'Seven Psychopaths' Review: Black Comedy Almost Too Shrewd for Its Own Good

"Seven Psychopaths" is a movie so devilishly well-crafted that it’s nearly consumed by its own brilliance.

The writer-director, Irish playwright Martin McDonagh ("In Bruges"), is a master of nasty laughs, and he keeps them coming … and coming. There’s barely time to catch your breath. If movies could pick their own flaws, though, this would be the one to go for.

Colin Farrell is Marty, a blocked writer who’s stuck on his latest screenplay. He has a title—"Seven Psychopaths"—but the rest won’t come. Marty’s just a regular guy; what does he know about lunatics? His best friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell), would like to help, but, being completely nuts, he’s a dubious source of counsel. Billy kidnaps dogs for a living, lifting them from a local park and turning them over to his partner, a coot named Hans (Christopher Walken), to return to their heartbroken owners for cash rewards (which Hans accepts with a carefully calibrated reluctance).

Billy is determined to be of assistance with Marty’s screenplay, however, so he places a newspaper ad: “Calling All Psychopaths.” Unfortunately, this draws just one response, from a semi-retired maniac named Zachariah (Tom Waits), who turns up in person with a pet rabbit.

Read the full review at Reason.com


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