While Priyanka Chopra's performance has been given a thumbs up, not all critics are happy with the flow of the film. While some say the movie loses its grip after the first hour, others feel the intense study of grief and grime is successful in touching the soul.
Says Taran Adarsh (Bollywood Hungama), "7 Khoon Maaf works in parts. A few stories - involving Neil Nitin Mukesh, John Abraham, Irrfan Khan and Annu Kapoor - are absorbing, while at least two could've been better narrated - Naseeruddin Shah and Aleksandr Dyachenko. The unfortunate part is that the uninteresting ones come in the latter half and coupled with its excessive length, the impact generated by a captivating first hour gets diluted in the process. Even the culmination doesn't sweep you off your feet."
"This is a tough story to pull off and despite the voluminous talent on display here – from director-co-writer-composer Vishal Bhardwaj to Priyanka to co-stars like Irrfan Khan and Naseeruddin Shah – the film stumbles and fumbles." feels Anupama Chopra (NDTV).
Nikhal Kazmi (Times of India) warns the film is not for someone who's just looking for entertainment, rather it has many layers to it. Says she, "7 Khoon Maaf is an intensely dark film which unfolds in shadows and silhouettes. So, if you aren't mistakenly looking for entertainment here, you are going to love this half-lit canvas of crime and punishment which lays bare the innermost recesses of a tortured soul. Vishal never once slips and lets go of his hold on this intense study of grief and grime. From the very first shot, which explodes with a grimacing Priyanka pulling the trigger on God-knows-who, the director inexorably draws you into this welter of passion and crime. All the death play takes place in semi-darkness: an almost outward pouring of an evil soul."
"Amongst the remaining cast, Annu Kapoor leaves the maximum impact. He's simply outstanding! John doesn't really get much scope, Neil is effective, Irrfan is wonderfully restrained, Naseer is believable and Aleksandr is passable. Vivaan Shah, who narrates the story of Susanna, is a talent to watch out for. Though it's his maiden film as an actor, it doesn't seem like one. He is not your regular debutant and that's what makes his character appear so real. Konkona Sen Sharma does well. Usha Uthup and the two male helps are good," says Taran Adarsh.
"Thankfully Susanna has more texture. She is a chameleon – vulnerable and tearful in one moment and an unfeeling viper in the next. Susanna is vain and cruel and Priyanka doesn’t try to soften her. Instead she revels in the chance to go twisted, dark and frankly ugly. But beyond a point, even she can’t prop up the sagging plot," says Anupama Chopra.