Calibre (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Calibre poster.jpg
Directed byMatt Palmer
Produced by
  • Alastair Clark
  • Anna Griffin
Written byMatt Palmer
Music byAnne Nikitin
CinematographyMárk Györi
Edited byChris Wyatt
Wellington Films
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
Running time
101 minutes

Calibre is a 2018 British thriller film written and directed by Matt Palmer. After a debut at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, it was released on 29 June 2018 on Netflix.[1] It also had a limited release in select Curzon Cinemas in the UK from 21 October to 16 November 2018.[2] The film is set in Scotland and concerns incidents on a hunting trip to the remote Scottish Highlands, and stars Jack Lowden and Martin McCann.


An aggressive Edinburgh businessman, Marcus, takes his boarding-school friend, Vaughn, whose fiancée is newly pregnant, on a weekend hunting in the Scottish Highlands. Vaughn has never hunted before. They stay at a village pub, where they meet Logan, a community leader who bemoans the village's weak economy; and two young women, Kara and Iona. After dancing and drinking, Marcus leaves with Kara, despite being warned to stay away. Vaughn and Iona nearly kiss but Vaughn mentions his pregnant fiancée, so they have another drink instead.

Early next morning, Marcus rouses a hungover Vaughn for their hunt. On the way, Vaughn deduces Marcus has used cocaine and chastises him. Vaughn realises he has forgotten ammunition for his rifle, so Marcus lets him borrow one of his guns, despite this violating the strict firearm laws. On the hunt, the pair happen upon a dear in a clearing, and Vaughn aims at a doe’s head; but it suddenly turns, causing Vaughn to shoot and kill a boy, unseen behind the deer. The boy's father arrives and, in a fit of grief, picks up Vaughn's gun and points it at him; but Marcus shoots the man. Vaughn wants to tell the police about the incident but Marcus convinces him they will be arrested as murderers. Marcus hides the bodies and they drive off, hoping to claim that they were hunting in another area. However, Marcus is told by a petrol station owner that Logan said no other hunters are around and convinces a traumatised Vaughn they can only protect themselves by returning after nightfall and burying the bodies.

They return to the village and are invited to dinner by Logan and his brother Al; Logan asks if Marcus can help him find investors who might revitalise the community. At night, they bury the bodies. Marcus recovers the bullets, using a knife to dig Vaughn's bullet out of the boy's skull, over Vaughn's objections. They return just before dawn but are spotted by the B&B owner's young son. The next day, their departure is thwarted when Brian, another of Logan's brothers, slashes their tyres and attacks Marcus for sleeping with Kara and giving her cocaine. At the garage, the mechanic tells Marcus the repairs will take a day. They return to the pub to hire a taxi, but find the driver drunk. On Logan's orders, Brian offers an aggressive and insincere apology, while complaining that the locals are beholden to "city twats" because they might bring in money. While Marcus is in the toilet, Vaughn speaks to Al and Iona and realises the deceased were Logan's nephew and brother-in-law. Al's suspicions are raised when Marcus, upon returning, asks about "them" despite having only heard that Logan's nephew was missing.

Logan asks them to help with the search, which they accept for fear of arousing suspicion. A dog leads the party to the bodies. While the group dig them up, Marcus and Vaughn attempt to flee, but their fuel tank is ruptured by a bullet from Brian. Fleeing on foot, Vaughn stumbles and is injured by the dog, which Marcus stabs to death. As the group closes in, Marcus leaves Vaughn. Brian savagely beats Vaughn before being pulled off by Logan; the rest pursue Marcus.

Logan and Brian take Vaughn to a farm, where he confesses. Brian wants to kill them but Logan, realising their deaths would be punished, insists on involving the police instead. Brian objects, claiming there is insufficient evidence and Vaughn will change his story to protect himself. As Brian moves to kill Vaughn, they hear the group has caught Marcus. Vaughn is locked in a guarded barn.

The next morning, Logan gives Vaughn an ultimatum: he must kill Marcus, or Brian will kill them both. Vaughn refuses, even after being reminded of his fiancée and unborn child, and breaks down in tears. Eventually, at gunpoint, he kills Marcus. The locals hide Marcus's jeep and, before Vaughn's fiancée arrives, Logan instructs him to tell the police that Marcus drove north.

Months later, an unnerved Vaughn wakes up to his crying child. He cradles him, but has a haunted look.



The film was nine years in the making, and began filming in November 2016.[3][4]

In May 2018, it was reported that Calibre had been picked up by Netflix for distribution and would first world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.[5]


Calibre premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on 22 June 2018. The film was released worldwide on 29 June 2018 by Netflix.[6] It also had a limited release in select Curzon Cinemas in the UK from 21 October to 16 November 2018.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Calibre has received mostly positive reviews. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10.[7] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average rating of 75 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

Guy Lodge of Variety called the film "a sensationally well-executed nerve-mangler", and gave high praise to "the level of craft and confidence on display in all aspects of Calibre, from [Matt] Palmer’s clean, lean scripting to Márk Györi’s baleful, autumn-chill camerawork to a lead performance of through-the-wringer commitment by rising Scots star Jack Lowden."[9] Neil Young of The Hollywood Reporter noted that "a mature social concern about the plight of remote, economically marginal but tightly knit communities, gives Calibre a pungent, intriguing layer of ambiguity that only sharpens the acute pain of the awful events so skillfully depicted. Both Ken Loach and Wes Craven would surely approve."[10] Catherine Renton of The Edinburgh Reporter concluded a very positive review of the film by claiming "I was exhausted but exhilarated after a taut 100 minutes of drama, and I can't wait to do it all again..."[11]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and/or nominee(s) Result Ref.
Edinburgh International Film Festival 22 June 2018 Best British Film Calibre Won [12]
British Academy Scotland Awards 4 November 2018 Best Director (Fiction) Matt Palmer Nominated [13]
Best Actor in Film Tony Curran Nominated [13]
Best Actor in Film Jack Lowden Won [13]
Best Actor in Film Martin McCann Nominated [13]
Best Writer Film/Television Matt Palmer Nominated [13]


  1. ^ "Calibre". Netflix. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Harkines, Alistair (20 June 2018). "Edinburgh Film Festival preview: Director Matt Palmer on his Highlands-set thriller Calibre, starring Jack Lowden". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  4. ^ Miller, Phil (11 November 2016). "New high-Calibre drama begins shoot in Scotland". The Herald. Herald and Times Group. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  5. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (15 May 2018). "Imax-Saudi Deal, Edinburgh Lineup, Screen Yorkshire, Nordisk Film, Kino Lorber, Assembly Line – Global Briefs". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  6. ^ McNeely, Kelly Marchman (8 June 2018). "Two Friends Pay For A Terrible Mistake In Netflix's Calibre". Horror Fuel. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Calibre (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Calibre Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  9. ^ Lodge, Guy (23 June 2018). "Edinburgh Film Review: Calibre". Variety. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  10. ^ Young, Neil (28 June 2018). "Calibre: Film Review | Edinburgh 2018". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  11. ^ Renton, Catherine (25 June 2018). "Edinburgh International Film Festival Review: Calibre *****". The Edinburgh Reporter. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  12. ^ Clarke, Stewart (28 June 2018). "Netflix's Calibre Wins Best British Film at Edinburgh International Film Festival". Variety. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d e Ritman, Alex (27 September 2018). "Netflix's 'Calibre' Dominates BAFTA Scotland Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 September 2018.

External links[edit]