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In Bruges

Guns, hitmen, drugs and trouble come together in a mostly fun fashion in a pretty Belgian town

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A dark comedy about honor among criminals seems very 1990s, but Martin McDonagh's profane and bloody caper about two Irish hitmen cooling their heels in Bruges, Belgium, manages a decent crackle, even through its talky first half. The pair-- a level-headed elder (Brendan Gleeson) and his jumpy, childish protégé (Colin Farrell) -- sightsee in the charming medieval town while awaiting instructions from their boss, an English gangster (Ralph Fiennes). McDonagh is the current bad-boy darling of the stage (The Pillowman), but he also nabbed the short-film Oscar in 2006 for an even darker bit of funny business, "Six Shooter." McDonagh can certainly write funny dialogue, and offers a number of cheerfully impolite bits involving the obese, a dwarf and the city of Bruges. It's all played quite broadly -- luckily, Fiennes and Farrell can get away with their shameless mugging -- which is fun for us, but does make the film's gloomier thread about blood-guilt trickier to embrace. Starts Fri., Feb. 22. Squirrel Hill

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