In Bruges (2008)

Published on June 27th, 2011

In our first recommendation, Alex explains why you should see In Bruges.


Movie recommendations are weird. I hate giving them. When I worked at a movie store, I was constantly being asked, “What movie should I rent?” by people I either barely knew or that I didn’t know at all. Since movies are such a subjective thing, I never had any real idea; just because I like Out of Sight a lot doesn’t mean that you’re going to. I made some safe recommendations (Little Miss Sunshine was a crowd-pleaser) as well as some that were slightly riskier (apparently not everybody digs Out of Sight as much as I do). As we recommend movies to you here once a week, some of them will be of the crowd-pleasing variety, but most of them will be movies you probably haven’t seen, or only heard of in passing. These are movies I saw because I love movies, or because I was interested in an element involved, not necessarily ones I saw because they were advertised to my demographic. I see those movies too, but chances are you have either seen them already or never cared to. I suppose this ongoing feature will be us trying to force our opinions on you, but if you’re here already you are at least vaguely interested in our opinions, so maybe that’s not so bad. I guess what I’m getting at is the same thing I used to tell my movie store customers when they would ask for a recommendation:

“Well, movie tastes are a completely personal thing, but I liked…”

In Bruges. It’s a tough movie to describe, but at least it is not a tough movie to locate: almost all of the action takes place in Bruges, Belgium. Hitmen Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell are hiding out there after botching a previous job, awaiting further orders from their boss, Ralph Fiennes. Since the plot does nothing to make this film sound appealing, that’s all you get from me there. But what the film is, outside of a typical hitman story, is an absurdly funny and moderately offensive comedy. There are drugs, robberies, dwarves, film sets, gunfights, and dickhead Canadians. But what is also present in the movie are surprisingly poignant and emotional moments, moments that make the movie but would give it away to really mention them. Just know that Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are both great, as is Ralph Fiennes, not to mention the gorgeous and uncomfortably charming Thekla Reuten (most recently seen in The American).

When I saw this movie, I really didn’t know what to expect, and since my above description of In Bruges is pretty vague, I suggest you watch it. If my word is not enough for you, maybe you could try watching the trailer below. But know that In Bruges, like most good inventive movies, cannot be judged by its trailer alone. See it if you think my movie taste might be something that would line up with yours, or see it simply because you want to try something new. In Bruges is a hilarious, engaging and oddly emotional movie, but that’s not all it is. But me telling you to watch the movie is a suggestion, and that’s all this is.

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