Big Picture Big Sound

Seven Psychopaths Review

By Lexi Feinberg

Glorious Bastards


If you need a break from all things election-related, "Seven Psychopaths" is the perfect distraction. Why? Because it's completely insane, violent, comical and ridiculous. There is not an ounce of reality to be found in Irish playwright Martin McDonagh's second feature, based in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles.

The film opens with two hitmen discussing, at length, the pros and cons of shooting someone in the eye. Before they have a chance to target their victim, a masked man sneaks up behind them, shoots them both down, and throws a jack of diamonds card on the crime scene. That pretty much sets the mood of the flick - there will be blood, and lots of it.

Lots of laughs as well. Marty (Colin Farrell) is having a bad case of writer's block and can't finish his screenplay. So far he only has the title: "Seven Psychopaths." He likes the ring of it. He has decided there will be a killer Buddhist; no wait, a killer Amish; hold on, a killer Quaker. His best friend and nutjob Billy (Sam Rockwell) tries to help inspire him with ideas, also noting that he should dump his bitchy girlfriend (Abbie Cornish) and stop drinking like a boozehound.

Meanwhile, Billy has a side operation with Hans (Christopher Walken), where they kidnap people's dogs and then return them a few days later for a hefty reward. Hans makes $500 on one such run. Then they make a mistake and kidnap the wrong dog - a Shih Tzu named Bonny, missed dearly by its lunatic gangster owner (Woody Harrelson). Needless to say, that doesn't go so well.

There are so many twists and turns in "Seven Psychopaths" that it's best not to know anything more about the plot going into it. Just know that it's like a story in a story, and it can barely contain all the wackiness. The film seems like a Charlie Kaufman script as directed by Guy Ritchie. It's cerebral and neurotic yet sharp and gory. Sometimes it's a bit too self congratulatory, and it's not quite on par with McDonagh's prior film, "In Bruges," but it's such a wild ride that it can be overlooked.

The cast is hilarious. More than enough Rockwell and Walken to go around. Also a playful cameo by Tom Waits (yes, that one) as a maniac who walks around stroking a white bunny. A lot of people will die in this film, but the animals remain intact. "Seven Psychopaths" is a whole lotta good kinda crazy.

What did you think?

Movie title Seven Psychopaths
Release year 2012
MPAA Rating R
Our rating
Summary Martin McDonagh's second feature is a whole lotta good kinda crazy.
View all articles by Lexi Feinberg
More in Movies
Big News
Newsletter Sign-up
Connect with Us