Entertainment Weekly - 02/15/2008
"Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson enjoy themselves mightily....The roles are big, broad, violent, and strategically funny..."
New York Times - 02/08/2008
"[U]nmistakably sincere....[W]ith Mr. Gleeson's solid, stolid physicality and performance giving ballast to Mr. Farrell's lilting, fluttery turn."
Los Angeles Times - 02/08/2008
"A dark comedy with a melancholy streak and punchy sense of humor....Farrell turns his mercenary killer into a wide-eyed innocent, hilariously vulnerable..."
USA Today - 02/09/2008 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "It is easily one of the best debut feature film in recent memory....As the story unspools, it grows more intriguing."
Total Film - 05/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A] winning turn, with playwright-turned-director Martin McDonagh wringing bloody laughs from a jet-black farce..."
Uncut - 05/01/2008 3 stars out of 5 -- "McDonagh has been compared to Quentin Tarantino before, and it's obviously not something he's running away from....Gleason's beatific performance is a significant bonus..."
Empire - 05/01/2008 4 stars out of 5 -- "Farrell isn't carrying this engagingly digressive caper alone...Gleeson makes the perfect foil..."
Sight and Sound - 05/01/2008
"[I]t's a handsome picture....As a director, McDonagh's most obvious skill lies in his work with the actors. Farrell's performance has an appealingly goofy vulnerability that reminds us why we liked him in the first place."
Premiere - 02/06/2007 3 stars out of 4 -- "[With] Ralph Fiennes in an oily, fang-bearing, hilariously harrowing performance..."
Wall Street Journal - 04/02/2010
"The violence can be shocking, but Martin McDonagh's film is also very funny, and a morality play that's deeply affecting."
Playwright Martin McDonagh makes an impressive feature film debut as the writer and director of this tragicomedy as rich, dark, and complex as Belgian chocolate. The story unfolds over the course of a few days, as Irish hitmen Ken (the appealingly bear-like Brendon Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell, in a loose and sympathetic performance) are ordered to lay low in the tourist-laden town of Bruges, Belgium, after a bungled shooting back home. Their only directive is to stay grounded and wait for further orders from crime boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes, gleefully playing evil), but both underlings--nervous and delightfully talky--chafe with the waiting. The childlike Ray is inconsolably antsy and withdrawn, and after a time we learn that his restlessness is borne of something deeper and more disturbing than mere ADD. The more paternal and patient of the duo, Ken, takes the opportunity to enjoy Bruges's lush, buttressed beauty, but he, too, undergoes some soul-searching by movie's end.
The plot snakes cleverly (and at times touchingly) around flashbacks of the Dublin murder as the garrulous killers philosophize and interact with locals and tourists, including an acerbic American dwarf, the proprietress of the B&B, Dutch prostitutes, and a local enchantress. McDonagh's absurdist black humor asserts itself as hilarious dialogue and dreamlike visuals (supported by Carter Burwell's unsettling score) that shift seamlessly from sweet to grotesque, like a Grimm's fairytale come to the big screen. McDonagh's command of the film medium puts to rest any reservations about playwrights-turned-directors. Viewers who can accept the somewhat contrived situation presented here will enjoy the crackling banter, vibrant performances, and beautiful scenery.
Black Comedy |
Hit Men |
London, England |
Prostitutes / Whores |