Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Movie Review

From the get-go, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" got our attention. Well-rounded performances, subtle comedy, intriguing plot and complicated relationships ensure that the film will tease you and surprise you from first second to last.

Angry over the lack of progress in the investigation of her teenage daughter's murder, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) rents three abandoned billboards near her home which read "RAPED WHILE DYING", "AND STILL NO ARRESTS?", and "HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY?" The billboards trigger a negative reaction of hate not only from the police force but also from the townspeople and her own family. Harassed and threatened, the billboards test the wits and mettle of Mildred. Will it bring her the answer she wants, the peace she needs or just much more unneeded turmoil in her life?
If we could describe the feeling we felt watching "Three Billboards" it would be like riding a roller coaster. The film just kept us on our those with its surprise twists and developments plotted throughout its 115-minute runtime. What seems to be a simple story about a woman desperate for some movement on her daughter's case turns into one that looks into the complicated relationships between people. And that is probably where the film may have its weakest point if you take it the wrong way. Without spoiling much, the premise is not the main conflict that needs to be resolved. It's just a vehicle to the film's hook so don't expect to get all the answers. "Three Billboards" had us laughing with its subtle comedy and satire, wrenching with its tragedies, and simply shocked with its balls-to-the-walls approach. None of this would be effective though without outstanding performances from its veteran cast. Most of the leads stood out with Frances McDormand being the biggest revelation. She could go toe-to-toe with any bad-ass guy out there but still out that tender touch when needed. The film's script did have its silly moments but we are nitpicking here.
Rating: 5 reels

Why you should watch it:
- a rollercoaster ride of emotions
- the veteran cast provided stellar performances

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- there's no real conclusion or answer to one of the film's bigger mysteries

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