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Ray and Ken, two hit men, are in Bruges, Belgium, waiting for their next mission. While they are there they have time to think and discuss their previous assignment. When the mission is revealed to Ken, it is not what he expected.
What a horrible year for film 2008 has been. It just keeps getting worse and worse with each new film I take the time to waste my time watching. It's so bad that I can't compose a Top Ten List because I literally have not seen ten films worthy of a list. Thank God for "In Bruges". I didn't get a chance to see it in theatres, but just caught it on DVD. It is now, officially, my favorite motion picture of 2008 - a masterpiece of mood and execution.
Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, it centers around two hit men who are sent to Bruges, Belgium to wait for instruction from their boss, Harry. The two hit men are played by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson and Harry is played by Ralph Fiennes. The first half follows the two hit men as they see the sights of the city. Ken (Gleeson) enjoys the history behind the city and wants to walk around and appreciate the natural beauty. Ray (Farrell) wants to stay in the pub and drink his troubles away. The second half of the film involves a twist as to why they are in Bruges in the first place, which leads to a showdown on the streets of the city, culminating in an ending that is nothing short of incredible.
Everything about this picture makes me smile. Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes all deliver Academy Award worthy performances, and Martin McDonagh proves that he is one of the most talented filmmakers around now. He has already established himself on Broadway with a string of successful plays, and "In Bruges" is his first feature after winning an Academy Award for his short film, "Six Shooter".
The score by Carter Burwell is the best I've heard all year long and the cinematography from Eigil Bryld is simple and affective. "In Bruges" made me laugh, made me cry and made me really appreciate Martin McDonagh on a whole new level. As mentioned before, the ending is astonishing and one of the best I've seen in years. Have I sold this picture enough? It might be one of my new favorite films ever made. Give this film a look-see as soon as you can, and believe me, you will see it at the top of my end of the year list for months to come.
Wow, what a week it has been. I saw "The Signal", which turned out to be one of my favorite horror films ever. And, now, "In Bruges", which is the best film of 2008. Maybe this is a sign that things are turning around. Maybe this is a sign that the remainder of 2008 will be packed with quality cinema. I hope so. Otherwise, my top ten list might have to be cut in half. And that would be a first. A sad and pathetic first. 10/10.
- added 07/02/2008, 05:15 PM
Ah, excellent film. It was dark, funny, and had
everything I could have wanted in a comedy. 10/10
- added 07/03/2008, 01:45 PM
I've heard nothing but good things about this
movie. I will be sure to check it out soon.
grain of sand
- added 09/16/2008, 02:45 PM
So perfect, I really regret not catching this on
the big screen; Then again, I wouldn't have been
able to rewind the parts I missed from chuckling
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg
- added 10/24/2008, 09:12 AM
Nothing clicked for me at all in this movie.
First, the dialogue was trying too hard, so much
so that it stood out like a sore thumb. Second, I
didn't buy the characters, so in turn I got zero
emotion out of the drama aspect. And third, the
comedy factor just felt extremely stale overall.
The only part that elicited a hearty laugh from me
was when Ralph Fiennes' character, Harry Waters,
barked at his wife in this brief exchange:
"It's an inanimate
INANIMATE FUCKING OBJECT!"
- added 10/24/2008, 01:05 PM
Wow. So many skewed points...where to begin?
Eh, I won't. 10/10.
- added 10/25/2008, 12:32 AM
I dunno man... in the reviewer's first sentences
he laments the quality of films released in
2008... and yet even a cursory examination of his
reviewed films on this site reveal that he has
handed out more than 7 "10 out of 10"
ratings this year. Kinda odd...
It seems to
me that if he can hand out so many 10s (not
including the various 9s and 8s he awarded) to
films this year, his efforts at a "Top 10
List" should be fairly easy;)
The funny thing is... I COMPLETELY agree... yet,
i haven't seen a film i can rate a "10"
yet this year. A few close calls... but nothing i
could call masterful as of yet. Maybe I've missed
I found this film a bit
too clever for it's own good... and a bit forced.
Still, it was quite entertaining.
admirable effort... 7.5/10 IMHO.
- added 10/25/2008, 06:02 PM
Well...actually...the conversion of my normal
rating system to the rating system on this site
turns many 9.5 ratings into 10's. Regardless, I
have given a few 10/10's this year. Compared to
last year, it's down. Also keep in consideration
that I watch a lot of great films on a yearly
basis. I have a a pretty good eye and ear when it
comes to avoiding garbage.
keep in mind that, when the review for "In
Bruges" was written, I had not given but 1-2
10/10 reviews, which was why I was lamenting the
lack of quality films in 2008. Now, I could not
make that statement as easily.
efforts at a Top 10 List is not easy. It never
is. Maybe it is if you don't give it any
consideration whatsoever, but I wouldn't really
know anything about that.
- added 10/25/2008, 06:04 PM
And I think the big difference is that you seem
to think a film has to be a masterpiece to be a
10/10. I do not. I think a film has to fully
succeed at what it's trying to accomplish. If it
does, it gets a 10/10.
- added 10/25/2008, 06:07 PM
Now, in regards to the comments Cyborg made about
"In Bruges" -- what's the point? I
really don't feel like getting into another battle
on this site of opinion vs. opinion. He says the
dialog is forced, I say that's ridiculous. I say
Martin McDonagh is one of the finest playwrights
and screenwriters working today. He says he
didn't buy the characters. I say that for someone
not to find any emotion in the Brendan Gleeson
character is just astonishing. And he says the
comedy factor didn't work. I thought it was
spot-on and the perfect example of classic
European comedy meets David Mamet irony.
Well...shit...I ended up doing it anyway.
- added 10/25/2008, 07:28 PM
I dunno... I don't think our rating systems are
all that different...
I only said that a
film has to be executed in a "masterful"
way to get a 10 from me... and that doesn't
necessarily mean that it has to be a masterpiece
(COOL... I get to actually quote myself for once).
I agree that if a film succeeds admirably in
regards to what the Director set out to
accomplish, it deserves a 10 rating. I think that
you just misunderstood my comment...
As for your handing out of 10 ratings this
year... i didn't really bother to research the
date schedule of your posts... your lament just
struck me as humorous due to the fact that most of
the reviews I've read from you this movie season
have been fairly glowing. I don't check your
EVERY review, mind you... but it just struck me as
odd. I guess after reading your explanation, it
makes a bit more sense.
It's an easy
misunderstanding to make when you just scan
reviews without careful time and date
Nonetheless, it was
just a framing comment... bottom line, I just
didn't love the movie as much as you did. To each
their own, right?
- added 10/26/2008, 06:12 PM
Indeed, sir. Indeed. :)
- added 05/29/2009, 04:10 PM
I enjoyed this very much, just thought the it
started off kind of slow so I'll give it a 9.5/10.