Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

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 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (2017)

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh

Starring: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Peter Dinklage, Lucas Hedges

A grieving mother (McDormand) uses billboards in an effort to get the attention of the local police chief (Harrelson) after the murder of her daughter.

This film was written and directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). The cast includes Frances McDormand (Blood Simple), Sam Rockwell (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Woody Harrelson (The Thin Red Line), Peter Dinklage (X-Men: Days of Future Past), and Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea).

This story is a unique blend of black comedy and twisted drama. In addition to a unique setting, the film features a wide range of odd and sometimes comical characters. The plot of the story is strong, with a number of good twists throughout. Unfortunately, the writing shows little restraint when it comes to the use of dialogue. Moments where a bit of silence would be great are filled with mindless chatter. Additionally, the dialogue is so thick that the actors seem to have few chances to do any real interpretation of their characters. The result of the successes and flaws in this film leave an unbalanced experience that doesn’t work like it could have.

The acting in this one is as good as you can expect given the script that they had to work with. With a constant stream of weak dialogue, the film doesn’t seem to let the audience soak in the moment. Frances McDormand leads the film and does find a number of great moments. Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson also find a few good moments despite the script. Rockwell is especially fun at times. Peter Dinklage and Lucas Hedges do solid work with their roles as well. The script really limited the cast, but it’s still got some moments worth watching.

This one doesn’t do anything too unique from a production standpoint. The visuals, sound, and music all do their part. The finished product is entertaining at times, but lacks the balance that would’ve made it a great movie. The main issue is overbearing dialogue that ruins what could be great contemplative moments in the story. Despite the issues with the script, fans of the stars might still enjoy this one. I give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 115 Minutes


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