Let’s start with this. Have you watched the trailer for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri yet? You’ll see a familiar dry sarcastic humor that director, writer Martin McDonagh included in his first two movies. In Bruges (2008) and Seven Psychopaths (2012) were both pleasant surprises filled with comedy, violence and overall solid plots. Intriguing characters with combined with unconventional outcomes were sure to keep audiences on their toes throughout the films. This time around, Martin McDonagh chooses to play things a bit more conservatively may reap the rewards come award season.
The beginning plot to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a somber one. No parent should have to bury their daughter but Mildred (Frances McDormand) had to do just that almost a year prior. And in that time, her murder has yet to be solved. She has waited and mourned enough. The senseless act has cost Mildred her marriage, her sanity and most importantly, her teenage daughter. Her patience has worn thin due to the local law enforcement’s ineptness to drum up any new leads so Mildred decides to shake things up. Using three billboards on a not often traveled stretch of road, she takes out an add questioning local authorities, well actually Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) specifically, as to why there haven’t been any arrests. As expected, the blowback from this course of action puts the grieving mom in the crosshairs of an irate community who thinks the world of Chief Willoughby. She doesn’t care about the repercussions, Mildred just wants answers and ultimately some closure. This murder and subsequent investigation will tear this small town apart as people scramble to choose sides.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is definitely an experience for the soul. From its gripping plot to outstanding performances across the board, in particular Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, you’ll be hooked on every passing moment of this crime drama with a heavy dose of dark comedy. It’s like you need someone to tell you it’s okay to laugh sometimes due to the heavy subject matter. That’s the beauty of this feature though, audiences will be totally off balanced and equally entertained. From an expectations standpoint, Martin McDonagh delivers in a major way and this is his best work thus far.
I don’t know if justice has been down with the advertising of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, but allow me to speak highly of its entertainment value. There are not too many movies released in a calendar year that will give you such a wide range of emotions. Last year Hell or High Water (2016) was one of those examples. And just like that movie, expect hear lots of buzz regarding Three Billboards and how deserving it is for some year-end accolades. Please see this gem as soon as possible. Even though this won’t have tons of money dumped into it as a wide release, the finished product is a treat to just sit back and enjoy a good solid movie on so many levels.