Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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As a parent with more than one kid there is some truth that you do not admit. I mean you can try and deny it, but if you’re honest with yourself the truth is that you have a favorite child. This is not to say you love one more than the others, it just simply means you have one that you are closer to. Being a critic I too have my favorites, but in this case its filmmakers and not children. I know that was a long way of saying I have filmmakers I love more than others, but I was trying to be clever in my approach.

Now being clever doesn’t always work out for me, but for some of my favorite filmmakers it’s doing just fine for them. One of those favorites would be Martin McDonagh, writer and director of “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths”, who continues his course of brilliance with his new film “Three Billboards Outside Edding, Missouri.” The film gets its title when Mildred (Francis McDormand) puts up three billboards outside, you guessed it, Ebbing Missouri questioning the status of her daughter’s murder case. It seems doing such a thing is frowned on by the local police and when Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell) sees them he calls Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) to tell him the news. The billboards turn out to be just the beginning of an even crazier story as the placement of them forces people in town to choose a side to be on. What happens next is far more fun to watch as things might never be the same for Edding, Missouri.

With a film by Martin McDonagh you pretty much know what you are getting into, and “Three Billboards” does not disappoint. The story is brash and in your face and never apologizes for taking the direct albeit sightly dark route for laughter. It’s not just the main things being said, its also the little things, like giving a certain character something to say or do. With a cast of standouts it’s hard to single out anyone for being better, but McDormand, who is always so good, stands out as Mildred. Every word out of her mouth and how she delivers them are perfect and she is the dark heart of this dark comedy. I want to say that everyone will love this film, but I know that won’t be true. It won’t be because its a bad movie, but because of the humor, it’s not the kind that everyone will appreciate. I hope that statement is not true, as this movie deserves all the love, only because you won’t see many films better than this one all year. With “Three Billboards” McDonagh shows why he is one of my favorite filmmakers and after you watch this film, he will surely become one of your favorites as well.

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