Farrell, Walken shine in killer comedy Seven Psychopaths

Clever slasher-movie parody with an all-star cast of gangsters, psychos and dognappers is a treat

LAST UPDATED AT 07:57 ON Fri 7 Dec 2012

What you need to know
Irish writer-director Martin McDonagh's new black comedy Seven Psychopaths opens in UK cinemas today. McDonagh is best known for In Bruges which, like the new film, also starred Colin Farrell.

Seven Psychopaths is the story of struggling screenwriter, Marty (Farrell), looking for inspiration to finish his slasher film. He becomes entangled in the Los Angeles underworld after his deadbeat friends kidnap a gangster's pet dog.

Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken play the dog thieves and Woody Harrelson is a dog-loving gangster. Supporting actors include Tom Waits and Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.

What the critics like
Meta to the max, Seven Psychopaths is filled with clever jokes and observations, says Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. It's "a
leisurely riff about movies, violence, storytelling and the art of the steal". Harrelson as a gangster and Walken as a scam artist are "a pleasure to watch".

It's packed full of the richest acting you'll see from an ensemble cast all year, says Kim Newman in Empire, including Christopher Walken "delivering the full-strength Walken for the first time in a while".

This kind of messy, absurdist movie can lift you out of a crappy mood, says David Denby in the New Yorker. Martin McDonagh snaps back and forth between tragedy and farce to create the sort of debauched film that "should play well at midnight".

What they don't like
Those expecting a sequel to modern-day classic In Bruges will be disappointed, says Simon Brew on Den of Geek. What he gives us is a collection of often extremely funny moments rather than a cohesive film. But it's "still a treat, albeit a smaller, messier one than his debut". · 

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