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Plot: London based hit men Ray and Ken are told by their boss Harry Waters to lie low in Bruges, Belgium for up to two weeks following their latest hit, which resulted in the death of an innocent bystander. Harry will be in touch with further instructions. While they wait for Harry's call, Ken, following… Runtime: 107 min Release Date: 29 Feb 2008
Fantastic mix of humour and brutality! (by stack888)
Well, to be honest I wasn't sure what to expect from this film, nor am I fan of Colin Farrell, in fact I really didn't like him at all previously....but now I have a new found respect for him and with Gleason and Fienes both in excellent form coupled with a very quick and witty script and some surprisingly violent scenes, this film really has something for everyone except the young kids .I go to see 2 or 3 movies every week and this is just about the best one I've seen since Last King of Scotland and The Departed came out a couple of years back.10/10
Of Mice and Hit Men. (by jayhurstart)
A lot of reviews see fit to give a thorough plot summary, so I'll just talk b*llocks instead.In Bruges is a grown up gangster film not because it uses the word f*ck very often, though it does, because even a child can type 'f*ck' repetitively into a screen play and judging by most recent gangster films, with a few notable exceptions, that wouldn't be too far from the truth.In Bruges is a grown up genre film not because it hangs out in galleries and cathedrals like a tapestry woven by Brueghel's mistress from blood, sin, and judgement. Though it does.In Bruges is a black <more>
comedy for grown ups not because it consciously satisfies our skulking childishness, our 'incorrect' urge to lash out at convention , say f*ck the lot 'o ya's, fist someone in the mouth for good measure and then offer a fast talking and wickedly funny apology. And it does all that too.In Bruges is grown up cinema because despite being sexy, fun and stylish, it is emotionally literate. Is that allowed?The complexity of Martin McDonagh's screen play is manifold, developing and delineating character through dialogue as much as action. Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrel inhabit their characters with equal and at times forceful skill, displaying flawless comic timing and sensitivity. Together they breathe 'real life' into the hyperbolic corpse of a bloated genre that never quite realised it died some time ago. McDonagh's characters realise too late they've been c*nts, one way or another, and far too late, begin to grow. Characters with history, in emotional distress, barely conscious or all too aware. They do what we might in their shoes. And as they trace the outline of their own destruction in lines of cocaine or spilled beer, their conceit, self loathing, compassion or stubbornness lays them all bare. There is a cost for all of them, characters on a human scale, acting out their tragedy in recognisable terms. In Bruges is as morally instructive as it is dramatically satisfying, almost becoming a medieval mystery play in the setting of the title.Finally In Bruges is a dangerously perfect fusion of plot, meaning and story. Ripples of understanding run back and forth across the surface of the experience, hinting at the themes which swim powerfully beneath. A film this genuinely startling doesn't happen very often.
The films that I find myself thinking about afterwards are of two kinds - the best and the worst. In the case of the worst I am trying to work out just why they are so bad, in the case of the best, like In Bruges, the rare 10s, they make such an impact that I cannot get them out of my head. It was only later that I realised that Martin McDonagh has, apparently, lifted his basic situation - two hit men whiling away the time waiting for instructions as to their next victim - from Harold Pinter's early one-act stage play The Dumb Waiter. However The Dumb Waiter ends when the message the <more>
same one as in In Bruges arrives. McDonagh then extends the scenario in quite unexpected directions, the foundations of which have been meticulously laid, sometimes by a mere throwaway line or gesture, earlier in the film. The film is full of memorable moments - dialogue, incident or characterisation - that interweave to form an indelible impression.Some of the comments posted seem to take exception to the fact that In Bruges is difficult to categorise - that terrible compulsion of the film industry to fit every film into a "genre". This is a film that is genuinely uncategorisable. It is often very funny, sometimes poignant and touching, sometimes darkly frightening, always thought-provoking. To categorise it as, say, a "comedy-thriller" would be to seriously sell its qualities short.There is one very good reason for the film's special elusive quality - it is very Irish. Although strictly speaking it would not count as an Irish production and Martin McDonagh was born in London, all his stage writing stems from a strong Irish sensibility and it is no accident that the two leading characters are played by Irish actors albeit actors familiar to an American audience playing Americans! . The ability to see pathos behind humour, as well as the funny side of tragedy, is a peculiarly Irish trait.The brilliance of the script is matched by superb performances from the two leads as well as all the supporting cast, however small the part. The only weak link and it is a very minor criticism is Ralph Fiennes as the boss figure who, as one other posting commented, was more convincing on the phone than in person, perhaps, as many have pointed out, because of unfavourable comparison with Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. Brendan Gleeson is, as always, impeccable, Colin Farrell gives his best performance since Intermission, both are subtle and totally believable. The supporting characters are so effective partly because they are very well cast, partly because they have been written with such attention to detail. Almost my favourite moment is when the hotel owner hands over a phone message from the boss, carefully typed out including all the obscenities, with a personal hand-written correction at the bottom - "I am not the receptionist...".I am hoping that by writing the above I will be able to stop myself thinking about In Bruges, but somehow I doubt it!
A Breath of Fresh Air: Review from Sundance (by billion_mucks)
For those who might not know the name, director Martin McDonagh is an Irish playwright who won the Oscar last year for his short film "Six Shooter" about a chance encounter on a train, and that film's star Brendan Gleeson has returned as Ken, one of two hit men sent to the medieval city of Bruges in Belgium along with his partner Ray Colin Farrell to rest and lay low after a hit gone horribly wrong. Ray is a miserable bastard who makes it clear he's not happy about being in Bruges, but Ken convinces him that their boss Harry has a job for them there, as well as allowing <more>
them a chance for some sightseeing, none of which improves Ray's mood. Things look up when he meets the beautiful local woman Chloe, played by French actress Clémence Poésy--you may remember her as Fleur Delacore in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire--and scores himself a date, which also goes horribly wrong due to Ray shooting off his big mouth. From there things continue to go south as Ray and Ken get into all sorts of messes and meet strange characters, all of whom will play a part in the larger picture.There aren't too many non-Belgian films set in Belgium, and Bruges is a beautiful but odd place to set an entire movie. You'll probably learn more about the place than you ever need to know as Ken narrates their sightseeing excursions with a few factoids about the place. The entire first act is driven by the chemistry between Farrell and Gleason as they deliver rapid-fire patter that reminds one of McDonagh's background as a playwright, but it makes them as immediately endearing as Vincent and Jules in "Pulp Fiction," allowing for an even bigger impact as things happen to them. Our first encounter with the boys' boss Harry is an expletive filled telegraph and an equally amusing phone conversation with Ken, making it obvious that this is a mobster cut from the same cloth as Ben Kingsley's Don Logan. Those who don't recognize the voice will be thrilled when they learn who plays Harry, because it's a pleasant surprise.This is easily Colin Farrell's best role and performance in a long time, one that allows him to show a lot of range, not just as the big-mouthed prat we assume Ray to be, but also as a thoughtful man distraught about what happened in London. Having seen the error of his ways, he feels the need to make right, even if he hides it with a lot of complaining and arguments, and that carries over to Gleason's Ken, continuing his great run with McDonagh.McDonagh has created a clever script that interweaves its small cast of characters into an intricate crime caper that mixes humor, violence and true heartfelt human emotions into a brilliant debut feature. Just when you think you know where things are going, McDonagh throws a sharp curve ball at you and then another, and another, and pretty soon, what started as a two-handed talkie has turned into a hold-your-breath action flick, when Harry turns up in Bruges to rectify some business that Ken has botched. Even so, it never loses what made the first half so charming and entertaining, because McDonagh's impressive dialogue remains at the forefront for the extended confrontation between Ken and Harry. The ending might be somewhat grim for some tastes going by the lightness of what's gone before, but the way everything is tied together makes it all worth it.Anyone worried that Tarantino and Ritchie's best work might be behind them, can revel in the promise of McDonagh's take on the crime-comedy genre, as this talented filmmaker shows that "Six Shooter" was no fluke and this movie begins what's likely to be a long and promising film career. On top of that, if "In Bruges" doesn't end up being the funniest and most quotable movies of the year, then it should be very close
...in Bruges. Two Irish hit men Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell are sent into hiding by their British boss Ralph Fiennes in Bruges, Belgium after a botched job only to learn that the most damning job awaits one of them just around the corner. Bruges is a picturesque tourist trap built around the oldest and best maintained medieval city in Belgium. Director and screenwriter Martin McDonagh bleeds the setting and the material for all its worth and makes his feature film debut in superb style.The dark comedy built around the existential quandaries of hit men has been done to death over the <more>
years. If last summer's "You Kill Me" was the relentlessly dark and relentlessly sitcom-y take on the genre, then "In Bruges" is the hipster art film take on the theme. McDonagh deserves all the credit in the world for breathing life into the stale story by texturing the tonal shifts with crisp digital camera-work that is surprisingly haunting , deep character development, and by creating a wonderful sense of place. Imagine a Graham Greene novel "Brighton Rock" specifically comes to mind modernized by David Mamet. The dialog is super smart and wickedly un-PC while the comedy parts are as gut-busting as the crime thriller parts are suspenseful.McDonagh has also brought together an outstanding cast who thrive in the material. Farrell defies all odds and manages to be as sympathetic in the dramatic parts as he is charmingly sarcastic in the comedic parts. Brendan Gleeson gives a fantastically nuanced portrayal as Farrell's mentor and friend. Meanwhile, Ralph Fiennes channels the scary-as-hell energy he's used previously in "Schindler's List" and the recent "Harry Potter" films in a limber subversion that is a frighteningly fun to watch. The supporting cast is to die for, with Jordan Prentice spot-on as a coked-up dwarf actor shooting an abhorrent art film on the streets of Bruges, and Clemence Poesy coyly seductive and unforgettable as Farrell's unlikely local love interest.Ultimately "In Bruges" meanders down too many cobblestone paths, and one scene near the end involving a bell tower stretches credibility but adds necessary dramatic effect. Certain plot elements will turn off a large segment of the viewing audience. However, those with the right mindset will be greatly rewarded. "In Bruges" is hilarious, contemplative, sometimes scathing, often nihilistic, but marked by a shockingly hopeful undercurrent while tones shift and the colors of the human condition undulate in McDonagh's insightful light. The arrival of a commanding talent has been heralded...in Bruges.
Greetings again from the darkness. Award winning playwright Martin McDonagh brings his amazing writing talents to the big screen and scores with his first turn as a feature film director. The city of Bruges yes, in Belgium is the perfect setting for the multi-layered story. Its well preserved medieval architecture is like an character unto itself.Colin Farrell delivers by far his best performance to date. He is funny, dangerous, sexy and emotional throughout. This is exceptional acting from a guy who tends to disappoint. Of course, it helps to have magnificent writing and this one most <more>
certainly delivers on that front. The dialogue is quirky and quick ... so tune in early.Strong work also from Brendon Gleeson, who all will recognize from "Gangs of New York" and the Harry Potter series. He is a tough guy with a streak of humanity. The third piece of the puzzle is Ralph Fiennes as the mastermind bad guy. The supporting work is fine from Jordan Prentice as the dwarf actor sadly Mr. Prentice is most famous for playing Howard the Duck and a very cute Clemence Poesy as Farrell's odd love interest.Very few writers can write dialogue like this and even fewer can juggle as many layers without making a film seem busy, crowded or forced. Hopefully Mr. McDonagh will bring more of his work to the big screen ... he certainly adds a touch of class!
I've used IMDb for years but have never felt the urge to post a review until now. I had the pleasure of attending an advanced screening of this movie in NYC last night to which Colin Farrell attended. I bought the screening tickets just wanting to bring my fiancé to see some celebrities in person while not knowing much about the movie. I figured it would be a "hard-to-understand" foreign, indie film whose humor would be lost on a "dumb American." However, the truth was absolutely the opposite. My hard-to-please fiancé agreed.The movie is a bit slow for the first half <more>
but it's entirely necessary to set the mood and the contrast between that and the second half. That's all I'll say so as not to spoil anything. It is really a great movie. There's comedy, beautiful cinematography, and awesome action scenes, albeit scattered throughout and absent at times when the viewer may be growing weary. I'd highly recommend seeing this movie. It's definitely worth the price of a movie ticket while most of the crap out there these days isn't worth the cost of the paper they print the tickets on.Let us all know what you think after you see it.
Going into this movie, I didn't have the highest expectations for it. However, I went to see it anyways, and let me just say that by the end credits I was completely shocked out how much I actually liked this movie. It was not only very funny but you were able to connect with the characters in a way you didn't think you would. The plot was def. very interesting and kept my attention the whole way through. Only real problem I had with the movie was that it was a little bit too long, but it didn't take away from anything. I should also say that I'm not a huge Colin Farrell fan, <more>
but after this movie I believe that he has proved that he can hold his own with the other leading men out there. I thought there were some beautiful moments that they captured on film where you see him dealing with his characters inner demons. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for something "different", if you're sick of seeing the same "hollywood-esque" movies, then please give this movie a shot. If anything, enjoy it for the witty dialogue.
Atonement and Existentialism In Bruges (by colinbarnard-1)
A European film through and through, showing its deep theatrical roots, "In Bruges" works on may levels, and is a fine night at the cinema.The film follows the denouement of a "job" gone bad for two Irish hit men, who are forced to hole up in Bruges, Belgium, and really can't stand the inactivity. The forced waiting, a symbolic purgatory in both assassins' struggle for absolution, gives Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell a chance to act through some marvelous comic dialogue.The film itself looks like it was filmed in an area of the old city of Bruges that is no more <more>
than a 500 square metre radius. It doesn't matter, because the film is a character study more than anything, and like all good theatre, the character interplay allows the audience to forget the confined spaces.Ralph Fiennes comes into the film late basically stealing Ben Kingsley's character from "Sexy Beast". This has to be an absolutely deliberate choice, so can't really be criticized. The writing is so good that Fiennes can have real fun with it. All the actors do, as a matter of fact.I have been deeply suspicious of Colin Farrell's ability to read a script in the past. His choices of projects in the past has been spotty. Not this time: his acting ability is brought to the fore by director and screenwriter Martin McDonagh. Farrell gives a very strong performance as a morally challenged hit-man.Brendan Gleeson has been around forever, and is a renowned character actor. You may remember him from "Braveheart" as Hamish Campbell, Mel Gibson's loyal adjutant. He is able to completely bury himself in this part. Colin Farrell has the capacity to reach these heights as well, and in fact, in this film, shows many of the mannerisms and intensity of Russell Crowe whom I consider to be the best actor on the planet .I appreciated the comedy and satire working hand in hand with the moral complexity of the characters' inner struggles. It makes for a very satisfying film, one that is much more than entertainment. When you consider what the budget was in comparison to many Hollywood films, "In Bruges" serves as a reminder that it is the script and the quality of the direction that makes a film. Why Hollywood thinks they can just throw money into a project and expect people to come to the cinema is beyond me.