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Seven Psychopaths

2012 | 109 min | R | 2.39:1

Seven Psychopaths


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

User reviews

2 user reviews

Movie appeal

Dark humor75%



Theatrical release date

 12 October, 2012
 07 December, 2012

Country of origin

 United Kingdom

Box office




Overview Preview Cast & crew User reviews News Forum

Screenshots from Seven Psychopaths Blu-ray

Seven Psychopaths Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, October 11, 2012

I fully recognize that I was in the minority with my mixed review of 2008’s “In Bruges,” finding writer/director Martin McDonagh’s obvious cleverness overwhelmed by issues of pace and a formulaic sense of humor. The helmer has tightened his game some with “Seven Psychopaths,” though it’s another bumpy ride of black comedy and narrative wanderlust, this time supported by a wonderful cast of famous faces, who’ve arrived ready to play in McDonagh’s sandbox of graphic violence and daffy characters. “Seven Psychopaths” is uneven, but defiantly so, creating immense personality along the way, helping to absorb the randomness of the screenplay and his numerous tangents.

Marty (a pleasingly rumpled Colin Farrell) is an alcoholic screenwriter desperate to crack his latest idea for a movie titled “Seven Psychopaths.” Unable to dream up seven men of violent instability, Marty finds inspiration from needy pal Billy (Sam Rockwell, stealing the film with his askew display of toxic euphoria), who’s embroiled in a small-time con game with Hans (Christopher Walken), with the two kidnapping dogs for reward money, eventually taking a special Shih Tzu owned by ruthless gangster Charlie (Woody Harrelson). Stopping at nothing to retrieve the pooch, Charlie goes on a killing spree to weed out the culprits, while Marty finds himself inadvertently involved with the fiasco, joining Billy and Hans as they head out into the Californian desert to clear their heads. Also in play is a serial killer who leaves playing cards as his signature, creating a specialized panic that helps Marty with his work, absorbing stories and trauma with hopes to one day construct seven distinct psychopaths worthy of his scripting aspirations.

Although marketing efforts have stretched to make “Seven Psychopaths” come across as an approachable comedy with pronounced kook and an all-star cast, the actual picture is more sinister than playful. A feature about the imagination of story assembly and bonds of askew friendship, McDonagh takes a stroll in the land of the Coen Brothers, employing a combustible sense of violence and black comedy to buttress an ensemble tale of crooks and killers trying to make sense of the world while staying one step ahead of a bullet. Frequent Coen collaborator Carter Burwell even contributes a score, amplifying the cinematic tribute to Who-style decibel levels. Of course, this is no complaint, as McDonagh is a generous filmmaker with exceptional taste in actors and nightmarish scenarios of bodily harm, keeping “Seven Psychopaths” eventful and kaleidoscopic with criminal charisma.

The twisty screenplay uses Marty’s writer’s block as a tool to deconstruct the acts of the average action movie, with the characters bantering about shootouts and situations of survival while engaging in their own little battle royal over an adorable dog. It’s a clever way to pry into the minds of unbalanced men, establishing behaviors with ease, allowing the audience to embrace the manic highs of a man like Billy, who desperately wants to be involved with Marty’s writing, contributing ideas and soliciting auditions for psychopaths. This passion introduces Zachariah (Tom Waits) to the picture -- a tightly wound, bunny-stroking man brought in to supply inspiration for Marty’s script, spilling an intense story of love and murder that McDonagh uses to build a film within a film, a common practice in the feature as imaginations are harvested and souls are poured out for inspection. “Seven Psychopaths” doesn’t follow a straight narrative line, happily spinning off into numerous directions of fiction and folly as Marty creates his tortured leading characters. It’s not a balancing act the director manages with ideal concentration on pace, but the oddity of the whole thing keeps attention on the screen.

“Seven Psychopaths” provides plenty of twists and turns, while individual scenes bat around humor and horror in equal measure. It’s considered work, peppered with extreme violence and enough expendable co-stars to keep viewers on edge. The winding subplots also flavor the feature to satisfaction, never remaining in one spot for an extended amount of time. It’s an intriguing concoction from McDonagh, with enough shock value to keep this review uncomfortable about revealing too much, as most of “Seven Psychopaths” requires a certain audience innocence the filmmaker is dying to molest with his weirdly sprightly, keenly aware, forbiddingly brutal valentine to the art of storytelling.

Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish
Director: Martin McDonagh

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Seven Psychopaths 13 Oct 12, 2012

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