Writer: Martin McDonagh (Screenplay)
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas hedges, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones
Plot: A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit.
Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Darkly Humorous
Story: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri starts as Mildred Hayes (McDormand) puts up three billboards in a quiet road questioning how Willoughby (Harrelson) hasn’t solved the case of her daughter’s rape and murder. Fellow officer Dixon (Rockwell) who has a chequered past is enraged by the signs, while officer Willoughby tries to clean up the situation and prove there isn’t enough to solve the case, but with his dying he does want to solve the case before he goes.
As the billboards stay up longer, the town starts to become divided on the support in catching the killer and Mildred does to extremes in her battle with Dixon to get the case solved.
Thoughts on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Characters – Mildred Hayes is a mother that has run out of patience when it comes to the police finding the killer off her daughter, she did have the full support of the town, but this stunt pushes the people away even if it could get her the killer to identify themselves. Willoughby is the lead investigator in the case, he has done everything he could to solve the case, but he is now facing his own battle with cancer, while keeping the peace in the town. Dixon is the hot-headed police officer that clashes with Mildred and anyone who supports her in finding out the truth.
Performances – Frances McDormand shows us that she can reach the Fargo levels whenever the material is given to her, as she shines through as the best part of this movie. Woody Harrelson is great again this year, showing us he can step into any role and be great. Sam Rockwell is wonderful too as we see that this cast is filled with talent character performers.
Story – The story shows the extremes of losing a child, the stress of noting being able to solve one of the worst cases in the town. This does turn into a character studio on the people involved and how their lives need to move on without a chance of every being able to. It is hard to describe this story in much more depth because it is interesting, it does have a lot going on that keeps us wanting to see where the film will go.
Comedy/Crime – This does use dark humour throughout as we are seeing the effects of the crime on people’s lives, don’t expect to see an investigation though, we are focusing on the relationship between the mother of the victim and the police.
Settings – The film takes place in this small town where everyone seems to know everyone, so they have all felt the effects of the crime, this helps when things start to get exposed.
Final Thoughts – This is a dark humour that can be enjoyed by the fans of that genre, it does have a good subject matter but doesn’t get to a level in the story that I enjoyed watching.
Overall: Dark comedy through a serious subject matter.