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Review: Seven Psychopaths

By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 11, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars



As in his debut In Bruges, Martin McDonagh here plays self-reflexive games while undermining the gangster genre. This time he has interwoven the stories of the seven whack jobs of the title, with each narrative essentially about the nature of narrative, and has included an intratextual bonanza of movie and other cultural references as well. Oh, and there's redemption, too. That comes in the unlikely form of Christopher Walken as dognapper Hans Kieslowski, who filches a Shih Tzu belonging to Charlie (Woody Harrelson), a psychopathic mobster, and implicates Martin (Colin Farrell) and his flaky friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) in the theft. Charlie vows to kill them all. Did I mention that Martin is a screenwriter trying to finish a film called Seven Psychopaths? Meanwhile, there are more psychopaths to go, and, as Kieslowski notes, they can get tiresome. Nonetheless, McDonagh achieves the tricky feat of balancing cleverness, carnage, and compassion.

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