Fantastic performances by Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson bolster a heartbreaking narrative full of dark humour by Martin McDonagh. The film sets an atmosphere which is hard to describe, but is found in some films of this year such as Wind River. The audience is filled with such a high level of dread as the events of the film could occur in real life and many characters act happy despite their lives being anything but this.
I think this is why I love films so much, people telling stories about other people and what motivates them to do the things they do.
every single character in this movie matter, every single character feels real! fantastic performances, great story telling. this right here is a Masterpiece and without any doubt the best 2017 Film. It´s rare for a movie to make me stare at the credits thinking about what i just saw...On a side note... wouldn't it be great to have a sequel?
Engaging and Captivating, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is a drama that will leave everyone specullating and guessing without ever revealing the real culprit of the plot's main story! Incorporating Dark Humour, this movie gives us outstanding performances by Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell, and it's sure to leave moviegoers satisfied, even with the lack of closure!A Great Movie
Decent performances, but holy shit this is seriously overwritten to the point where everyone in the cast feels as if you penned a ridiculous caricature of a real person, and then toned it down maybe 10%. McDormand's first overdone soliloquy about Bloods and Crips and Catholic Priests was the first major clue, but almost everything that came after it was a notch or two over-the-top, as well. And don't even get me started on Sam Rockwell, who seems to be acting in a whole other movie most of the time.
If someone programmed a computer to write a algorithm that left you conflicted, sympathetic and amused by the misery of human folly, this is precisely the type of script it would write. The whole thing feels oddly plastic, and it contains so many absurdities and contrivances and implausible character transformations that it leaves you with an aftertaste of a cheap meal cooked in a microwave.
In a few years, we will be looking back on 'Three Billboards' the same way we look back on Paul Haggis' 'Crash'.
[6.2/10] Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a fairy tale. It may not seem that way. Most fairytales don’t center on racist cops, rampant physical violence, and grisly crimes. But it’s a story of entrenched problems, that are effectively solved by fiat via the movie’s fairy godmother, and it renders all the good work the film does up to that point, and the commendable efforts it makes afterward, unsatisfying and unearned.
It tells the story of Mildred, a woman who puts up the eponymous three billboards asking why the local police have not solved her daughter’s murder in confrontational tones, Willoughby, the terminally ill sheriff who’s called out in them, and Dixon, the bigoted, asshole cop in his employ who’s terrorized any number of citizens while abusing his authority.
Writer-director Martin McDonagh uses that premise and those figures to tell a story about trauma, anger, powerlessness, policing, guilt, and our increasingly fractured definition of community. True to his past work, he does so in a way that is often unflinching, but also apt to find the dark comedy in terrible-yet-absurd events. There is a messiness to the film, one that feels frank, if colorful, in its depiction about the rougher-edged parts of small town life and the problems therein, where who and what are good and bad are not such simple questions.
That’s what makes me willing to tolerate the ways in which this isn’t necessarily the right moment for a film like Three Billboards, apt to forgive openly antagonistic members of law enforcement and willing to lionize or at least excuse the authority figures who allow them to operate. There’s a realness to much of what the film depicts that buys McDonagh some leeway before his film devolves in Heartland Cop Cinderella.
We live in a world where there are, at a minimum, bad apples likes Dixon. We live in a world where there are head honchos like Willoughby who tolerate them in the name of getting the job done and putting warm bodies on the streets. We live in a world where there are women like Mildred, who face domestic abuse and experience horrible events and have little recourse and few places to turn.
The world of The Billboards is outsized, in the way most of McDonagh’s work is, but what it’s heightening is reality, alongside the messy, unpleasant truths of how people and institutions interact in the real world that can be as sad, repugnant, or darkly comic as they are quotidian. McDonagh gets away with crossing lines for much of the picture because it reflects the real life way that lines are crossed everyday in places like Ebbing, Missouri and in far more gentrified environs.
That’s all well and good until the film turns into a fantasy. Admittedly, few fantasies start with a self-euthanization, but Willoughby’s loving letter to his wife, and posthumous encouragements for Mildred and Dixon turn both their lives around, give each a form of closure and catharsis from the horrors the film countenance, and closes with the sort of mutual understanding and finding of common ground that doesn’t work if you try to get there mainly via voiceover and soft music and other cinematic tricks.The impact of those letter feels like a cheat. Willoughby practically becomes a god, orchestrating events from beyond the grave and changing people’s hearts almost in an instant. His words are full of purple prose of the “can’t we all just get along” variety, with a few choice local expressions, and not only help bring Mildred some comfort, but nigh-magically turn Dixon into a better man.
Suddenly Dixon, a man who, as far as we’ve seen, has done nothing but abuse his position and take out his wavering wants on anyone in his way, is a good guy who’s willing to put himself on the line to save a woman he would practically spit on before. Suddenly he’s determined enough to go to his new sheriff with DNA to try ID the perp who killed her daughter. Suddenly he’s dedicated enough to the ideas of justice to go on a road trip with her to take out the bad guy who hurt someone, even if he didn’t hurt her child.
Good stories are about change and growth. They’re about people having realizations and changing their behavior, about the way events can shape us and change who they are. But Rockwell’s character never really goes through that. He just reads a letter and wakes up a different person. Yes, he loses his job, but the movie never really presents that as the source of his change of heart. Instead, there’s the wise, old, tragically doomed authority figure to posthumously push him in the right direction, a push that apparently gives Rockwell’s character an overnight transformation into a crusader for justice who’s nigh-instantly remorseful for all the bad deeds he’s committed, ready to make up for them.
It stinks because the performances are superb. Frances McDormand plays Mildred with all the quiet fury and hollowed-out sadness that befits a parent who's lost their child and never found justice. Sam Rockwell shows Dixon’s most odious, reprehensible qualities when he’s a cop on his worst behavior, but finds the vulnerability and essential impotence in the character once he’s been defrocked that almost manages to make that rushed transition work. Woody Harrelson plays the same rough-edged Southerner with a heart of gold he’s performed as plenty in recent years (and between his turn of True Detective and appearances from Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage, The Wire’s Clarke Peters, and Deadwood’s John Hawkes, clearly McDonagh or his casting director has been watching HBO), but the supporting cast is strong and make good impressions in brief amounts of time.
But all that good work is in service of a story that operates in a fantasyland at the same time it’s trying to evoke truth. I’m as apt to applaud films for showing that people contain multitudes as anyone. I’m not averse to showing that grieving mothers can have sharp elbows or that racist cops can have souls.
The problem is that if you want to show them changing for the better, reaching breakthroughs and coming together from opposite sides of the same tragedy, you have to do the work to get the characters and the audience there. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is chock full of great performances, dark humor, and withering truths, but it throws them all away when it anchors the film on a series of mystically powerful letters from a wizened, practically deified man, whose words fix everything, or at least enough, in what can only feel like a shortcut through the fraught territory McDonagh had the initial courage to set foot in.
the charectors are well written and wonderfully acted but this is the only thing that's well written.
The story (or lack there of) is Garbage, the film feels like a mix of a few unfinished idea's hurriedly cobbled together to last an hour and a half.
can't believe The Shape of Water won over this...
Nothing you expect about this movie is what you'll actually experience.
1 / 2 directing & technical aspect1 / 1 story1 / 1 act I1 / 1 act II0 / 1 act III1 / 1 acting1 / 1 writing0 / 1 originality0 / 1 lasting ability to make you think
0 / 1 misc
6 out of 10
Completely aimless, tonally confusing, and ultimately boring.
It's definitely watchable, but don't believe the hype - If this mediocre thing raked up no less than 7 Oscar nominations that should tell you something about the current state of the US movie industry.
Amazing! This was a powerful move.I really enjoy it.Mildred is one of the most incredible characters ever made.
i didn't think the stupid comedy and drama were a good match. It was a bit of a clash of styles. I think it should have focused on being a drama. There was an ongoing message about violence and its ramifications, which was slightly overdone but not that annoying. There are a few tender moments and they are OK, but then it's back to penis jokes. It got better towards the end as the plots came together. The way the characters connect to each other is just good enough. Sometimes Revengeful Mildred acted like she was out of a comedy mafia show for most of the movie. I did like the end. I liked the idea. When it works it works. Woody's character seemed a bit disposable.SpolierThere are a few clunky bits and weirs coincidences. Like happening to having a fire extinguisher in the car as you pass a fire. And saying you hope your daughter gets rapes , just before she gets raped. It's not exactly subtle. The new head of police watches someone chuck a guy out of a window, and nothing happens. I wasn't even looking for issues with this movie as I paid to see it.
LIFF31 2017 #6
"Chiquitita, tell me what's wrong?"
Out of all the films I've seen at LIFF, this is easily my favorite and a great way to end this years festival. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is dark, funny, heart-felt, and a breath of fresh air. Never slowing down or drag on. It's plays around with genres and has a lot to say, politically or truth.
This is the best I've seen from Frances McDormand, which isn't new because it's McDormand. She delivered a performance that will get her another nomination (or win) at the Oscars. You can feel her pain and hate, but also see a softer side to her character which makes you have sympathy for Mildred.
Sam Rockwell, on the other hand, gives one of his finest performance of the film. The character Dixon is short-tempered and not very bright. What stops him from being unlikeable is Rockwell charm and honesty. Dixon has a tremendous arc of learning to care about others rather then just being angry.
Caleb Landry Jones, John Hawkes, Woody Harrelson, and Peter Dinklage were all superb. All of them having brilliant moments in whatever screen time they have. Not Lucas Hedges, I thought he was awful in this.
Martin McDonagh just keeps hitting the home runs through out his career. The script was the real show stealer here. The dialogue is so rich and masterful, it keeps you locked from start till finish. Cinematography, editing, and music are all top of the range.
What else can I say, I loved it every second of it.
Tragic at its core, but a tale filled with hope and grace, and real insights into the human condition. McDormand is fantastic - as she always is - but kudos also belong to Harrelson and Rockwell, as well as the whole of the superb supporting cast. Narratively unpredictable, but the characters matter more than the plot in this gem of a film.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
This is 100% a character study, don't come here for a murder mystery.The acting in this, is among the best in cinema, every character felt real with their emotions.Some minor plot holes, but it matters little.
Was not an awful movie, just kind of slow and I didn't like the ending. I would try to find maybe a 15 minute overview of this movie on youtube if you could so you can spend the other hour and a half of your life doing something more enjoyable lol.
It feels like an incomplete movie, and i would only accept that awfull ending if they are plaining to make a sequel.Besides that the movie is awesome, the performers make this a fantastic movie. 6.5/10 untill i get my sequel!
All round brilliant performances of a razor sharp script. I loved it.
Great film. Love the story. Shitty ending. It ended with things unresolved.
I enjoyed the pace of the film, the tension, and the character arcs. Even the ending was satisfactory though not what I expected.
Acting skills at a high level. However, I do not understand the admiration of the script ... the idea is good, but for me there is no punch line.
Que mulher, cara! Que atuação...
Nossa! Que filme corajoso. Atuações fantásticas e uma história que te coloca pra pensar o tempo inteiro. Os personagens são cinzas e suas ações estão constantemente provocando o espectador a confrontar suas próprias convicções. O final achei um pouco conveniente mas não tira o brilho do filme. Já é o meu favorito na corrida do Oscar.
This is a bizarre story. If I were a Missourian I would be offended. This movie was written by a London born man who got the germ of an idea from three billboards he saw in a field in Texas as he was exploring America by bus. The shallowness, violence and ignorance that seems to be the norm of the majority of his characters reflect his perceptions rather than the reality of small town Missouri. (And this is from a Canadian who has been less than impressed by the behaviour of our neighbours south of our border which I've observed my whole life.) Having said that, I want to turn my attention back to the film. The acting was VERY good (award worthy). All the principals brought depth, shade and poignancy to their roles. Once you've accepted the fiction of the tale as it's own reality, it draws you in as you watch it unfold (albeit you may be cringing at the character's choices). This is a good movie. I wouldn't give it the high accolades the award nominations seem to curry, and it isn't a movie I would see twice, but I would give it a 7 (good) out of 10. [Crime Drama with Dark Humour].
A nice mystery that's not about what it's meant to be about, because the 3 billboards in the film are not billboards but characters (Chief William Willoughby, Mildred Hayes and Officer Dixon), and the movie is not a mystery but a tale of grace, humanity and redemption.
Mannnnnn ssssiiggghhh..you sit thru so many mediocre flicks...and then ffffinally, finally..a gem
Fucking brilliant. The funniest film I've seen in ages but also totally heartbreaking. Phenomenal.
Really enjoyed the words that Mildred had to say to the priest that came to her house.
Drama is a film genre that requires most reality in the story ... in this movie you have the feeling that anyone can kill, hurt, curse the police in the worst possible way, threatens, breaks ... pure anarchy. This film is depressing, and that word describes it best. Also, here on Trakt.tv @Dirk wrote that there is a great balance between drama and comedy. Comedy ??? What comedy? Well, if there was a comedy, the movie might have been interesting. And the ending of the movie? I have not seen this kind of stupid ending for a long time. The acting was great, of course ... the film was beautifully shot, but the story could have been much more interesting, especially if it had a better finish. 4/10
The movie has a really awesome soundtrack! Loved every but of it.
I've never watched this .I have tried to but it's never done it. How come it's on there?? Also there are other films Jurassic world being one,, again I have tried to but it's never come through .???
Really great movie with Oscar worthy performances although the ending seemed a bit abrupt to me. I would have liked to see more.
I decent film on my billboard with (Frances Dormand) and (Sam Rockwell) showing off a good performance and had little sense of humour but I felt It could of had more too it and I'd of given It 8/10 instead of 7/10.
Enjoyable, entertaining film with great performances by Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. The one issue I have with this film is their attempt to redeem Sam Rockwell's character who seemed damned near irredeemable to me.
A good movie, I don’t think its a masterpiece, but in recent years the [masterpieces] tend to elude me. It is entertaining and also not very predictable from the opening. It makes sense and most of the characters are likable even if when introduced they aren’t.
It’s probably the best movie of 2017, grab it and watch it. You won’t be wasting 140 minutes of your life.
just kill people with pure kindness
Didnt took my attention. For me its just another sunday afternoon movie to watch, nothing special to see or even think
They just took a few actors well know to try to hype this movie but i gave a 5 on this
A great movie. A very good balance between drama and comedy. A small story with depth and relevance. But most of all, it is told in very eloquent way. For me the form, the way a story is told, gets more and more importance over the story, the content.
The ending is almost perfect, I think the cut comes even too late. The story is told inside Ebbing and the cut should have come, when they leave Ebbing. Leaving Ebbing is leaving the story of the movie. What comes now is another story. And I would like to have more ambiguity. After their conversation, the following story is clear now.
The only reason, that this great movie foes not get the Oscar for best picture, would be losing against Dunkirk. But losing against The Shape of Water? What a pity.
Hmm, wasn’t so impressed with this. Great acting from Academy Award winner Frances McDormand but I felt the story was a bit lacking.
Yes! I'm so happy that Frances and Sam won an oscar for this! Truly deserved!
A really good movie. I hope it gets the Oscar!
Amazing! I really liked it. Many important and current themes in a single film.Fantastic acting.
Great movie. The ending was a big let down. Sets up for a sequel. Pity, great all around. The ending, still don't get it.
Brilliant film! Dark, hilarious and emotionally deep, with outstanding performances. The whole thing is packed with such quirky, yet human characters, it's hard not to connect with them and invest in what happens with them. Deserves all the accolades it's getting.
Oh that simple, yet complicated life in small town.
When i saw the trailer i wanted to see this movie, but alas it didn't live up to the greatness i was expecting. The acting was great and the story was good too, but it wasn't complete. They give you a case to think about and work towards it only to lead you astray in the end and you're no wiser than when you started the movie. I must say this was an epic performance by Woody Harrelson he was truly amazing in this movie. It was nice seeing a lot of great actors come together in this movie.
A moving and often funny crime drama with great performances by a fantastic cast. Rockwell's Dixon not knowing what Sandy place a soldier would be stationed at is hilarious. Such an interesting character.
Que filme espetacular, fui condizido para um caminho q a tempos um filme nao me levava.
This was a truly phenomenal movie. I loved Frances McDormands performance , the way she shows the emotions of Mildred Hayes all felt so sincere. The angry, the fear, the loving but also the revengeful mother all were portrayed perfect. I also liked Woody Harrelsons part and sure his death was surprising, but after his suicide I almost immediately forgot that he was in it This movie is fully character driven and it had me on the edge of my seat for the whole duration. Sure there were some slower parts but overall this movie is a must watch.
Smart, funny and with a whole lot of heart, this film was not what I was expecting, but it managed to far exceed my expectations. Frances McDormand is brilliant as always, of course! Sam Rockwell’s character is hilariously on point and clever. 10/10
Wasn't expecting much from this, but what a great movie!! Highly recommend taking the time to watch it.
Far away from what i expected..Good movie but overrated wayy to much and so slow i couldnt stand it in some parts..
Outstanding perfomance from Frances McDormand though the strong part from this movie!
I'm going to have to watch this again. Because I'm considering putting this in my favourite movies of all time. It truely is great in every way. Great performances, great tone, phenomenal script.
It is something that needs to be experienced. As this is my first time viewing a Martin McDonagh film. I am exceptionally pleased with his work. Both in direction and writing. Outstanding film.
This was a really great movie that had a lot emotion great story telling, and lastly every actor in this movie were at the top of their craft. What made this story moving and powerful is that it something that could haved really happened. I really recommend this movie for anyone who loves great film making and anyone who wants to be entertained.
Masterpiece, simply a masterpiece. Everything from the acting, storytelling, directing, and everything in between us done so beautifully and with thought it's hard not to nominate it good all the Oscars.
Heavy drama with a bit of humour, filled with FANTASTIC performances! A great candidate for the Oscars.
The influence of Fargo can't be denied here. Lead actress McDormand is most obvious. Based on a true story (which I feel compelled to Wikipedia soon). Interesting characters throughout. Shifts in tone from comedy, melodrama and outright savage violence. That being said, it was a good tale and not what I was expecting at all. Funnier than some comedies this year and an engaging plot that even after the curtain drops, you're still not sure where it is going. 7/10
A masterpiece. The movie of the year.
At first I didn't think I would like this movie, but after getting it recommended I watched it. I can say I did not regret it, it has realistic people with a very interesting plot
Du Pitch au casting. Des répliques aux retournements de situations. De l'humour à la violence. De la légèreté à la tristesse. Tout est parfaitement amené.
Les acteurs sont incroyables. Caleb Landry Jones enchaine les bons films et les bons rôles. Woody Harrelson est toujours nickel. Sam Rockwell, qu'on avait un peu oublié, revient casser des bouches avec un rôle incroyable et une performance éclipsée uniquement par l'immense talent de Frances McDormand.
Car la vraie star, c'est évidemment elle. Ses changements d'humeur, la subtilité avec laquelle elle passe d'une émotion à l'autre au sein d'une même scène, tout est remarquable.
La fin est peut-être un poil décevante, car évidente dans le type de résolution que le film peut se permettre. Mais ça ne gâche en rien le génie de ce film.
Moi qui ai DÉTESTÉ In Bruges et Seven Psychopaths, je suis encore plus surpris par la réalisation et le scénario de Martin McDonagh. Chapeau bas. Vivement les oscars.
the dark comedy that hits the spot for me. Woody Harrelson chilliness against Frances McDormand's wrath is the best screen pairing i've seen lately
"I thought salt was supposed to be good for your wounds."
Frances Mcdormand is a force of nature! My favorite movie of the year
I would be swearing too if I would live in Missouri. Mac's Mom for best supporting actress.
Fantastic film, very smart and has a ton of dark humor. The script, the dialogue, the cinematography, the music, it is all top notch. Frances McDormand gives one of the best performances of her career, my favorite since Fargo. Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell are both fantastic too. Martin McDonagh's unique style of directing makes for a very entertaining movie and I look forward to seeing what he does next.