'Seven Psychopaths' 7 times better than most

By Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comOctober 12, 2012 

An alcoholic writer and novelist and a dog-napper and their loose-cannon friend tangle with a vicious mobster over a kidnapped dog.

Done by In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh and starring Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson, Seven Psychopaths twists and turns through terrific dialogue, deep, deviant characters and a truly original story.

A kidnapped dog? Yes.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

Walken is the dog-napper Rockwell helping Farrell's writer develop characters for his new book. The book will have seven psychopaths. Rockwell's character steals mobster Harrelson's beloved Shih Tzu. That connects the dog-napper with the writer.

The actors are as off-kilter as the plot. You can't find four better actors to play off -- shall we say -- unusual characters. The four -- especially the better known by the art film crowd, Rockwell (Moon) -- easily and naturally bounce through McDonagh's very intense but very funny plot.

It opens with a clever scene that ties together all of the characters — and to one character not introduced until later in the movie. As the story develops, the activities of the main characters are woven into and then connected to the stories of three psychopaths. They are an old Amish guy, an Asian killer and a strange man who assassinates psychopaths.

No sophomore curse here. This is McDonagh's second film and its as good, as original and as creative as his first, In Bruges. Unique. Clever. Brilliant. Pick the adjective, it works.

Seven Psychopaths is seven times the fun of most movies. Not quite comedy, not quite drama -- dramady, anyone? -- the film is almost a category of its own.

Director: Martin McDonagh

Stars: Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Harry Dean Stanton, Tom Waits

Rated R for brief nudity, language, violence, mature themes. It is playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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