Seven Psychopaths (2012): Six Not Seven


Written and directed by Martin McDonagh Seven Psychopaths has a pretty hefty cast list; a wandering storyline and has six, not seven psycho’s in it. I only mention it because a third of the way through the film, it is somewhat obliquely mentioned.

The Cast:

Michael Pitt
Michael Stuhlbarg
Sam Rockwell
Colin Farrell
Abbie Cornish
Christopher Walken
Helena Mattsson
Blonde Lady
Linda Bright Clay
Harry Dean Stanton
Man in Hat
James Landry Hébert
Killer (as James Hébert)
Christopher Gehrman
Christian Barillas
Catholic Priest
Joseph Lyle Taylor
Kevin Corrigan
Woody Harrelson

Like I said the cast list is pretty damned impressive. And while I am not a huge Colin Farrell fan, I did enjoy his performance in this film.

Now, about the plot and the storyline; It is, at best, a little eclectic and esoteric. It follows the everyday interactions between Colin Farrell’s character who writes for a living. Marty’s best friend is Billy (Rockwell) who is a psychopath who kidnaps dogs to sell back to their owners with the aid of Hans (Walken).

Throughout the film there is a red hooded person who is “capping” mid level mafioso thugs and leaving a jack of cards on the bodies to show that they’ve been assassinated by the jack; presumably this “calling card” is sending some type of message.

Meanwhile back at the ranch,  Marty is struggling to write his latest screenplay about, seven psychopaths. But Marty doesn’t want this to be a standard blood, guts and gore shoot-em-up, he wants all his psycho’s to be pacifists.


Woody Harrelson plays Charlie another psychopath who is a mafia kingpin and who just happens to be devoted to his shitzu, Bonnie. Of course Billy kidnaps Bonnie and the whole film’s violence level increases.

I can’t really reveal any more or I’ll be seriously spoiling a lot of the film. But I can honestly say that after watching it, I felt ambiguous about it. I couldn’t decide whether I liked it or not.

The film looks good. It amuses in parts and disturbs in others, but in neither instance does the film overwhelm or overly impress. My two favourite characters were Hans and Marty (which says a lot as I don’t really care for Farrell as I said before) but Rockwell as Billy did entertain…a little; which also says something as I adore Rockwell in almost everything I see him in.

I believe that this is one that I may have to watch a couple of times to see if I missed something. Because at the end of the film I was left feeling like I had missed something.

Either that, or, they left something out.

A 3 out of 5 stars just for the cast alone…and for the flare gun.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

26 thoughts on “Seven Psychopaths (2012): Six Not Seven”

  1. It sounds like one of those movies that’s trying to be too many different things at the same time and not quite succeeding at any. I’ll catch it on cable!


  2. Hmm see now I really liked it, laughed my ass off most of the way through and though it was surprisingly good at the time. Where you in a bad mood watching it or what cos I don’t know how somebody doesn’t really like it 😀 Why Mike, Why?!


  3. Re: The Cast List. Aaaaaaarrrgggghhh!! Waits! You left out Tom Waits! Waits and Walken are the two main reasons I wanna see this film. 😀


    1. Well, I did put in the “main” cast list, poor old Waits must have been so far down the cast list that he was on the “also rans” page! He played the guy with the bunny, right? Yeah, he was good alright! But admittedly, I had no idea who he was until I IMDb’d him! Sorry dude!


      1. It’s quite (tic) al(tic)right, Mike (tic). Sorry, seem to have developed a (tic) bit of a facial (tic) tic. 😀


      2. It’s just that I am a big fan of Tom Waits and his music. As an actor he shows quite a bit of versatility and diversity as well having appeared in Down By Law, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Wristcutters:A Love Story to name a few.


      3. Oh. Duh duh duh-dy duh. I thought you meant the Brad Pitt movie. I was thinking “Tom Waits was not in Se7en, what the heck is Mike thinking?”


  4. Good review Mike. It’s very funny, twisted, and fun to watch, especially if you like mostly everybody in this cast like I do. Seriously, somebody use Colin Farrell better than McDonagh!


  5. There are seven psychopaths but the first and seventh are the same person…so there’s seven psychopath personas, but only six actual people…if that makes any sense at all I’m impressed xD haha


      1. ah yeah but they didn’t know till the end of the film 😉
        I think it was probably more of a film-script reference than a mistake, I’m sure they intended for it to be that way XD


  6. I was hugely impressed! I am such a sucker for post modern films, so loved all the clever little winks and nudges to the film industry. I love that the director was parodying and satirising his experience as a writer in Hollywood too, so cleverly done…the lead character was the director, well it wasn’t it was colin farrell! But he was based on and named after the director.
    I thought it was immensely clever, and I loved the cast! The opening scene had me hooked!
    I was put off thinking it wouldn’t be as good as In Bruges, which I also loved, but I think I actually enjoyed it more!
    One man’s trash is another man’s treasure though!


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