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In Bruges (2008)
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Review Date: July 11, 2008
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Producers: Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin
Actors:
Colin Farrell as Ray
Brendan Gleeson as Ken
Ralph Fiennes as Harry
Plot:
A couple of hitmen are shipped off to Bruges, Belgium, after a scheduled murder goes astray and a young boy is killed along with their target mark. The two men are told to wait in the quaint little town, until their boss Harry, contacts them with further instructions. What ensues is a lot of views around the lovely town of Bruges, swearing…and then some self-analysis, some crying, guns and even some deaths. An odd little picture.
Critique:
I think that more of my disappointment with this movie comes from the fact that my expectations had been set so high, considering that so many people I know and respect seemed to indicate that this was one of the year’s better movies, and its marketing materials made it seem like a “quirky hitman” film, when in fact, it’s much closer to a poetic character study…which just happens to take place among hitmen. In theory, that all sounds pretty cool actually, but in practice the film just bored me a little too much, with conversations about life/death feeling a little redundant by this point in the evolution of the “hitman movie genre”. In fact, this film felt a little bit like a mix of PULP FICTION, SEXY BEAST and THE MATADOR, alongside some cutesy Frenchie town movie like CHOCOLAT. Some of the hip dialogue was Mamet-esque, but some of it also felt contrived, like “Look at us…we’re hitmen and yet we can gab about regular things like normal people just like anyone else!” I loved the film’s gorgeous locations, of course, which onto themselves play a very big role in the movie’s development, although some of that symbolism stuff was a little overdone as well. At times, it felt like the director was drawing a painting within the picture, which is great, but as long as it doesn’t overtake the film’s storyline, which in this case dragged a little and felt a little ho-hum to me.

The two lead actors, Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell, were great in their respective roles though, and props to Farrell for taking on a somewhat secondary role in such a small “indie” film (although in both of their respects, it was difficult to understand every single word coming out of their mouths, because of the strong accents). Ralph Fiennes also shows up at some point, playing the badass leader of the baddies, only he seemed content to simply channel some of Ben Kingsley’s cuntish behavior from the aforementioned SEXY BEAST, as opposed to coming up with a more original take on the “psycho English head of a crime syndicate” himself. The film’s ending, despite being as dark as my socks (black), did click on a more cerebral and poetic level (although you have to believe that it’s part of a dream-ish viewpoint of the film), but didn’t really do much to take away from the film’s low level of entertainment value or true insight, at least to me. Any of the scenes featuring Jordan Prentice, the requisite “midget” in this fairytale-esque movie, were a blast to behold though. Loved his attitude! And even though the film didn’t bowl me over completely, it was unique in many ways, included a handful of memorable sequences (the one in the restaurant with the Canadians comes to mind) and might surely be appreciated by many others. I might even give it another shot one day…when I’m in a more contemplative mood.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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6:42PM on 02/01/2010
Nothing even came close to it that year, in my opinion.
Nothing even came close to it that year, in my opinion.
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1:20AM on 02/11/2009

Damn Good.

This was an awesome movie with damn good dialog. Go ahead and reach back and pull your head out please. So you give this the same rating as The Happening and give it 1 less point than The Strangers. I think JoBlo needs to fire half his staff.
This was an awesome movie with damn good dialog. Go ahead and reach back and pull your head out please. So you give this the same rating as The Happening and give it 1 less point than The Strangers. I think JoBlo needs to fire half his staff.
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4:55PM on 12/13/2008

Meh.

Some great twists highlight a fresh character (kinda) study. But the coincidental ending ultimately spoils the stew.
Some great twists highlight a fresh character (kinda) study. But the coincidental ending ultimately spoils the stew.
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3:23AM on 11/02/2008
hands down the best film of the year. great script, stylish direction and yes, a career-best for farrell
hands down the best film of the year. great script, stylish direction and yes, a career-best for farrell
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5:54AM on 07/12/2008

Funniest and most quotable film you will see this year

Went into this film not expecting much. Ive now seen it twice. I would recommend it to anyone with a wicked sense of humour. Elements of tragedy, humour and violence all come together in a fantastic character story. All of the actors are extremely funny. Any film that while comparing Heaven and Hell, decide that Purgatory is "a bit like Tottenham" is a great film in my book.

Went into this film not expecting much. Ive now seen it twice. I would recommend it to anyone with a wicked sense of humour. Elements of tragedy, humour and violence all come together in a fantastic character story. All of the actors are extremely funny. Any film that while comparing Heaven and Hell, decide that Purgatory is "a bit like Tottenham" is a great film in my book.

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5:55PM on 07/11/2008
This is one of the best movies I've seen all year, which makes it all that harder on the other movies since I caught in in February. Aside from the fact that they are two hit men reminiscing about life I tend to resent people comparing it to "Pulp Fiction," as it is a very different kind of film from. The locations worked extremely well, and though symbolism ran deep here, I thoroughly enjoyed how each actor played off the other in accordance with the character's particular set of principles.
This is one of the best movies I've seen all year, which makes it all that harder on the other movies since I caught in in February. Aside from the fact that they are two hit men reminiscing about life I tend to resent people comparing it to "Pulp Fiction," as it is a very different kind of film from. The locations worked extremely well, and though symbolism ran deep here, I thoroughly enjoyed how each actor played off the other in accordance with the character's particular set of principles.
Your Reply:



5:42PM on 07/11/2008

Colin Farrell's best performance

I think six is too low for this film, some of the story was a little blah for me, but overall this film was stylistically very unique. The cinematography of Bruges was great, it really did look like a "fairytale."

Colin Farrell finally found his niche, hes not an action star people wanted him to be. Rather, in this film he plays a womanizing, foul-mouthed, alcoholic...perhaps he had a good amount of source material to prep for this part. Seriously though, he was good in this film, his
I think six is too low for this film, some of the story was a little blah for me, but overall this film was stylistically very unique. The cinematography of Bruges was great, it really did look like a "fairytale."

Colin Farrell finally found his niche, hes not an action star people wanted him to be. Rather, in this film he plays a womanizing, foul-mouthed, alcoholic...perhaps he had a good amount of source material to prep for this part. Seriously though, he was good in this film, his deliverance of lines and comedic timing really made true on the script's gags.

8/10
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2:55AM on 07/11/2008
I think 6 is pretty low for this movie. The style of framing, editing and the score is just amazing. Like other people are saying, try it again. From his short "Six Shooter", to this, I can tell I'm going to watch any thing he makes.

9/10 for me.
I think 6 is pretty low for this movie. The style of framing, editing and the score is just amazing. Like other people are saying, try it again. From his short "Six Shooter", to this, I can tell I'm going to watch any thing he makes.

9/10 for me.
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1:34AM on 07/11/2008

The best film of 2008 so far

You should give it another chance, Joblo. It's like with "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" which I thought was mediocre the first time but I love that film now after several viewings. Same thing with "In Bruges"
You should give it another chance, Joblo. It's like with "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" which I thought was mediocre the first time but I love that film now after several viewings. Same thing with "In Bruges"
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1:16AM on 07/11/2008

a personal fave...

i am one of the ones who thoroughly enjoyed this flick...guns, snappy dialogue,midget-fellas,scenery, humour,pathos,drugs,sex,fat yanks and upset canucks...all in all a great entertaining little film. give it a shot, it wont disappoint, beats most of the pablum hollywood dishes out,i saw it twice in theatres (had to take some friends for a screening) and will pick up the dvd for a "must watch" for my film-savvy friends. enjoy !!
i am one of the ones who thoroughly enjoyed this flick...guns, snappy dialogue,midget-fellas,scenery, humour,pathos,drugs,sex,fat yanks and upset canucks...all in all a great entertaining little film. give it a shot, it wont disappoint, beats most of the pablum hollywood dishes out,i saw it twice in theatres (had to take some friends for a screening) and will pick up the dvd for a "must watch" for my film-savvy friends. enjoy !!
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