Seven Psychopaths (2012)

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Critic Consensus: Seven Psychopaths delivers sly cinematic commentary while serving up a heaping helping of sharp dialogue and gleeful violence.

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Marty (Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, "Seven Psychopaths". Billy (Rockwell) is Marty's best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration. Hans (Walken) is Billy's partner in crime. A religious man with a violent past. Charlie (Harrelson) is the psychopathetic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie's unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn't think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Seven Psychopaths

All Critics (211) | Top Critics (50)

McDonagh is less saturated in film and pop culture than Tarantino and less prone than Kaufman to disappear down story wormholes.

Dec 4, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The kind of messy, absurdist movie that can lift you out of a crappy mood-at least for a while.

Oct 22, 2012
New Yorker
Top Critic

This is one of the best times I've had at the movies in years.

Oct 14, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

All this narrative nesting and genre-skipping sounds very cerebral on the page, but in practice, Seven Psychopaths is as pleasurably kinetic as can be, full of double-crosses and gunplay and sun-kissed SoCal locations.

Oct 12, 2012 | Full Review…
Slate
Top Critic

Each time it appears that McDonagh, who also directed, has written himself into a cul de sac, he off-roads the movie (sometimes literally) into fresh territory.

Oct 12, 2012 | Full Review…

Yes, it's a lot to keep track of, but writer-director Martin McDonagh does so with deft humor as the film hurls toward a desert climax, foreshadowed in one of Billy and Marty's exchanges.

Oct 12, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for Seven Psychopaths

A funny dark comedy that has some very inspired moments, but McDonagh doesn't know exactly what to do with the material in his hands, and so he keeps pulling easy tricks out of his sleeves at the expense of a more elaborate structure.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

A Irish screenwriter living in L.A. has a little bit of problem: he's trying to write a new script based on this half-formed idea that he's got, something about seven psychopaths, something, only he can't get any work done cause his friends and acquaintances keep incessantly bothering him with the minutiae of their lives. What minutiae? Well, that they're all practicing psychopaths is probably a good starting place. Round and round the mulberry bush then with this uber- black comedy from the same writer/director from In Bruges. It lacks the same punch, yet still is worthy of your time.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A boozy screen writer, his best friend and a professional dog-napper become the targets of a ruthless mobster when they unknowingly steal his shih tzu. The follow up to the brilliantly oddball In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths is clearly aiming more for the American mainstream, being very much in the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino mold. It does have the same post-modern slant and zany humour of McDonagh's previous collaboration with Colin Farrell, who once again strikes up a winning partnership with his co-star, this time Sam Rockwell as the unhinged movie junkie desperate to re-enact his own revenge fantasy. As a whole it reminded me of Tarantino's early work with lots of Grindhouse style asides as they spew forth their ridiculous script ideas so it's not as original as In Bruges, but it's consistently entertaining and very funny and if you can imagine a version of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang parodying Pulp Fiction instead of Film Noir you're in the right ball park.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

½

This is the best of what absurdist film has to offer, the best of the gangster film genre, and the best film to feature any psychopaths, "Seven Psychopaths" has so much going for it that it's hard not to swoon. For one thing, it doesn't follow conventional filmmaking rules, so be ready for a film about screenwriting. Also, don't think there are going to be a plethora of psychopaths, because there aren't. Main character Marty (Farrell) is writing a screenplay about seven psychopaths, that being the title, and as the film progresses we meet some of them. Some are real people who merge into his life, and others are stories that have evolved with each retelling. The stories that are told to Marty, and which he comes up with, are definitely the biggest draw to this film because they are ingenious and have twists at the end that are smart and unassuming. The other characters in the trio are Hans (Walken) and Billy (Rockwell). Hans is definitely the most off-the-wall and impetuous of the psychopaths, being played by Christopher Walken and all. His story is depressing, he does crazy things throughout the film, and with every unexpected turn he still doesn't fear death. Billy is the strongest character because he's the only psychopath with warped morals, and yet a bloodlust. He kills with a vengeance for morality, but he still wants to kill people in the first place, so maybe his heart isn't in the right place. This is certainly a breakout role for Rockwell, who has made an impression as a crazed maniac before in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and "Charlie's Angels" but this is a larger and more indelible role. The film builds to a successful level of suspense and danger as they face death at the hands of another psychopath's love for his dog. The climax may not have been what anyone would expect, seeing as how it has nothing to do with torture, mass murder, or even what anyone could call psychopathic behavior, but when it comes to giving the characters a right ending, this film successfully delivers. That and it's always entertaining to watch such crafty psychopaths try not to be socially awkward with one another.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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