Movie Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is definitely not your typical film. I'd classify it as a "black comedy," but it has more serious overtones than comedic for most of its runtime.

Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) is tired of the Ebbing Police Department not doing anything to solve her daughter Angela's murder. She rents three billboards right outside of town, specifically calling out Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). Though the townspeople sympathize with Mildred over her daughter's death, most are against her doing this, and adding the billboards sets off a chain of events which will involve suicide, broken friendships, and later, arson.

All of the acting in this movie was fantastic. My favorite two characters were McDormand, as Mildred, and Sam Rockwell, as Officer Dixon, a racist police officer who thinks he can get away with pretty much anything. Abby Cornish, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage also had good supporting roles, as Chief Willoughby's wife, Mildred's ex-husband, and a potential beau of Mildred's, respectfully.

Yes, see this film. It's a little slow, otherwise I probably would have given it 4 out of 5 stars - but I actually only checked my watch once or twice, which is a good sign. I wouldn't be surprised to see Oscar nominations for McDormand and Rockwell for this movie, and perhaps Harrelson too, though his role is limited here. In the Detroit area, you can find this movie at the Main Art Theatre (Royal Oak) or at the Maple (Bloomfield Hills), at least for opening weekend.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is in theaters today, November 17th, and is rated R with a runtime of 115 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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