When her daughter is killed and the investigation stalls, a grieving
mother uses three billboards to accuse the local cops of incompetence.
Three Billboards Outside
With only three films under his belt, Martin McDonagh has already become one of my favorite filmmakers with In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. Now, with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDonagh tries his hand at a more heavy-handed drama, delivering a poignant small town dramedy that uses comedic dialogue to mask a film that feels like a real tearjerker. Led by an Oscar-worthy performance from Frances McDormand, Three Billboards shows how grief can be a disease that eats you away, and the only cure is the willingness to move on.
When Mildred Hayes's (McDormand) daughter is murdered and the local cops have no leads for seven months, she takes matters into her own hands and rents out three billboards proclaiming that Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) isn't trying hard enough to solve the case. Mildred's act of defiance causes a chain reaction that makes her a local pariah and drives the police to find something to arrest her for. McDonagh is very good at writing characters, and his script for this film is no exception. The grief feels palpable in every scene, and every action is believable. But there's also laughter to be found, making the film a perfect blend.
Three Billboards is more of a drama than McDonagh's previous work, but it's just as good. It sports a talented character actor cast that all stand out, particularly Sam Rockwell as the vaguely racist Officer Dixon who learns the error of his ways the hard way. I can't wait to see what Martin McDonagh has in store for his audience next. He's easily one of the best filmmakers working today and Three Billboards only helps to support that statement.