12 days of not-so-Christmassy Christmas movies: ‘In Bruges’

“In Bruges” (2008) – Travel experts claim that Bruges, Belgium has one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, and this city has kept its medieval construction to make the holiday festivities feel like an illustrious time warp.

There’s nothing festive, however, about Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray’s (Colin Farrell) Christmastime visit to Bruges, at the least the initial reason.  Their mobster boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) orders them to Bruges and hide out until the coast is clear.  Ken tries to make the best of it by taking in the old-world sights, but Ray thinks that Bruges is a word that rhymes with bithole.  For Ray, it just gets worse, because Ken and he have to share a room for possibly two weeks, because all the other rooms are booked because of the holidays.

No (more) room at the inn, right?

Writer/director Martin McDonagh weaves a razor-sharp script that dances with biting, sarcastic wit and unexpectedly plunges into dark territory, especially because the comic rapport between Ken and Ray is so light in the first act.

McDonagh went on to direct “Seven Psychopaths” (2012) and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017), but this little masterpiece is his debut feature.   Grab a spiked egg nog and try to enjoy Bruges.  We think that you will…a lot!

(Available on Netflix Streaming, Amazon Streaming and iTunes)

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Image credits: Focus Features; Trailer credits: Movieclips Classic Trailers

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