Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

8.3 IMDb
4 September 2017 Release
$ 15 000 000 Budget
Genres:Crime, Drama
Countries:UK, USA
18 Votes

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THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama from Academy Award nominee Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson), the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated.

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Movie Comments

  1. Tyson Hunsaker, 2 weeks ago
    "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" marks a milestone for writer/directer Martin McDonagh and is an idea piece on a mother's struggle with her town after posting billboards containing a call to action in regards to her murdered daughter. With outstanding screen writing and near perfect editing, this powerhouse of a film is easily one of the best all year and is driven with force and intensity by its lead, Frances McDormand.

    What begins as a narrow and focused drama, gradually escalates to a film with big themes and ideas, relevant social commentary, and much more subplots than anticipated. "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" is packed with questions and a few answers about anger, revenge, violence, and kindness. The story shows people in a realistic light I've never quite seen before. We're presented with characters and their genuine emotions. Nothing feels sugarcoated of fluffed but it never lacks emotional impact either.

    The movie balances its seemingly contradictory tones beautifully by crafting a dark comedy that feels heavy due to strong subject matter, while at the same time, utilizing comedic moments that feel completely natural to the character's motivations. It's obvious great care was taken into this script and the method in which it's constructed.

    One of the most talked about elements to this film are the strong performances; particularly by Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. Rightfully so, this is some of their best (if not their best) work these eyes have beheld and they steal the show in every film they're in. That's not take away from Woody Harrelson and Lucas Hedges, as well as the entire cast who give memorable performances and paint shockingly believable characters that we feel we know personally.

    If there is anything that might turn audiences away from this film, it might be its harsh subject matter despite none of it every being depicted as well as its language and execution with the material. Personally, this has a strong impact and I wouldn't have changed anything about it. It's a highly recommended film with a lot to ponder at the end and is definitely a contender for best movie of the year. Definitely don't miss this one.
  2. damian-fuller, 2 weeks ago
    Frances McDormand is, without question, one of the very best actresses of hers or any generation. Wow! And like most of the greatest she goes for characters who don't ask for sympathy. The truth is in her eyes, always. So, naturally, I followed her every inch of the way. She is surrounded by a fantastic group of actors. Woody Harrelson is just extraordinary but perhaps the biggest surprise is Sam Rockwell making his one eighty not just believable but very moving. Martin McDonagh's writing is the magic potion that keeps everything together and when I say everything I mean everything. Humor and horror as if it were practically the same thing. The dialogue is brilliant and Frances McDorman deserves the last paragraph. Her face is a wonder. Superb performance. Don't miss it.
  3. chicagopoetry, 2 weeks ago
    I will say that I enjoyed this film, mostly due to Frances McDormand's performance. It was surprisingly funny given its subject matter. But after thinking about it for a few days after watching it, I have to say a few words about the writing, because it seems everyone is raving about how "Oscar worthy" the writing here is, and at first glance, I thought so too. But thinking back on it, I'd have to say the writing is actually pretty sloppy. There's a lot of stuff here that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and I mean a lot. I can't explain this without revealing spoilers, so be warned.

    --Most strikingly the (deputy?) Chief Dixon violently attacks Welby, busts his face with his gun, throws him out of a window and proceeds to kick him while he's down, all in eyes view of the new Chief Abercrombie. Sure, he gets fired. But not arrested? Not even sued?

    --And as for Abercrombie. He shows up the morning after the previous Police Chief died and declares that "they" sent him as a replacement. They who? Is there some force outside of Ebbing that dictates who their police chief is? That part really didn't make any sense to me. Also, replacing one of the main characters halfway through the film, a character we're starting to get to know, with a stereotype that we don't know anything about, was rather odd.

    --Someone lights the billboards on fire. But apparently only the paper on them burns, not the old wood that's been sitting there decaying since the 80s, because they are able to paste duplicate posters to the existing structures without any problems. That's laughable. That old wood would have been a pile of smoldering cinder.

    --Mildred is portrayed as such a tough-ass, assaulting a dentist, kicking children in the crotch (with no repercussions I might add), storming into the police station spouting vulgarities, but when she's confronted by a guy who suggests he's actually the one who killed her daughter, she freezes and seems helpless. One might say the fact that she didn't go psycho in this scene is what makes this screenplay original but someone else, like me, might argue that it's just out of her character and doesn't make a lick of sense.

    --Chief Willoughby for some reason is an old geezer but has a young, attractive Australian wife. He also has two young girls. Yet he's completely vulgar around them. While instructing them about a game of fishing he invents, he calls the blanket they are sitting on the "god-dam blanked"--twice--to little four or five year old girls. He says to his wife later that it's her turn to "clean the horse *hit" out of the barn. OK, I actually have quite a bit of experience tending horses. It's not called "*hit" it's called manure and you wouldn't even call it that--you'd just say "clean the barn" if you really owned horses. The writing of his character, other than the scene between him and McDormand while they were sitting on the swings, was actually horrible.

    --Mildred burns the police station down, throwing 5 Molotov cocktails out of the still broken windows of the advertising agency across the street (not boarded up by then?). And the new Chief just accepts the explanation that she didn't do it because she was with James. No more investigation. Ho hum. Police station burned but oh well. And then a few scenes later, Dixon is apparently in the suppose to be burned down police station sitting there having a conversation with the new Chief.

    --Dixon is a complete jerk to the bone. He gets a letter postmortem from the now deceased Chief. Suddenly he's a good guy. Yeah right.

    I could go on and on with this but I'm afraid my word limit here is going to expire soon. I'll still give this film a 7 star rating because I DID enjoy watching it, but the writing here is really not all it's cracked up to be. It does feel like it's a big novel with a lot of twists, but in retrospect it's more like a parody of a big novel with a lot of twists, and the twists don't make a whole lot of sense.
  4. FallonTimberlake2016, 2 weeks ago
    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a dark comedy that has an a-list cast with names like Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage. It centers around Mildred Hayes, a woman whose daughter was raped and killed, and who believes that the local police have not done enough about it. In reaction, she erects three billboards outside of her town that send a message to the sheriff about the state of the investigation.

    Writer/director Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths, In Bruges) has outdone himself with this one. In my opinion, if this isn't one of the top Oscar contenders come awards season, then Hollywood has officially lost its mind.

    Basically everything about this film works: from the acting, to the writing, to the direction. Mcdormand gives the performance of her career here, giving us humor through all the pain clearly shown on her face. Rockwell also gives his best performance here as a cop who isn't that bright and is more than a little racist.

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is probably the most unpredictable film of the year, and that's coming from a year that includes films like Baby Driver and Logan. There are scenes where you think that you know where the plot is going, but then midway through it completely flips the script.

    For the entire run-time of this film, I was invested. It has the perfect run-time; it ends exactly when it needs to and there is not a scene that feels out of place.

    It seems like one of the hardest things to do in film nowadays is to balance comedy and drama. However, this movie does it effortlessly. Each scene has just the right amount of comedy and drama, and sometimes, despite the fact that you're laughing, it's easy to forget that jokes are being made.

    Also, the message that this film gives off resonates very powerfully with you after the film finishes. It makes you see the good side in humanity, despite our flaws. No character in this film is a cliché one-dimensional shell of a person. Everybody has a reason for being there, which is more than some films recently have offered.

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is easily one of the best and most enjoyable films of 2017, and it will make you laugh, cry, and think all in one sitting. There are not any clear flaws with this film that I can find, but I am still searching.

    I give Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri an A+.