‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Review

Three-Billboards-posterThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a dark drama film starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges, Caleb Landry Jones and Peter Dinklage. The story follows a mother who takes matters into her own hands after the police in her town are unable to solve her daughter’s rape/murder case. She purchases three billboards near her home and uses them to shame the police chief for not solving the crime. This leads her into confrontations with her family, the police, and her fellow townspeople, which are intensified by personal drama amongst each other. The cast for this film was phenomenal! Every actor had such good chemistry with each other that you can believe they live in the same small town. Frances McDormand commands the screen as Mildred Hayes. While you may not always agree with her character’s actions, you always understand her motives. Mildred is broken inside after the murder of her daughter, Angela, who is played by the wonderful Kathryn Newton. The flashback scene involving Mildred and Angela was masterful and gives insight into their relationship, helping us understand why her death causes Mildred such pain.Lucas Hedges does well as Mildred’s son, Robbie. You can tell his sister’s death hurts him just as much as it hurts his mom, and he wishes that she would move on as he is trying to do. Sam Rockwell turns in a good, yet familiar, performance as Officer Jason Dixon. He does well at playing a character you love to hate. Woody Harrelson is the standout as Sheriff Bill Willoughby. He’s not the main character, but every time you hear his voice you can’t help but laugh. Even when he’s not onscreen, you can feel his presence with the other characters. He knows how to be funny and emotional at the same time and it comes across as sweet. You get that he understands Mildred’s pain and wishes nothing more than to help her achieve closure. At the same time, he is a realist and knows that sometimes people just can’t win. Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones, and Peter Dinklage are also great in their supporting roles. Writer, producer and director Martin McDonagh does a great job at creating tension as well as tender moments between each of the characters. He also knows where to add a comedic moment without making feel forced. You aren’t really sure where the story is going, but you are always interested to find out. The only issue is the ending. If he cut the story short just a few minutes earlier it would have made for a more satisfying tale. At its heart, this film is about how everyone can be broken in some way and how moving on can be harder for some than it is for others. The best thing to do is to try and deal with our pain in a healthy way and not take it out on others. I give Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri a Decent 7.8/10. This is not a happy film, but it is a film that inspires people to never give up hope.

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