In Bruges

Film, Comedy
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(107user reviews)

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
‘Bruges is the best preserved medieval town in Belgium,’ reads Brendan Gleeson’s impressed Ken. ‘It’s a fucking shithole!’ fires back his new, younger room-sharer and fellow hitman-on-the-run Ray (Colin Farrell). Thus begins the running joke of ex-theatre wunderkind Martin McDonagh’s clever, savvy and enjoyable revamp of the odd-couple/gangster caper, a genre picture confident its own audience-pleasing verbal sparrings, joke-enabling moral sophistry and tongue-in-cheek classical and cinematic borrowings – from Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘Last Judgement’ to Nic Roeg’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ and every belfry, picaresque canal and famous seventeenth-century building in the ‘Venice of the North’.

Its mock-artistic thriller trappings notwithstanding, ‘In Bruges’ is basically a funny, tragicomic two-hander, with the casting of Farrell alongside Gleeson enabling a pleasing Irish inflection: culture-vulture old pro Ken and philistine loose cannon Ray are Dublin-accented, London-Irishmen with shared guilty pasts awaiting fate in the person of psychopathic boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes as an enjoyable, mumbling Mamet-ian figure with a suicidal sense of honour).

McDonagh adeptly milks the situation comedy of the mismatched pair with the clock running down – as in Edouard Molinaro’s film ‘A Pain in the Arse’ – lacing his drama with cheeky racist-dwarf jokes and dextrous set-pieces (notably an amusing face-to-face encounter out of Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’). But the film’s real pleasure lies in McDonagh’s verbal felicity – the naturalistic dialogue is a breath of fresh air – and while Farrell struggles to juggle his humorous ‘thick’ persona with  romantic pathos, Gleeson excels in his role as the weary gangster pondering the possibilities for his own shot at redemption.



Release details

Release date:
Friday April 18 2008
107 mins

Cast and crew

Martin McDonagh
Martin McDonagh
Jordan Prentice
Colin Farrell
Zeljko Ivanek
Brendan Gleeson
Clémence Poésy
Ralph Fiennes
Jérémie Rénier

Users say (107)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:86
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:11
1 person listening

a masterpiece. movie of my life. this film has this spectacular atmosphere that most modern films can't give to the viewer. other than the brilliant direction and script, that sonat and songs such as "on a raglan rode" make you think you're in an ongoing fairytale. of course this bruges has a share in. and finally there is a colin farrell event in it. his acting in this film is beyond acting. he is like "see what's happening when I'd like to act". he's terrific in one word. just do yourself a favour and do not miss this artwork. because you bet there won't be one more coming soon.

Best film I've seen in years made me laugh and made me sad - not many manage that - the two main characters are a marriage made in heaven - five stars

Ive just seen In Bruges probably for the 4th time and with each viewing the emotional pleasure and joy the film brings continues to grow. The film is unique and other than saying it is special and brilliant, the only other comment I will make is that I know exactly which of the reviewers I would like to share time with and equally the ones I would avoid like the plague.It is good that sites like this one show us which side of the divide we are type in this box will appear on the site

Brilliant film. I can only presume those people who didn't enjoy it take no pleasure in intelligent dialogue, thoughtful cinematography and well-developed story and plot lines. In which case I suggest a Jean-Claude Van-Damme movie, or possibly a Tarantino for the cultured American (what's the difference between America and a pot of yoghurt? Leave a pot of yoghurt alone for long enough and it'll develop its own culture)

A great film, I must admit the funny moments are overated but it still found it a great watch. Colin Farrell's character Ray was simply brilliant, swapping between his state of normality and torment. Some parts are a little far fetched but I would recomend it to anyone. And the music is brilliant.

an incredible film. probable up in my top 5 this films really makes you think whilst at the same time making you laugh with its witty well timed one liners and banter between farrel and gleeson. McDonagh has done an excellent job and should be proud. i could watch this film over and over and still love every moment of it. all i can say is thankyou. it was unbeliveably good.

Brilliant film, dark humour, great acting, stunning setting set to haunting music. Just watched it again in Singapore with the swearing edited out - just wasn't the same!

Without doubt one of the best films I have seen in a long long time. Looking at the reviews across various sites, I think it must be a marmite sort of film so the best advise I could give is simply watch it and see. I have never rated Colin Farrell one tiny bit but he is fantastically dry and witty in this film. Some of the one liners rank up there with the ever repeating Lock, Stock and Snatch quotes.

I didn't expect much when I went to see this film, I've been to Brugges and picturesque though it is, its not much of a happening place. Which leads me to Farrell, I've never rated him, good looking chap but with all the acting ability of a medieval clock tower. But what little he had was extracted and laid out before us on the screen proudly and unashamedly, to the point where I thought he's not bad. As for Gleeson, himself, it is a nice change to see him in the forefront of a film, playing a part with subtleness and tenderness. The humour, which can be profane, racist, dwarfish and violent made me laugh out loud, which surprised me. What draws it together though is the performance of the two leads. Moving, insightful, and character driven made me laugh and shed a tear. Oh yeah and Ralph Feinnes isn't bad either. Overall a great film, sure to be a cult hit, I'll be spreading the word.

Best film of the year.... easily. Maybe this century? It first uses our familiarity with the crudeness of Gordon Ramsey, but that is only the f**king start of it. This has to go down as one of the best black comedic films of all time. But then add the moral redemption elements, parallels to the classic Don't Look Now and things start to get interesting. Colin Farrell... wow!... that tear! Every single moment is joyous, tragic and full of weight. Another example of what only Europe can bring to feel.

A wonderful dark, moody, funny, exploration of the relationship between these two "hard" men. Layer after layer of visual treats along with the distinctly Irish wit makes this a very rich tapestry indeed. The score is very evocative and moody. the use of Raglan Road in the bell tower was quite spectacular, granted it was an insider thing but spectacular none the less. This movie is destined for cult status. One word of warning though you really need some depth of soul to appreciate the nuances laid out for your delectation, a pop movie it is not.

Very, very funny, if not little bit naughty and politically incorrect.

Excellent film. Sparse, dark, witty and delightfully politically incorrect "Withnail and I" meets "Death in Venice". Destined to become a classic.

Don't let the number of verbal "f*ck"s in the first 10 minutes put you off. Suberb Irish black comedy with some cuture thrown in. Escalates into a violent yet even funnier rollercoaster when Fiennes arrives.

The film was great, a good mix of comedy and tragedy that made you both laugh and cry at different times. Plus some great one liners my boyfriend is still using. A must see!

A very enjoyable dark comedy, All three leads were good though I though Farrell was trying to do a Father Ted impersonation at times. Some superb lines and belly laughs.

I saw this film last night and was really impressed. There were some laugh out loud moments - all coming from the tension and characterisation that are so rare in 'Man with Guns' films. All the strands got tied in to make a credible story. I was surprised that this was an 18 certificate. The violence and swearing wasn't much worse than TV drama these days and was essential to make these characters unappealling as most of the story was about explaining and justifying their actions. Affecting, shocking and funny.

cisti wow! great movie, dark humour, hilarious accents...definetly a must see! anyone up for a trip to Bruges?

absolute genius loved this film. i very rarely go to the cinema but this was what my girlfriend recommended. thrills all the way constant suspense explicit with good cause and hilarious irish comedy. never been a fan of colin farrell but my view of him has changed. must see of 2008. 1 downside of the entire film is that we want more............

This feels like a movie that's been made by people who don't go to the movies. The writer doesn't seem to understand the rule that any movie in English has to be "feelgood" or have a serious point to make. "In Bruges" is edgy without being earnest. The whole thing seems to have been done just for the hell of it. At one point the two hitmen stumble onto the set of an arty European film, but really that's what the whole movie feels like. The uncertainty about where it's coming from make it strangely difficult to watch at times, but the overall effect is very refreshing. Outstanding

It was an absolutely brilliant film! Full of laughs right the way through! My boyfriend's only comment at the end was "WOW!!!!!"

... the humour is seriously dark, but it's there. I was amused, horrified and moved by what the characters went through. Like others on this site I was also inspired by the setting of the film and would really like to match the cinematic experience to a firsthand one 'in Bruges'. The film is edgy and gives a broad cinematic experience to the viewer. You can wallow in the extravagant and explicit violence, revel in the tragi-comedy, and explore the story in equal measure. I found it a 'hard' watch, but an enjoyable one.

well i'm just your bog standard go to the pics to get away from the kids type girl and i thought it was great even when i found mydelf laughing at parts i thought i should't be laughing at. surprises at the end and left it hanging, does he or does't he that's the question.

It's like Quentin Tarantino got together with Ricky Gervais, to write about two Irish hit-men. ...very good film, if you like either, or both of the above. Check it out. I loved it.

brilliant,brilliant,brilliant!! best film i've seen in years. forget the bullshit comments made by some so called reviewers here. just go and watch and enjoy it. i'm off to buy a ticket to Bruge!!

This is a grown-up film which asks an adult question: is redemption possible when the sin is as ghastly as they come. And can art, architecture and the love of women help? Despite the bloody ending the film suggests that if these characters are savable (and they all end better than they began) so is mankind. Truly moving.

I thought this was the best film I've seen in a long time, and I've seen a lot of films. Coming from Ireland I would find it hard to be offended at any of the words used and thought it only added to the humour. The three central male characters were incredibly well cast and the parts well acted with a genuine chemistry between them. I've been to Bruge and the film portrayed it's strangeness and beauty effectively. Top stuff, both big and clever in my view.

Brilliant on every level, this is a really visceral cinematic experience as well as being intelligent and funny. Only niggle is that it seems hard to believe that two such likeable characters are professional assassins. But, I would rate this a masterpiece: Guy Ritchie with a brain - and a heart.

Was not bothered about seeing this but went along and LOVED it. Fantastic acting, scripts to rival Taranteeno and a lovely touch of hunour in a balck sense - makes you laugh. Theonly film I've seen this year to rival it is No Counrty for Old Men. Go see it.

@ Ed Hughes Why do you presume to speak for everybody? What I most enjoy in a film is the ability to reflect and think about it after I've finished seeing it. Film reviews that spend ages regurgitating the plot are deeply boring. I like to look at reviews that have something interesting to say.

Mr Hammond - when will you 'reviewers' learn that people just want to know whats in the film and if its any good. Most people couldn't care less about Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘Last Judgement, Nic Roeg’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ or Edouard Molinaro’s film ‘A Pain in the Arse’, or more to the point don't knpw what they are, thus making the review pointless. By the way, this doesn't make our opinion of the film any less valid than yours. You probably feel that my opinions are those of a cretin, but can you honestly tell me that you ever actually go and see a film with the intention of enjoying your evening, rather than searching through your film collection for something that can prove your undoubtably greater knowledge of mid 20th century french directors. The fact is, the entire audience watched this film and laughed all the way through whilst also feeling attached to the characters and enjoying the relationships they developed. If you watched this film with an audience of paying customers, you might actually get a feel for it, and write about what you enjoyed, rather than having the need to bombard us with intellectual comments.

Great comedy, the entire audience was laughing at this. Portrays the great Irish sense of humour that can be enjoyed by all. highly recommended * * * * * *

Hilarious. Great movie from beginning to end farrell and gleeson are great . I knew I was awake but it felt like I was in a dream

Hilarious. Great movie from beginning to end farrell and gleeson are great . I knew I was awake but it felt like I was in a dream

This movie is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, totally unlike any other hitman movie i've ever had to sit through, if you want to get an insight into pure irish comedic humour, then I recommend you give this movie a look, one for the guys and the girls

This movie is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, totally unlike any other hitman movie i've ever had to sit through, if you want to get an insight into pure irish comedic humour, then I recommend you give this movie a look, one for the guys and the girls

If you thought that Tarantino's gangsters debating cheese burgers was a stroke of genius, rather than a laborious piece of guff, then you might find this piece to your taste too. It comes with lashings of expletives and a contrived plot. Does it make some implied comment on violent Irish nationalism being out of place in modern cosmopolitan Europe? No. But the pictures of "boring fucking Bruges" look nice. Don't bother.

Hilarious. Very very funny - Farrell and Gleeson are brilliant together - great dialogue too.

Hilarious. Very very funny - Farrell and Gleeson are brilliant together - great dialogue too.

Saw this at the opening gala of Bradford Film Festival so - as a guest - felt obliged to sit through the whole sorry tale! Not big - not clever. Farrel's acting was poor up close and to say the storyline was contrived and predictable is being kind. Where has film-making gone wrong? To pull this kind of thing off and not be offensive or silly - you have to be very very clever. One star rating is for the cinematography - Bruge looks moody and murky - unlike any of the characters - rant over!

Great movie and a wonderful travelogue for the city of Bruges. Strong language and a lot of violence with an unpredictable ending.

Great movie and a wonderful travelogue for the city of Bruges. Strong language and a lot of violence with an unpredictable ending.

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