6 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A screenwriter scams his way through In Bruges director Martin McDonagh's Tarantinoesque new film – but it quickly runs out of spark

Seven Psychopaths is one of those titles, like 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, or 9 Dead Gay Guys, which is trying that bit too hard. And what is strange is that this disappointing movie is written and directed by Martin McDonagh, the brilliant and prize-garlanded author of stage and screen who made it look like he didn't need to try at all. After a string of superb stage plays, and his Oscar-winning short film Six Shooter in 2004, McDonagh wrote and directed In Bruges, a sparklingly scripted and utterly distinctive black comedy about a couple of hitmen forced to lay low in a European city they find oppressively boring. It was a treat from beginning to end, and so expectations could hardly be higher for his first Hollywood movie, which »

- Peter Bradshaw

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