Should I Watch It? – In Bruges (2008)

Maybe not fodder for a date, but a great movie nonetheless. (Also, don’t ever feed your date actual fodder.)


My heart wants me to keep it simple (If you made it through that entire video, you’re a trooper.). This blog’s titular overlord, however, would not be pleased if I did not elaborate.

Though not a smashing success or household name, the film did garner recognition, earning Martin McDonagh (who also directed) an Oscar  nomination for screenwriting and Colin Farrell a Golden Globe victory for his brilliant performance. In general, I would anoint this movie superb, filled with fantastic dialogue and augmented by the incredible scenery the title city provides. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are phenomenal, along with the rest of the supporting cast. Without giving too much away, the aforementioned stars play Irish hitmen hiding out in Bruges after a job gone awry. Farrell’s Ray remains antsy and claustrophobic for reasons that become clear while Gleeson’s older Ken seems to sigh with every word, ready to settle down from the violence his work entails. Chaos ensues.

All that being said, let’s turn to our guiding principles to unpack the movie a little more precisely.

1. Should I pay to see it?

Absolutely. Certainly worth the OnDemand purchase or even a permanent buy, the movie is extremely rewatchable and should remain so over time. With dozens of quotable lines, the movie begs for multiple viewings, allowing you to nail down your Irish brogue and your politically incorrect Rayisms (excuse ze subtitles).

2. Should I see it with a date?

This question proves to be more complicated. As with most movies, the answer to this one probably depends on how well you know the date, your relationship’s security, and their level of crushing on Colin Farrell. One must be careful when watching a movie starring a man known for his thunderous package. Kidding aside, unless you and your other are sturdy and steady, watching a movie laced with f-bombs, MIDGETS!, and weighty considerations of death and morality may not be a great call for the sake of the relationship.

SPOILER: Movie will help you figure out whether to use “dwarf” or “midget.”

Also, one must always consider the taste of the man or woman they are striving to allure. Hardly a classic light-hearted rom-com, In Bruges takes a dark look at the fragility of Ray’s psyche. This makes for a lively, inventive piece of work, but the result also leaves you somber and pensive, perhaps not the preferred state of mind for date night. If you and a special friend are looking to get in the mood, this one will probably take you elsewhere.

3. Could I watch it with my mother?

Always a complicated question.

Once you get past the at times offensive language, the only other barrier is really the humor McDonagh creates in dark, dreary situations. If your mother is like most mothers, she probably enjoys Ralph Fiennes (who makes a memorable performance ) or Colin Farrell. The movie is, in its own twisted manner, ultimately touching and beautifully tragic. If you’re more comfortable getting emotional in front of mom than a date, then fire it up and press Play.

If you can’t bring yourself to watch it with the two categories of people just outlined, I urge you to find someone else with whom you can enjoy what truly is a must-see. The dialogue coupled with the beauty of the Belgian city make for a compelling tale of regret, loyalty, and honor, not to mention plenty of drunken shenaniganing.

“Can you believe there are people who still haven’t watched this?”

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About Author: Brian McMahon

Brian is an author and co-founder of GoodWillWatching. He likes to write and is deathly afraid of bugs. His Great American Novel, not yet titled or existent, will be shocking the world some time or another. He once stayed up for two days straight because of poor information regarding the arrival of Halley’s Comet, which was not due for approximately 57 years. You can follow him @bm1313 on Twitter, or in real life from a safe distance.