Seven Psychopaths (15)

Film

Comedy

Seven Psychopaths

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Dec 4 2012

Writer’s block can be a pain in the backside – or a bullet to the head – if, like Marty (Colin Farrell) in Martin McDonagh’s fun, knockabout ‘Seven Psychopaths’, you’re a movie scribe whose ideas make more impact in real life than on the page. Marty is a boozy Irish writer in Hollywood who complains to his livewire pal Billy (Sam Rockwell) that he needs inspiration to write a script called ‘Seven Psychopaths’. The result is more blood on the carpet than ink on paper.

Billy is partly a psychopath magnet, partly a writer’s dangerous inner voice made real. He and his cravat-sporting older pal Hans (Christopher Walken) are petty thieves who kidnap a shih tzu dog from a Mafia boss (Woody Harrelson) who wants his pup back – and Marty gets dragged into the whole violent affair. Meanwhile, Billy tries to help Marty by putting an ad in the paper for psychos; and they end up with a disturbed ageing killer (Tom Waits) on the doorstep.

Sundry nutters come and go (look out for a cameo from the legendary Harry Dean Stanton) as Marty finds himself at the centre of exactly the sort of bloody, macho melodrama he’d rather not be writing. Head-in-hands becomes Marty’s default position, and Farrell offers a good line in manic despair and passive exasperation.

You’ll have guessed that we’re in self-reflective, hall-of-mirrors movie territory for British-Irish writer McDonagh’s second feature-length film (after 2008’s ‘In Bruges’). There’s something a little turn-of-the-century about ‘Seven Psychopaths’, with its comic approach to violence, movie-in-a-movie navel-gazing and ample backstreet LA locations. The films of Quentin Tarantino (‘Pulp Fiction’) and Charlie Kaufman (‘Adaptation’) inevitably come to mind – but McDonagh is less saturated in film and pop culture than Tarantino and less prone than Kaufman to disappear down story wormholes.

What saves ‘Seven Psychopaths’ from being po-faced or tedious is its sharp-as-knives humour, energetic pacing, knack for surprising asides and fun performances from a cast that has a certain wow factor when piled up together. It’s undoubtedly a very male enterprise, and McDonagh acknowledges this, even if he doesn’t explain it: ‘Your women characters are awful,’ is Hans’s reproach to Marty at one point. The nods to bungled creativity and winks at questions of screen violence offer something to chew on. But above all, this is violent, seedy farce, pure and simple, and it’s McDonagh’s zippy script that keeps it ticking over until all the trousers have been dropped at knifepoint and the custard pies been lobbed with malice.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Dec 7, 2012

Duration:

110 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|21
1 person listening
Colin

I really wasn't expecting much, particularly with a title like this, but as I watched in disbelief, I was hooked .. completely. I have been so disappointed by just about every film I've seen over the last few years, but this had plenty of 'what?' moments, but in a really good way. The fact that quite a few reviewers and some comments on this page just don't seem to get it, just makes it even better, and even funnier. I can only assume that these days, most people need ten foot high neon signs to tell them what's going on. Already one of my all time favourites. Also liberally peppered with film references for the buffs. Don't listen to the idiots who fund Sesame Street confusing, go watch.

Colin

I really wasn't expecting much, particularly with a title like this, but as I watched in disbelief, I was hooked .. completely. I have been so disappointed by just about every film I've seen over the last few years, but this had plenty of 'what?' moments, but in a really good way. The fact that quite a few reviewers and some comments on this page just don't seem to get it, just makes it even better, and even funnier. I can only assume that these days, most people need ten foot high neon signs to tell them what's going on. Already one of my all time favourites. Also liberally peppered with film references for the buffs. Don't listen to the idiots who fund Sesame Street confusing, go watch.

Chris

This was really a clever idea for a movie, and I love how aware of itself it was with some of the comedy. The performances were also top tier, and this has to be my favorite comedy performance from Christopher Walken. I had no idea that this movie was even made until a friend that I work with at DISH recommended it to me. I am not the biggest fan of Mc Donagh, but with DISH’s Blockbuster @Home service I can just exchange it in the store if I don’t like it, so I had nothing to lose. I highly recommend this movie to people who like dark humor and like a healthy helping of violence in their comedies

Loulou

Came across as someone trying to emulate Tarantino - and failing. Disappointing and rather stupid.

Ian Pollock

Reading the reviews, some loved it, some found it funny, some didn't. For me it was pointless, self indulgent, masturbation. Have a feeling there might be better ways to spend 15 million dollars

critique

A cracking bit of cinema. Intelligent, funny, unpredictable. Christopher Walken, in particular, is magnetic. His brief scene seated opposite Harrlelson in the hospital is film acting at its best.

Alex G

The film is a well-filmed and well-played set of random meaningless events with no discernible plot, overall thought or meaning. The only feeling you get is "Huh? And? Was that really a film?"" The filmmakers forgot that if you start out with complete and utter absent plot, then good packaging won't give plot or substance where there is none. Either the screenwriter thought that heaping meaningless scene upon useless meaningless scene funny when intoxicated and failed to read it again when sober to figure out it's just lame. Or it was a bet "I bet the movie industry will film anything, any piece of complete rubbish, and punters will pay to watch it".

Ric

Enjoyed this film from start to finish. some fine performances & was good to see humour added to the psychopaths. 'The final shootout' was stupidly funny..

Robin

I have just walked out of this film. If you find this film remotely funny, society has a real problem. Gratuitous violence, boring and a sad reflection on society. This is shoddy cinema.

peter

A very enjoyable film indeed. One I would go to see again. Some lovely nuances and quirky touches. Great fun.

peter

A very enjoyable film indeed. One I would go to see again. Some lovely nuances and quirky touches. Great fun.

sticky

Funny in quite a lot of places but a lot of the time the film tries to be too clever with its self-parody. Crucially, I didn't feel emotionally engaged with any of the characters as I did in the far superior 'In Bruges'.

Kitty

This film has the awkwardness at being able to laugh at death (people getting killed in strange ways) which I enjoyed but my other friends didnt. Very funny however it more of a 'see it once' film.

NILES CRANE

Glad the conversation re mobiles ended but also glad that the point was made....Great film. A fresh script, brilliant performances -has Walken ever been better?- and Farrell finally rose to the occasion. A black western farce- not many of those around these days and one not glued to a formula. From the very first scene it was refreshing with the story taking welcomed twists and turns. And a lot of LOL moments. Cracking dialogue too- not surprised if many scenes were clever, well-constructed improvisations. A joy. One of the best films of 2012.Highly recommended.

Marek

this is a sowhat disappointing film. As someone who saw In Burges, I enjoyed that film very much. However, this film s not as good. The script, which I found so good in In Bruges, was very up and down, though there were some very good speeches . The acting was a bit up-and-down, whereas you have the exaggerated acting of Sam Rockwell, but also the fine acting of Christopher Walken. the violence seems to me to be a little self-serving.

JayneM

I loved this film, thought it was very well acted by all of the main characters, Christopher Walken was brilliant. I thought there was a lot going on, it kept me engaged & the audience was laughing out loud. Brilliant

K.Flyer

This movie tries too hard to be something its not. Whilst it does have some good parts, there are no great parts. It just rambles between genres without actually getting anywhere fast. 2 out of 5 only for Walken and Tom Waits.

scrumpyjack

Care home wheelchairs taking up most of front row in ALEX CROSS so sat mid way and glanced a phone a few rows down for a few seconds mid way. Didn't challenge this time as very brief & film not worth it but what the fuck is it with these twat's? Is there no consideration left what so ever? In my time at a cinema any disturbance met with one warning then out, no refund, but those were the long gone days of (reasonably educated) staff in each screen. Film, frustrating but no time check. However you would have thought 4 years between releases would have been ample time to come up with a piece way better than this....& Has the 18 cert been scrapped? 7/10

Alex Forte

In a recent article in TO, Martin McDonagh stressed he didn't want his films to be smug...so why does this misogynist, derivative movie appear so pleased with itself? After the genuine fun to be had in fish-out-of-water In Bruges, this sputters charmlessly on like The Expendables directed by Wes Anderson. And that's not a good thing.