Review for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Directed by Martin McDonagh. Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell. IMDB says “In this darkly comic drama, a mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder, when they fail to catch the culprit.”
Three Billboards is a dark dramedy that finds a way to out darken itself. Just when you think it can’t get darker or bleaker, it surprises you. But somehow, some way, in between the darkness and at times of pure horror at the characters actions, it finds a way to make you laugh and laugh hard. Writer/Director Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths/In Bruges) was able to ride that fine line and deliver a wholly original story that is unrelentingly captivating. Frances McDormand shines as Mildred, a mother who has taken out ad space on a series of billboards pleading with the sheriff’s department to find her daughter’s killer. The brash design and intense language of the billboards sparks a controversy within the town and pits her against the police (Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson) The back and forth between the two parties hit a near Looney Toons level of anarchy and unbelievability, but like a car crash on a highway, you’re attracted and can’t look away. The writing is stellar and the casting is pitch perfect for a film that is unlike any other you’ll see this year.
This is one of those films that is difficult to describe to someone without making it sound like a complete downer. And while it is super dark, it also manages to be laugh out loud funny and extremely memorable. The cast is spectacular, the writing is fantastic and the film somehow manages its twisted tone with ease. I really enjoyed it for all of the same reasons Nick listed above and urge everyone to check this out if they get the chance! Don’t read anything about the plot and just go in cold!!
FTS SCORE: 88%
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is in theaters nationwide.