In Bruges (2008)

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> Best Films of 2008
Overall Rating 75%
Overall Rating
Ranked #294
...out of 10,184 movies
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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. --TMDb
Elizabeth Berrington
Elizabeth Berrington
Rudy Blomme
Rudy Blomme
Olivier Bonjour
Olivier Bonjour
Mark Donovan
Mark Donovan
Ann Elsley
Ann Elsley
Review by bluemeanie
Added: July 02, 2008
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.
Tristan #1: Tristan - 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 as well.
Farley #2: Farley - 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 #3: 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 so loud.
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #4: 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:
"Harry.... Harry!"
"It's an inanimate fucking object."

bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 10/24/2008, 01:05 PM
Wow. So many skewed points...where to begin? Eh, I won't. 10/10.
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #6: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 10/24/2008, 06:31 PM
No, please do. I'm listening.
Greg Follender #7: Greg Follender - 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 something.

I found this film a bit too clever for it's own good... and a bit forced. Still, it was quite entertaining.
An admirable effort... 7.5/10 IMHO.
bluemeanie #8: bluemeanie - 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.

Also 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.

And my 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.
bluemeanie #9: bluemeanie - 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.
bluemeanie #10: bluemeanie - 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.
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #11: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 10/25/2008, 07:12 PM
Greg Follender #12: Greg Follender - 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 references...

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?

bluemeanie #13: bluemeanie - added 10/26/2008, 06:12 PM
Indeed, sir. Indeed. :)
Lucid Dreams #14: Lucid Dreams - 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.
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