Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

three billboards outside ebbing missouri poster 2017 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great cast, story, and cinematography

A few odd plot questions

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Studio:   Blueprint Pictures

Genre(s):   Drama/Comedy

Release Date(s):   September 4, 2017

MPAA Rating:   R

three billboards outside ebbing missouri jason dixon mildred hayes frances mcdormand sam rockwell

Let’s get this party started!

Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) is angry.  Her daughter was rape, murdered, and mutilated in their small town of Ebbing, Missouri, and after months of no information, Mildred wants someone held accountable.  When she rents three billboards calling out the police force and Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), Mildred divides the town and has everyone picking sides in the fight.  Mildred won’t be stopped be it by the racist deputy Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell) or her ex-husband Charlie (John Hawkes)…justice will be served!

Written and Directed by Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a drama comedy.  The black comedy was well received by critics and won Academy Awards for Best Actress (McDormand) and Best Supporting Actor (Rockwell) with nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Harrelson), Best Original Score, Best Screenplay, and Best Editing.

Martin McDonagh kind of surprised me with In Bruges.  I don’t generally like Colin Farrell and the previews had the movie coming off as Quentin Tarrantino wannabe…but I ended up really enjoying it.  I forgot that Three Billboards was by McDonagh until I was in it, and then the movie made a lot more sense.

three billboards outside ebbing missouri dentist scene frances mcdormand jerry winsett

Don’t anger the local dentist…

The script is smart and focuses on a lot of topical subjects.  It looks at police brutality and responsibility.  Mildred is relentless in her quest for justice and doesn’t care who she burns in the process (literally).  She harbors guilt but also a parent’s rage toward one of their children’s untimely death with no suspects nor any real discussion with the police.  This is teamed with a likable sheriff who is torn up by the situation and facing his own crisis…plus, a racist deputy who has his own demons.  It is taunt and well written, but sometimes you do question if the characters aren’t a bit too smart in their talks and discussions (plus, there a couple moments where you expect more to be said about what is happening and nothing ever develops…aka a certain window toss).

three billboards outside ebbing missouri sheriff willoughby woody harrelson

I really don’t need this right now….

The cast is perfect.  Frances McDormand’s ability to play smart while also somehow being likable while winning the “worst parent” award is amazing.  Woody Harrelson has proven over the years his ability to play both serious and humorous roles is a smart person for McDormand to butt heads with.  I love Sam Rockwell and the treatment of his character (who is despicable) still works and you still care what happens to him.  Both John Hawkes and Peter Dinklage could have had more screentime but they did the most with what they had…plus, I’d like to hear how Abbie Cornish ended up married to a sheriff in a small town in Missouri.

The movie also looks great.  It takes great scenery (actually shot in North Carolina) and makes it very pastoral…but fills it with violence, anger, and people that you may not picture inhabiting a “peaceful” Midwestern town.  It shows a different level of depth for McDonagh.

Three Billboards is a tough watch, but it isn’t a downer film as I expected to be from trailers.  It has a lot of humor and a lot of truth to it.  The truth is sometimes dangerous and upsetting, but it is all said here in this movie…which leads to that unexpected humor.  See Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and ask the question what you would do in everyone’s position.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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