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Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 250 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Very much out of place amidst the gothic architecture, canals, and cobbled streets, the two hit men fill their days living the lives of tourists. Ray, still haunted by the bloodshed in London, hates the place, while Ken, even as he keeps a fatherly eye on Ray's often profanely funny exploits, finds his mind and soul being expanded by the beauty and serenity of the city. But the longer they stay waiting for Harry's call, the more surreal their experience becomes, as they find themselves in weird encounters with locals, tourists, violent medieval art, a dwarf American actor shooting a European art film, Dutch prostitutes, and a potential romance for Ray in the form of Chloe, who may have some dark secrets of her own. And when the call from Harry does finally come, Ken and Ray's vacation becomes a life-and-death struggle of darkly comic proportions and surprisingly emotional consequences. (Focus Features) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    An endlessly surprising, very dark, human comedy, with a plot that cannot be foreseen but only relished.
  2. Tightly scripted and intricately plotted, the buddy film manages the neat two-step of being simultaneously profane and engaging.
  3. The heroes are two hit men, and the tone is often absurdist. But the film is also very funny and surprisingly affecting.
  4. A perfectly titled and thoroughly engaging -- if at times gleefully violent -- black comedy.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    70
    Closer to pics like “The Hit” and “Miller’s Crossing” than to McDonagh’s bristling, funny plays, this half-comic, half-serious account of two Irish hitmen who are sent to the titular Belgian burg to cool their heels after a job is moderately fair as a nutty character study, but overly far-fetched once the action kicks in.
  6. The setting is unique, the cast is terrific, the dialogue crackles and, if only there were a plot worth believing, In Bruges might have been a fine film.
  7. 40
    No one wants a movie that tiptoes in step with political correctness, yet the willful opposite can be equally noxious, and, as In Bruges barges and blusters its way through dwarf jokes, child-abuse jokes, jokes about fat black women, and moldy old jokes about Americans, it runs the risk of pleasing itself more than its paying viewers.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 82
  2. Negative: 5 out of 82
  1. Apr 19, 2012
    10
    The film is just perfect. Destined to be a cult, well balanced between dark humor (very funny) and blood thrilling scenes. The climax that rises from the first scene to the end probably touches its peak when the music of The Dubliners gives the film its epic touch. Colin Farrel and Brendan Gleeson are perfect in their roles. Can't think of anything that goes wrong. Masterpiece! Expand
  2. Dec 30, 2013
    10
    Most black comedies aren't exactly black.
    I think this because most of them are funny, but the good jokes aren't exactly black. For example
    in the mediocre 2013 film The Family all of the jokes that I laughed out loud at were reasonably upbeat or dark but not black. This can be found in many other black (I might start renaming them bleak just for literal accuracy) comedies like Thank You For Smoking, The Men Who Stare At Goats and Fargo.
    In Bruges is an exception it has a mix of black and upbeat jokes and all of them are hilarious. Whether there about dwarves, elephants, gay beers or cupboards. Every second is hysterical. But every second is also very exciting, somehow I was even interested when Ray and Ken were discussing who's allowed to shoot themselves. Even classics like The Naked Gun and Office Space get a bit slow moving in places, this doesn't.
    That was a great achievement and surprised me, but the most amazing thing about the writing and direction of In Bruges is that somehow Martin McDonagh makes the viewer care about the characters. Colin Farrell is a child murderer and should be one of the least likable little in movie history. Yet somehow I was constantly rooting for him in the last 30 minutes and almost cried when he was talking to his dying partner in crime. Ralph Fiennes character Harry is even worse! And I was almost crying for him too! Hell I was almost crying at the death of a cocaine snorting, prostitute client midget. Never would you expect to find a black comedy about murder and Belgium more emotional than The Green Mile and Marley and Me put together. It totally took me by surprise.
    In Bruges is definitely one of my favorite movies of the last decade and extremely entertaining, I strongly recommend it as long as you are prepared for the amazing overuse of the word
    Expand
  3. Jul 15, 2014
    10
    'In Bruges'' is a dialogue based/character driven movie starring Colin Farell, Ralph Fiennes and many more.I can't tell the plot of this movie.Because that is half the fun you will have.This movie is like Pulp Fiction.
    If you haven't seen Pulp Fiction, why haven't you seen Pulp Fiction?

    This movie has no drama at all.The drama is the thing that brings most movies down.Whereas this movie has realistic dialogues which are hilarious.Every dialogue and every scene is important to the plot.For instance:-

    [first lines]
    Ray: After I killed them, I dropped the gun in the Thames, washed the residue off me hands in the bathroom of a Burger King, and walked home to await instructions. Shortly thereafter the instructions came through. "Get the **** out of London, youse dumb ****s. Get to Bruges." I didn't even know where Bruges ****ing was.
    [pause]
    Ray: It's in Belgium

    ''In Bruges'' has really good actors and a good director.This movie does not have much action and that is a good thing.Action scenes should be used only when necessary to propel the plot.Otherwise its no fun.Remember ''Matrix Reloaded''-its dull.

    If I had to score it out of 10, I would give it a 10/10 and remember, I am a miser.I don't give points so easily.But this film was so perfect and its worth at least a watch.It is one of the movies that will be considered as a classic in years to come.
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  4. Jul 11, 2013
    9
    In Bruges tackles all the issues that a typical comedy offers, an out if the comfort zone setting, an unlikely alliance, romance and of course thrills, but it also offers much more with a clever script very dark humour and an unpredictable story that keeps on giving.
    The Irish duo of powerhouse talents Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson star as two bungling hitmen, Ray and Ken, are sent to Bruges to lay low for a while after a job goes wrong, Ken loves the chance to do all the tourist things, Ray is a more live wire character than his older counterpart, wanting to get right back into jobs. On the phone line is Harry (Ralph Fiennes) who is updating the two on the situation, as he is their employer he keeps them informed for when they can return to England.
    The film takes a twisted yet hilarious look at what is right in front of you in an unorthodox way, the humour, when you think it is finished, keeps on rolling out the obscene remarks and jokes. The highlights of the film come from the realistic and situational approach. It offers very different insights into certain film scenarios,such as shoot outs and the typical bad guy. The film turns most of these on their head and offers this perhaps generational approach, like how grown up films should perhaps become.
    Brendan Gleeson is quite the calm and relaxed gentle giant of the show, is demeanour counteracts the energetic one of Farrell, whose character continuously spits out his distaste for being in Bruges and how he finds and sees everyrhing in a homosexual manner, the politest way to say it.
    In terms of the tone, it never settles for second best, when it wants to tell a very funny joke are put across a hilarious situation, it does so without holding and punches, but when it wants to put a message of despair and emotion, it again delivers the goods without fail, showing the capabilities that Martin McDonagh possesses in story-telling but also reaching out to the audience. Many moment this film will indeed make you laugh in hysterics, but the quieter and closer moments will bring back down to reality.
    An excellent and varied film with a taste for all sorts of genres, giving different nods to previous films and also promoting a witty script and some powerful performances.
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  5. Oct 15, 2011
    8
    Colin Farrell throws in a unforgettably arrogant but funny performance with great support from Brendan Gleeson in the sly but direct black-comedy "In Bruges". Its a must watch for those who ponder about the meaning of life. Expand
  6. Dec 1, 2013
    8
    This one surprised me. A good, if depressing, film. Well acted and well written. I'm not a big fan of Colin Farrell but he nails it in this one. Too bad it slipped under the radar. Then again, this is not a feel good film with white washed dialog so it may not be your cup of java. Expand
  7. Aug 25, 2014
    6
    I'm quite certain my review for this movie will improve slightly after I get to see it with English subtitles - without them, the strongly accented and quick manner of speaking is at times very hard to follow for a non-English viewer like me.

    It is nice to see Colin Farrell speaking as he normally does, once again. Not that I hate the honed English with less "Irish" in it, but it brought a lot into his character in this particular movie.

    There's some funny parts, and others that have you shaking your head; some gangster action, raw images and bloody scenes. Altogether, though, "In Bruges" is hardly the film it could be.

    The characters were not as well drawn as they could be. Sure, we learned each of their main characteristics, but more may have been appropriate. The plot jumped into motion from the start, and made me wonder for a while: "What kind of movie was I expecting to see?" This hardly was one to meet my expectations.
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