Seven Psychopaths



Graphic violence, strong language in clever crime comedy.
  • Review Date: October 8, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 109 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The characters discuss the option of telling a story without any violence or conflict, but their conclusion is that a good story needs a lot of violence.

Positive role models

The main character, a screenwriter, grows tired of violent stories and tries as much as he can to work toward something that involves introspection and discussion. He tries to save a wounded bad guy, even though the attempt backfires on him. Unfortunately, violence tends to win the day here. Additionally, this character is shown to have a drinking problem.


Many characters are shot and killed, with lots of spurting blood. In one scene, a gangster shoots an innocent old lady in the head; blood is sprayed on the walls. A woman is shot in the stomach. Throats are sliced, and a character is shot with a crossbow. Heads explode. A character attempts suicide via a bombing. In a flashback, two killers shoot people, burn them alive, and saw victims' heads off. In an imagined finale, there's a ridiculously bloody shootout. Much of the violence is meant to be comical in a shocking way, i.e. the suddenness and randomness of the targets.


Characters are shown attempting to have sex (with noises), but they stop. A topless woman is shown. A main character is shown with a wet top, and her breasts are somewhat visible beneath.


Very strong, frequent language includes uses of "f--k," "motherf---r," "s--t," "p---y," "c--t," "bitch," "d--k," "ass," "bastard," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "oh my God," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), and derogatory terms such as the "N" word, "f-gs," and "homos."


A Milky Way chocolate bar is shown very briefly.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The main character is shown to have a drinking problem. It costs him his relationship with his girlfriend, and he turns to drinking for every problem he has. The problem is acknowledged, and it's assumed that he has stopped drinking by the story's end. Another character regularly smokes peyote.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Seven Psychopaths is the second feature film by acclaimed playwright and Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin McDonagh, who frequently uses crime, violence, and strong language in his smart-but-edgy stories. Seven Psychopaths is no exception: Expect lots of graphic, bloody images, including shooting and killing; spraying, splattered blood; victims burned alive; sawing a victim's neck; and an over-the-top bloody shootout with exploding heads. Language is very strong ("f--k," "s--t," "c--t," etc.), and there's a near-sex scene, a topless woman, and a woman wearing a wet, see-through top. A major character is also shown to have a drinking problem.

What's the story?

Screenwriter Marty (Colin Farrell) is having trouble with his new screenplay, Seven Psychopaths. He's getting tired of violence in movies and is trying to figure out how to tell his story peacefully. Meanwhile, his best friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell), and Billy's associate, Hans (Christopher Walken), are running a business kidnapping dogs, returning them, and collecting rewards. Unfortunately, they've just kidnapped a beautiful Shih Tzu, Bonny, who belongs to a sadistic gangster (Woody Harrelson). Meanwhile, a masked killer is on the loose, as well as several other psychopaths. Our trio ventures into the desert to try to make sense of it all, but will this trip result in self-discovery or a bloody showdown?

Is it any good?


Acclaimed Irish playwright Martin McDonagh won an Oscar for his short film Six Shooter (2005) and received a screenwriting nomination for his feature debut In Bruges (2008). With the terrific SEVEN PSYCOPATHS, he continues to mix crime and dark comedy, but this time he adds a layer of self-awareness, deconstructing both the writing process and the need for conflict (and/or violence) in writing.

Miraculously, like Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation (2002), Seven Psychopaths manages to deftly juggle characters, humor, and its lofty ideas without dropping anything or giving anything away too soon. In spite of the movie's immense cleverness, it has a genuine affection for its trio of misfits, and they have a genuine affection for one another, too. Best of all is not so much McDonagh's one-liners but rather the conversations between characters, which tend to grow funnier the longer they go on (just listen to the one about "an eye for an eye").

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Seven Psycopaths' violence. Is violence necessary to tell a good story? Why do the characters discuss violence? Do you agree with their conclusions?

  • How does the movie portray the main character's drinking problem? Do the consequences seem realistic? How does it compare to other depictions in movies/on TV?

  • There's a brief comment about how the fictitious screenplay in the story has no strong female characters. How are women characters represented in the real movie? How does the comment relate to it?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 12, 2012
DVD release date:January 29, 2013
Cast:Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell
Director:Martin McDonagh
Studio:CBS Films
Run time:109 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence, bloody images, pervasive language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use

This review of Seven Psychopaths was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byStevie111 October 19, 2012

Good movie, but not as funny as I expected

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bybranman894 April 14, 2013

Seven Psycopaths is loads of awesome

Seven Psycopaths is hilarious. It can be very dark though. The violence level is high. It is fun seeing all of these actors interact with each other.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byTV67 February 17, 2013

Christoper Walken YAY!!

I'm rarely into dark humor or blood and guts kind of movies but I loved this one. Christopher Walken is awesome (just had to give him a shout out). If you thought this movie was meant to be a comedy IT ISN'T. It's funny but it's not centralized around being funny. It's about what the title implies, 7 psychopaths telling 7 stories from the psychos point of view. It's surprisingly Relaxed and Up beat for how Dark the actual subject line is. Lots of murder going on and yet the characters don't seem terribly shocked by any of it. Even the Dogs seem chilled out in the movie. In the end you feel just as bewildered as the main survivor. Who didn't expect witness and experienced a world from a Psychos perspective.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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