Reviewer's grade: B+
The Flemish town of Bruges is celebrated for being the most well-preserved medieval city in Europe. Its canals, bridges and cobblestone streets are quaint and romantic — and hardly where you'd expect to find two hit men hiding out while awaiting word on their next target. That's the premise of "In Bruges," a tart black comedy written and directed by playwright Martin McDonagh.
Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are killers Ray and Ken, who have been directed by their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), to take in the sights until he phones with future orders. The three appear to be having a ball with this morbid and darkly funny material. It's easy to see why.
"In Bruges" certainly isn't for everyone; the pace is measured and the irony just a wee bit too ironic. Still, the characterization is sharp and the story line unpredictable, and Farrell's eyebrows alone are more expressive than most of what you'll find in the multiplex these days. —Phil Bacharach