the cheeky, underrated black comedy “The Guard” (underrated internationally, that is; the film is the most successful Irish film of all time in Ireland). If you don’t know these guys, you need to remedy that immediately.

The 10 Best Performances In The Films Of Jim Jarmusch

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 9, 2014 2:56 PM
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10 Best Performances In Jim Jarmusch Movies
It all seems so obvious in retrospect. Of course, of all the parts Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston were born to play, a pair of lovelorn vampires battling the ennui of immortality in a Jim Jarmusch movie should always have been at the top of the list. “Only Lovers Left Alive,” which opens this weekend (review here), makes good on that logline and then some, delivering Jarmusch’s most deliriously enjoyable film in ages (see our complete retrospective of his films here), and showcasing as ever a cast that turn in terrific performances right down to the smallest supporting performer. But it’s Hiddleston and Swinton who carry the film, and they do so with such louche grace that they make their vampiric lifestyle seem dark and twisted and tortured and yet also so seductive and alluring and downright sexy, that at the potential cost of our eternal souls we’d proffer our own necks to them at the drop of a hat.

Review: Visually Arresting 'Mother Of George' Is A Stunning Accomplishment

  • By Christopher Schobert
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  • September 26, 2013 3:28 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It is hard to recall a wedding sequence as lovingly photographed, gorgeously realized, and downright joyous as the one that opens Andrew Dosunmu’s “Mother of George.” It is the union of a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn, Adenike (Danai Gurira) and Ayodele (Isaac de Bankolé), an event that has brought friends and family together for a celebration of life, love, and—without question—fertility. It is an event driven by hope. “Nothing will ruin you two,” Adenike is told. “You and your husband will not know suffering.” There is humor (the couple is told to always eat dinner together, at home: “Even if you have eaten…Come home to eat again”), stirring music, and dancing, as well as real, tangible pressure.

Watch: Trailer For Sundance Award Drama 'Mother Of George' Featuring 'The Walking Dead' Star Danai Gurira

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • August 8, 2013 2:28 PM
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At this year's Sundance Film Festival, Andrew Dosunmu's "Mother of George" received strong buzz and lots of notice, largely thanks to Danai Gurira's standout performance (which is why we named her one of our 15 Breakout Artists To Watch). Gurira is probably best known as Michonne on AMC's "The Walking Dead" and/or for her stellar film debut in "The Visitor." But reteaming with Dosunmnu—their first film together was "Restless City," which screened at Sundance two years ago—seems to have paid off with a role in a movie that will certainly get her landing on more radars.

Dylan Moran, Marie Josée Croze & Isaach De Bankolé Join John Michael McDonagh's 'Calvary'; First Look At Brendan Gleeson In The Film

  • By Ryan Gowland
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  • October 3, 2012 11:25 AM
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This may blow some people's minds, but did you know that it's possible to have two talented filmmakers born into the same family? It's not only possible, it happened to the McDonaghs, whose Martin and John Michael are two of the more interesting filmmakers working today. Martin started as a playwright but debuted his filmmaking skills with the Academy Award-winning short "Six Shooter" before moving on to the 2008 dark comedy "In Bruges" and the upcoming "Seven Psychopaths." John Michael, meanwhile, is starting production on "Calvary," the follow-up to his 2011 black comedy "The Guard."

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