This is an ingenious, wildly engaging movie from Martin McDonagh, the man who brought us the brilliant In Bruges
(my pick for the best movie in 2008). Colin Farrell stars as Marty, a character obviously modeled after the director. Marty is trying to write a screenplay called Seven Psychopaths
, and he’s racking his brain for seven characters with distinctive killing methods. The way these characters appear to him is part of this film’s unending fun. Sam Rockwell plays Billy, Martin’s best bud, a struggling actor who makes money on the side by kidnapping dogs with Hans (a scene-stealing Christopher Walken). When they kidnap the beloved dog of a psychopath (Woody Harrelson), funny and violent things happen. Marty is trying for depth and beauty with his screenplay, while Billy screams for shootouts. Both characters get their wishes in hugely entertaining ways.