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Spoiler Free Review for In Bruges

Title: In Bruges

Date: 2008

MPAA: Rated R for bloody violence, pervasive language, and some drug use

Director: Martin McDonagh

Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes

Synopsis: After a job gone wrong, two assassins are sent to Bruges, by their boss, to wait further instructions.

Review: In Bruges is a clever dark comedy written and directed by Martin McDonagh with some fantastic lead performances. It can currently can be found on Netflix. This film came out in 2008 and was nominated for 3 Golden Globes and won one for Colin Farrell’s performance. It was also nominated for one Academy Award for best screenplay. After watching this film, I was blown away with how well written it was. In Bruges has so many great one-liners and the dialogue is so ground-breaking and witty. This film crosses a lot of lines that most movies won’t even dare to go near, for example making fun of Americans, but they really pull it off. The writing is fresh and unique. For those people who like Quentin Tarantino, this is the type of movie for you. The dark humor is great, and there is some surprising violence shown throughout this film. Even though it is similar to a Tarantino movie, it does not feel like one. A lot of movies will just copy a lot of things that Tarantino does, but this film borrows some of the same characteristics, but still manages to be an original film.

As mentioned before, this film has some great lead performances. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are both exceptional in this film. They both pull off convincing characters that, even though they are bad people, really create a feeling of sympathy and sentiment with the viewers. This is something very hard to do, but Farrell and Gleeson both absolutely nail it. They really live and breathe their characters and were both born to play these kind of rolls. This is by far the best performance I have seen from Farrell. He is absolutely hilarious in this film, but also really pulls off the emotional scenes. Farrell and Gleeson both play Irish assassins (they are both Irish in real life) and they are stuck in this crappy city in Belgium. Gleeson’s character is an optimist, so he makes the best of it and wants to sight-see. Farrell’s character on the other hand is the complete opposite, and dreads every second of their situation. This makes for some great comedy, and at times Gleeson and Farrell’s characters fell like an old married couple.

Even though I would praise the writing over the directing, I still think McDonagh did a fantastic job directing this film as well. He really enhances the audience and gives them the feel of really being in Bruges. This was really the perfect setting for this film. The characters are at this point in their lives where they can’t really be proud of what they have become. There is no happy ending in sight for these characters. What better place to capture these emotions than Bruges! Bruges is this dark, mucky city that feels like it hasn’t changed one bit for the past century. By the end of the movie, you really hate the place as much as Farrell does in the beginning of the movie.

Overall, In Bruges is a superbly written dark comedy with some great lead performances from Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and the rest of the cast. This film really pushes the boundaries of what can be funny, and really remains fresh throughout its entire run time. It isn’t the perfect film, but it stands out for its originality and edginess. It even tackles some dark themes like inevitability, destiny, and the afterlife. There are some great twists and turns in this film that will surprise first time viewers, and have people begging for more. My overall grade for this film is:


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