Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Review

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 9.22.28 PM

  • Director: Martin McDonagh
  • Cast: Francis McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, John Hawkes and Peter Dinkage
  • Runtime: 115 minutes

One of the best critically acclaimed movies of 2017 that ironically  had its wide release in February 2018, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri tells the story of a single mother who must deal with the recent death of her teenage daughter after getting raped and gets into a whole lot of trouble with the local authorities after they failed to solve the crime.

Even though the rape and death of the daughter is the main reason that starts the series of actions that happens, the movie starts around half a year after it happened and we only get to see her act in a flashback very briefly. Instead the film revolves around how everyone deals with this unfortunate mishap which is the main reason it performed very well with critics. As the film progresses, we also learn much more about each important everyone as important details are slowly revealed in different ways.

Frances McDormand plays Mildred Hayes, the mother of the poor girl. This has to be one of the her best performances ever since Fargo. She is given the most screen time and clearly uses that to her advantage. Though she is at first seen as the victim, her various methods of how she tries to get the police to help her will divide the audience of whether her ways are correct or not. Sam Rockwell who plays Jason Dixon is another highlight of the film and actually receives more character development than Mildred Hayes does. Comparing him from the beginning of the film to the end, it is as if we are comparing two veru different characters and given that Sam manages to convince us of such a feat, is what made him my favourite part of the film. The 2 of them are very likely to win Oscars for their respective roles and Sam will have the opportunity of shunning out co-star Woody Harrelson who got nominated in the same category.

Martin McDonagh not only directed the film but he also wrote the screenplay for it. Clearly a snub that he wasn’t even nominated for best director, he might have a chance of winning an Oscar for best original screenplay. Despite the performances of the cast is what really fuels the film forward, his directing and giving them the material to work with in the first place is what proplels the film to even greater heights. This is without a doubt one of his finest works he has done in a while.

Unfortunately it still lacks substance in some areas. Due to the kind of movie it is, there is not much CGI required but in the parts where they did use it, it was fairly obvious; kind of ruining the moment of the scene. It’s decision to end the film as a cliffhanger may leave the audience a lackluster feeling as we never get a true solution or ending and it is up to us to decide what actually happened.

Overall Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a terrific film but not without its flaws. It requires a lot of time and concentration to invest in it and not everyone will feel at the end that it was all worth it. If you’re looking for a heavy drama with a slight touch of humour this film’s for you but otherwise you’re better off watching something else.

Rating: 8.5

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  1. I felt as if this movie’s cliffhanger wasn’t satisfactory enough. I wanted to know what happened after building up for so long, it felt like a blue balling moment.


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