This had the potential to be great, but it instead is somewhat of a sophomore slump for Martin McDonagh.
The heavily self referential plot concerns an alcoholic Irish screenwriter struggling through writer's block named Marty. His latest effort, "Seven Psychopaths" isn't even past the first page. His best friend Billy is an out of work actor who spends most of his time involved with a dog-napping scam with his buddy Hans who is quite religious, but also has a violent past. Billy tries his hardest to give Marty inspiration, but when he and Hans capture the beloved dog of crime boss Charlie, Marty finds himself caught up in their mess. While it could be a dire thing, it might also be just the inspiration he's been needing.
The film is essentially sort of about itself, and it shares a lot in common with stuff like Barton Fink, but especially Adaptation. However, this doesn't have the brilliance of either of those two, and is mostly a muddled and incoherent darkly comedic romp that satirizes mob movie/psycho thriller conventions.
It is very entertaining, and I dug the pitch black humor, but I also found it hard to really get deeply invested. It's as if McDonagh had a good idea, but then didn't really know what to do with it.
What saves the film, ultimately are the over-the-top violence, and the solid performances from a very well-known ensemble cast. I mean, we get Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson in all the major roles, as well as appearances from Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko, Gabourey Sidibe, Kevin Corrigan, and Harry Dean Stanton.
The film is a mess, but it's fun while it lasts, even if it really doesn't add up to much.