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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding movie-making
In Bruges is quite simply a small masterpiece of movie-making. A narrative which is uncomplicated but very affecting, an immaculately judged script and dialogue, little flashes of humour, the best ever performance by Colin Farrell (of whom I am not normally a fan,) and another outstanding piece of acting by the ever-impressive Brendan Gleeson (so enjoyable in 'The Guard')...
Published on 18 Mar. 2013 by Fergus Stewart

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Unimaginative, clichéd and a bit boring
This film has two things going for it - the score and the location. After that - zilch, unless, of course, you're into dialogue that features the commonest four-letter word in the language in virtually every utterance, and mindless violence. But I assume we're suppose to really like the two cheeky chappies who spend their time blowing holes in people and exchanging...
Published on 17 April 2009 by still searching


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding movie-making, 18 Mar. 2013
By 
Fergus Stewart (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In Bruges is quite simply a small masterpiece of movie-making. A narrative which is uncomplicated but very affecting, an immaculately judged script and dialogue, little flashes of humour, the best ever performance by Colin Farrell (of whom I am not normally a fan,) and another outstanding piece of acting by the ever-impressive Brendan Gleeson (so enjoyable in 'The Guard') all combine with the setting of Bruges' beautiful mediaeval architecture to create a film which is easy on the eye and touches the emotions in such an unexpected way.

This is as good as film-making gets on this side of the pond and is thus streets ahead of so much of Hollywood's popcorn fodder. Essential viewing for anybody who likes cinema which is human, intimate and accessible while touching on what it is to be human and fallible.

Highly, highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Dark, Brilliant, 18 Oct. 2013
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: In Bruges [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This 2008 film, written and directed by London-born, Irish heritage, film and theatre writer/director Martin McDonagh is a simply brilliantly engaging watch, and (for me) one of the finest (dark) comedies to emanate from the UK/Ireland in many years (as well as being a remarkable feature debut for McDonagh). Key to its success is undoubtedly McDonagh's razor-sharp and hilarious script, but praise should also, of course, be directed at the film's central pairing of two 'failing' hit men holed up in Bruges after a botched operation, Brendon Gleeson's more reflective, and culturally-enlightened 'elder statesman', Ken, and Colin Farrell's impetuous, earthy, mixed-up, 'street smart geezer' (if there is such a thing as an Irish geezer), Ray. For me, whilst Gleeson is (by now) expected to deliver impressive acting turns, either comic or straight (simply look at his work in the likes of Michael Collins, The Butcher Boy, The General, Breakfast On Pluto, The Guard, etc), Farrell, on the other hand, is something of revelation here, depicting a good deal of pathos as well as laddish qualities, in easily the best film turn I have seen from him.

Of course, the set-up for the film is pretty much entirely comic as the pair arrive in the historic, cultural centre of the city, Ray berating Ken for having been banished to such a 'dull' place - even during a sightseeing trip around the city's idyllic canals, quipping, 'Do you think this is good - going around in a boat looking at stuff?'. It is not until Ray reveals his 'guilty secret' from their botched hit, that the film adopts a more reflective mood, as the pair muse over their way of life, and feelings of guilt, humanity and the need for redemption emerge. Life gets more complicated (and darker) still when Ken is informed (by phone from the UK) by gangland 'Mr Big', Ralph Fiennes' acerbic and brutal Harry Waters, that Ray's misdemeanour must incur the ultimate price. However, although In Bruges has a central dark core (plus one or two rather fanciful plot developments), it is most memorable for a whole series of hilarious sequences including that where Ray chats up Clémence Poésy's drug dealer ('working' as a film-making assistant), ChloŽ, with some brilliant 'midget/dwarf banter', the restaurant scene (which, although rather gratuitous, is still brilliantly done, and features the killer line, 'You can't sell horse tranquiliser to a midget!') and Ken and Harry's final confrontation ('Don't come over all Gandhi!').

In addition to Gleeson and Farrell's excellent performances, Fiennes is great as the menacing gangland boss (a role which bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Ben Kingsley's Don Logan in Jonathan Glazer's Sexy Beast - a film with which In Bruges has a number of common elements), there is a cameo role for Dardennes Brothers' regular (and, I guess, 'honorary famous Belgian actor') Jérémie Renier as ChloŽ's 'ex-boyfriend', Erik, plus solid turns by both Poésy and Thekla Reuten as the defiant idealist and hotelier, Marie. A final mention should also be made of the poignant and reflective (largely piano-based) soundtrack composed by Carter Burwell, regular composer for the Coen Brothers (some of whose films In Bruges also resembles).

For me, certainly one of the finest comedies to emerge from these shores in the last couple of decades.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the funniest films I've ever seen, 28 Aug. 2013
This review is from: In Bruges [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is one of the funniest, most original films I have ever seen and on top of that, there are some stunning back drops of gorgeous Bruges. This is one of those films to watch with a mate so you can keep quoting funny lines at each other for years and still fall about laughing after the fourth time.

The humour in this film involves A LOT of swearing and the story is quite dark, being about hitmen and everything. The dialogue works because the two main characters contrast with one being a wise, older man and the younger one being like a really silly, immature, insecure, impatient youth who thinks anything to do with culture, particularly Bruges is s***.

As the story develops, you have formed an attachment to the younger character who is haunted by his past. Even though he is really annoying, you care about what happens to him. As the plot twists and turns, the shock of why they are In Bruges comes to a nail biting conculsion....

There's rather a nice DVD extra on the version of the DVD that I've got that is just the view from a nice gentle boat ride along the canals in Bruges (it's in Belgium).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good job it's in Belgium or too many people would spoil it, 22 Nov. 2012
This review is from: In Bruges [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
In Bruges is one of those films that sticks in your head with quotes and scenes that you play back
over and over again and then chuckle to your self often in the weirdest places. The man of the match is
Ralph Fiennes by far and away his performance in this is exquisite almost Ben Kingsley-esque in Sexy Beast.
Colin Farrell should really stick to these types of film and forget things like Miami Vice and other tripe he has
been in.
It is funny very funny, it is violent, often very. It captures one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Europe beautifully.
Especially around Christmas Bruges is stunning. Whilst I can understand why this would not be every one's cup of tea it
has made a positive impression on me and it comes highly recommended.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Clever, Superb., 27 May 2008
By 
This review is from: In Bruges [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
A pretty self-explanatory title sets the premise here, well almost. Two hit men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) are hiding out in Bruges after a hit that went horribly wrong and has terrible ramifications for one of these men. Following orders from a mysterious mob boss by the name of Harry, portrayed brilliantly by Ralph Fiennes the two hit men must make do in the city described as "something out of a fairytale" or as Ray summed it up "maybe that's what hell really is, to spend eternity in Bruges". It would be cruel of me to divulge too much of the plot so all Ill say is that this movie is easily the smartest, and hilarious laugh out loud comedies/dramas I can remember seeing. How the director manages to take a story about two men struggling to deal with the emotional baggage and the quite simply the guilt that comes with their profession, and combine it with totally appropriate moments of sheer comic genius mixed with nearly absurd passages, for instance the dwarf scene, enough said is quite an achievement. As is the way you begin too feel great sympathy for a group of not so ruthless killers who go to extraordinary lengths to simply stick by their principals. As one would expect the characters are a colourful bunch, Farrell getting up to or at least trying to get up to some mischievousness, or simply saying like it is, (American tourists beware). Then there's Ken trying to find some harmony in the surroundings and immerse himself in the culture and art of Bruges and in the process dragging a very reluctant Ray along with him. Then we have a string of interesting supporting characters, such as ChloŽ, Rays love interest, played by Clémence Poésy, (who was in "Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire") and the Jimmy the dwarf (Jordan Prentice)

Drugs, Sex, attempted suicide, botched hits, karate chopping scenes, perceptive drug fuelled thoughts on life, and a very meaningful dare I say grown up story which provides endless laughs but plenty of thoughts after its all over. The amazing cinematography along with all the talk about Bruges (whether or not the city is portrayed accurately or not is a matter of opinion) really makes the city itself become a character and a score that's not haunting but manages to convey the films darker tone perfectly. In Bruges is a brilliant mix of dark comedy and real human problems which manage to get the best out of a talented cast (easily the best performance I have seen from Colin Farrell). Needless to say a Film this brilliant will not end up being predictable or revert to formula, no it stays interesting and manages to surprise the viewer right up until the films griping conclusion. A fascinating character study filled with meaning and hilarity all the way, this is easily one of the best films so far this year. See it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Destinies, 8 May 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: In Bruges [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
"Without dreaming of telling you what happens next, I will say it is not only ingenious but almost inevitable the way the screenplay brings all of these destinies together at one place and time. Along the way, there are times of great sadness and poignancy, times of abandon, times of goofiness, and that kind of humor that is really funny because it grows out of character and close observation. Farrell in particular hasn't been this good in a few films, perhaps because this time he's allowed to relax and be Irish." Roger Ebert

'In Bruges' is one of those films that surprises you around every corner. The first impression I had was 'I have got to visit Bruges'- the film depicts such a beautiful, medieval city and every scene has a new vista. The city seems to play upon the characters- the towers, the museums, the churches, the pubs, the cobblestone square, and the canals all feed in to give us a view of the mindset of the two main characters. Brendan Gleeson, a big hunk of a man who has a face like a map of the world. Every feeling, every expression is shown on his face. Colin Farrell, is a true Irishman, Bruges to him is a 's***pot'. He is not a sightseer, nothing nice about the place, just wants a beer in a pub and to move on. Ralph Fiennes as the boss back in London, heard on the phone and finally seen.

These two men Gleeson and Farrell are Irish hitmen. The premise is pretty simple. They kill and one of them made a mistake and killed a child. They have been sent to Bruges to hide. The boss loves Bruges, and this is supposed to be a treat. Well, it is for Gleeson, he is the inveterate sightseer and does all the spots and enjoys it. Farrell, on the other hand hates Bruges- hia scene is beer and pubs and he wants to go home. He realizes some fun when he comes upon a movie being filmed. He makes friends with a young woman who supplies drugs to the crew, and a dwarf who is in a dream sequence. From there on the film moves from one surprise to the other. We finally get to see Fiennes and his surprising personality. That is all I am going to say.

This is a sharply written and superbly acted film. As one of my other friend's review states- this is 'Pulp Fiction' with heart and soul.

Recommended. prisrob 05-08-13
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109 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest film I've seen in quite some time, 26 Jun. 2008
By 
This review is from: In Bruges [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Totally agree with the previous two reviewers. This is a film that deserves to be seen by loads of people, as it is truly hilarious!

Granted, it might not be everyone's cup of tea, as there is the odd bit of violence, and the humour is very dark and often non-PC. But hey, we're all adults right!? And anyway, one thing that surprises a little as the film unfolds is that it does actually have some morality at it's heart, as we witness Colin Farrell's character regret his past actions, and Brendan Gleesan's character see a chance for Farrell to find redemption.

The two leads are fantastic - with good chemistry - delivering the many amusing one liners with aplomb, as are the supporting cast, with Ralph Fiennes putting in a performance that will recall Sir Ben Kinsley chewing up the scenery in "Sexy Beast", and the midget (the character Ray's term, not mine!!! I can't seem to see his name on imdb) sending himself up in a manner that you will never forget.

Bruges itself is also a character in the film of course, and despite Ray's constant funny put downs of the place, it looks beautiful. So much so in fact that I now plan to go sometime...I just hope there's no Irish hitmen seeking refuge there when I do!

Great film, recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film of Rare Quality, 29 Dec. 2012
This review is from: In Bruges [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is a superb film, funny, absurd, tongue-in cheek, bloody, brutal & quite moving. You suspect almost from the start the kind of end that awaits these characters, but the joy of the film lies in the clever progression of the plot towards this end & the way in which the final act of destruction wittily mirrors the original 'accident'. Beautifully paced, multi-layered, taut, not a word or scene is wasted. First class acting, directing & production; there are regrettably few films of this calibre
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'BRILLIANT', 17 Jun. 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: In Bruges [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
the film is about a couple of hired killers 'Ray' (Colin Farrell) and 'Ken' (Brendan Gleeson) who accept a task to travel to 'Bruges' in 'Belgium', they are instructed by 'Harry'(Ralph Fiennes) to enjoy the 'sites' for a day or so and then he will contact them with details of the 'Hit'
However all is not what it seems. this film is clever, well crafted, with much in the way of subtle humour.
It is one of the funniest films i've seen for a very long time, though the story is about 'Violence' 'Killing' you have to see it to know just how good it really is.
'Colin Farrell' has been in many films i've seen in recent years, some good, some not so good, however...this, is, most certainly one of his best roles down the years.
Great Cast - Terrifically Entertaining - A Must See !
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I didn't even know where Bruges was...", 15 July 2012
By 
Chris White (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When reviewing a movie, you can generally get away with describing the first act; then the established situation changes and you're into spoiler territory. That point is usually about twenty minutes in but with this one it would be better for me to go no further than five.

After performing a job for their boss (Ralph Fiennes), a pair of hitmen (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) are sent to Bruges to await further instructions. And that's about as much of the plot as I can safely relate, since the ensuing narrative takes many a turn but does a great job of keeping you riveted throughout.

This is by no means an action thriller; although there are scenes where the tempo increases, it's a mostly character-driven comedic crime drama. Farrell and Gleeson are given some brilliant dialogue by writer-director Martin McDonagh, their interplay reminiscent of Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.

The Blu-ray boasts a state-of-the-art transfer with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 in English or Canadian French. Subtitles are similar with the addition of Latin American Spanish. Sensitive viewers beware: the three protagonists don't hold back when it comes to profanities.

I came to this with little expectation other than a recommendation from a friend, which I can now happily pass on. If you happen to be at a loose end for a couple of hours, you would be well-rewarded by spending them In Bruges (which, for the record, is in Belgium).
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In Bruges [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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