Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
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Critic Consensus: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri deftly balances black comedy against searing drama -- and draws unforgettable performances from its veteran cast along the way.
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Critic Reviews for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
One of those truly rare films that feels both profound and grounded; inspirational without ever manipulatively trying to be so.
A towering achievement that will no doubt put in an impressive showing come Oscar nomination time.
These characters have all known each other most of their lives, and that gives them all a common ground to stand on, even as tragedy puts them directly at odds.
There are times in Three Billboards when the themes and events are so dark and ugly that the humor is stopped dead in tracks and the laughs get caught in your throat.
Though "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri" pursues a number of narrative strains, it's really about lost characters doing whatever they can to scheme their way out of a rut.
Audience Reviews for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Dark comedy is very difficult to accomplish. I would almost say it's hard to pull off then regular comedy, because you need to be able to keep people invested in the dramatic aspect of the film, while still keeping them laughing throughout the majority of the duration. Director Martin McDonagh has matured as a filmmaker over the years, starting off with In Bruges, which was pretty much a flat-out comedy, to Seven Psychopaths, which placed him a little further into the spotlight, but I must admit that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is not only his best film to date, but also one of the best films I've received the pleasure of witnessing all year. From laughter to genuine tension and heart, this is a film that's pretty much perfect all around. Here is why I can recommend this film to everyone. After the tragic death of her daughter, Mildred Hayes calls out the local authorities on three billboards, publicly stating that they're not doing their jobs and not a single arrest has happened since the death of her daughter. While publicly displaying this is upsetting to some, she sees it as a point being made. Through some very cleverly written humour throughout the entire film, levity is brought to the table in times of sorrow, making this a very easy movie to watch. Although the story itself is quite depressing, this film is written in a way that will still find a way to make you smile. From the very first few frames of this film, you can tell the tone will be handled perfectly. Written and directed by Martin McDonaugh with pure class, you can tell that he was very passionate when bringing this film into fruition. Every line of dialogue either progressed the story along, developed a character, made the audience laugh, or provided deep insight into the event of the murder itself. While not having the the bearings of a conventional murder mystery, many viewers may not like the way this film concludes, but in the context of the movie as a whole and everything it's setting out to accomplish, it really does have a realistic and true finale. It's arguable that some of the law enforcement officers play just as significant a role as Mildred does throughout the film, being pretty much present every time a revelation occurs, but I gravitated the most towards Officer Dixon. I've always been a huge fan of Sam Rockwell, and his character here is one of the most essential to this story, set of being there from beginning to end, trying his absolute best to be of any help. While Woody Harrelson's portrayal of Chief Willoughby is by far the most important to the story at hand, it's the characters around him that drive him to his actions throughout the course of the movie. The characters are truly what make this film as likeable as it is, and they're all wonderfully drawn. Overall, when looking back on my experience watching Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I find myself not being able to wait until its official theatrical release to watch it again. I found this film to be stellar in every sense of the word. From a noteworthy performance by Francis McDormand, devoted secondary performances, a screenplay that will have you consistently laughing, while also being emotionally involved with the serious storyline at hand, and pulling the audience in with its subtly composed score, everything about this film is worth praise. This was a huge surprise for me and I can't recommend you checking it out enough. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a fantastic piece of modern cinema.
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