Who knew dognapping could be so deadly? In Seven Psychopaths, writer-director Martin McDonagh tells a twisted tale of murder, revenge and eventual redemption. On paper, it sounds like a hardcore crime drama. But it’s actually a hilarious commentary on violence and a push for pacifism.

The Players:

  • Director: Martin McDonagh
  • Screenwriter: Martin McDonagh
  • Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelsen, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Zeljko Ivanek, Olga Kurylenko, Gabourey Sidibe
  • Cinematography by: Ben Davis
  • Original Music by: Carter Burwell

The Plot:

Marty Faranan (Farrell) is a screenwriter struggling with his latest script, Seven Psychopaths. His best friend Billy (Rockwell) is an aspiring actor, who along with Hans (Walken), kidnaps dogs only to collect the reward. Their latest target is a shih tzu that belongs to unhinged mobster Charlie Costello (Harrelson). Big mistake! Billy’s scam brings Marty both pain and inspiration for his new story.

The Good:

  • Humor: Martin McDonagh has a wicked sense of humor. If you loved In Bruges, you’ll love what he brings to Seven Psychopaths. It has some dark, sometimes politically incorrect material, but it’s all in good fun.
  • Cast: Who knew Farrell, Walken and Rockwell would make such a sweet combination? Rockwell is a standout as Billy, the loose cannon. Walken is great as Hans, a reformed religious type, while Farrell is delightful as the straight man. Their characters are so different, but the performances are complimentary.
  • Movie within a Movie: Judging from the trailer, Seven Psychopaths is all about a dog kidnapping gone wrong. But it’s much more than that. It’s a tale of love, vengeance and death set against the backdrop of L.A. The city and Marty’s screenplay are characters in their own right.
  • Balance: There are comedic and heartfelt moments in this film. Most of them come courtesy of Walken’s Hans, who’s the story’s moral center. There’s graphic violence but it’s followed by real consequences. Everything balances itself out.

The So-So:

  • Rough Start: Seven Psychopaths has an excellent opening scene (we won’t spoil it here), but shortly after it gets a little rocky. It takes takes time to figure out what’s what. Who do you follow, and what’s the real story? But once you do, you’re in for an amazing ride.


Seven Psychopaths is a true dark comedy. Fans of McDonagh will love it. It’s filled with great performances, and while Walken is the heart, Rockwell is the star.

The Rating: 9/10

Seven Psychopaths opens in theaters October 12.

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Will you be seeing Seven Psychopaths this weekend?