If Quentin Tarantino had kept making talky, small-scale crime films like Reservoir Dogs instead of broadening his bloodsoaked canvas with epics about WWII and the antebellum South, he might have found a competitor in Martin McDonagh. With his first two features In Bruges (2008, 1 hr., 47 mins, R) and the new-to-DVD Seven Psychopaths (2012, 1 hr., 50 mins, R), the British-Irish playwright has become the new bard of bickering hitmen. And if you’re into sociopaths cracking wise between bursts of bullets, these two movies make a terrific double feature. In Bruges, the better and less self-conscious of the pair, stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as killers lying low in a quaint medieval Belgian town after botching a job. There, they riff and take in the sights until their boss (Ralph Fiennes, doing his best Bob Hoskins Cockney pitbull act) arrivess to make them pay for their sins. Farrell steals the show—it’s his best turn since 2000’s Tigerland. So it’s no surprise that McDonagh orbits the dizzy and demented Seven Psychopaths around him as well. This time, Farrell plays an alcoholic screenwriter who struggles with a script about loony guns-for-hire and finds inspiration hanging out with real-life loose cannons like Christopher Walken’s ascot-wearing dog kidnapper. If that alone doesn’t convince you to check out these two merry prankster comedies, I don’t know what will. A-
Starring: Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes; Director: Martin McDonagh; Runtime (in minutes): 107; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Focus Features
Posted January 18 2013 — 12:00 AM EST
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