REVIEW~Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is written and directed by Martin McDonagh. He has also written and directed for the acclaimed In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, but with “Three Billboards,” he achieves a new level of greatness. This film tells the story of Mildred (Frances McDormand), who has recently lost her daughter, and, in her dissatisfaction with the lack of activity by the police, protests using, well, three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. But under the surface, this film is about how there are times in our lives where something we are doing may not make total sense, and we are fully aware of that. But we know that we simply have to do it anyway.

The writing present here is not only extremely realistic and nuanced, but is very funny. I found myself laughing a lot more than I expected to. The directing is nothing Oscar-worthy, but it is also very good. The best thing in this film aside from the writing is the acting, especially that of Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell.

My absolute favorite aspect of the film is the arc of Sam Rockwell’s character. Without spoiling anything, by the end of the movie, McDonagh makes you feel immense sympathy for the one character you spent most of the movie disliking. He totally flips the character on his head, and this exhibits the true mastery that McDonagh possesses.

The only issues I had with the movie were nitpicks. Some flat direction or a forced line here and there. But there isn’t a single movie that doesn’t have that issue. My biggest problem was Mildred’s reason for justifying the billboards. It doesn’t make logical sense. I know that this is intentional to show that sometimes, it doesn’t matter that something doesn’t make any sense. You just gotta do it. But that aspect could’ve been written a little better. Even so, you can find a problem in any film if you look at it closely enough.

I was extremely satisfied with this film, and it sits at the top of my 2017 list. I give Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 910/1000.