Brendan Gleeson plays Father James, priest to the small town of Easkey in Ireland. The movie opens with Father James hearing the confession of a man who explains how he was horribly sexually abused by another priest from the age of seven ... and how he's going to kill Father James in a week, because killing a good priest will send a message.
The rest of the week is laid out as labelled days. We meet his daughter (Kelly Reilly), freshly home from London and a suicide attempt over her latest love affair. And we meet the people of the town as Father James ministers to them. And this is where the movie fell down for me: every town, every priest has some unpleasant or difficult people. I don't question that. But every single person in Easkey (with the exception of a French tourist, and James's daughter, neither of whom actually live there) is bitter, violent, or horrible - sometimes all three. Even as they acknowledge, rather excessively, that Father James is "a good priest" - I suppose to emphasize the writer's initial point about killing a good priest.
The movie is incredibly dark, depressing, and unpleasant. I guess the movie thinks that it offered some hope at the end, but I didn't see it that way. A grim and ugly movie about nasty people, with no real hope for improvement - so not my kind of movie.