Film Review: Three billboards outside Ebbing Missouri

I so wanted to be able to say that Martin McDonagh has performed a hat trick with his most recent feature film.

Thankfully, I can. Mr McDonagh has written and directed one of the best films of 2017, with the actress Frances McDormand, giving a powerhouse performance, and almost certainly ensuring an Oscar nomination for her role.

This is a dark comedy, but its not one for beginners to the genre. Ms McDormand's character, Mildred Hayes, will have you laughing one second and tearing up the next. The drama in this film is real and palpable and you can almost touch the emotions happening up there on the screen.

Sam Rockwell is almost unrecognisable in this film, as the policeman Dixon, who at first glance seems simple enough, but there are many layers to his character that are revealed throughout. If the Academy has any clue as to what constitutes a masterly performance, he'll be up there holding the statuette alongside Ms McDormand.

Similarly, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones (who was actually properly scared by Ms McDormand's performance), Lucas Hedges and of course: Zeljko Ivanek - who has been in the last two of Mr McDonagh's films and being memorable for the side characters he portrays. From the Canadian comically mistaken for an American, to the gangster's right hand man and now the policeman stuck between Mr Harrelson's sheriff Willoughy and Mr Rockwell's troublesome police officer - the man makes a mark in all of them.

And we have to mention Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Kerry Condon and Clarke Peters. Along with everyone else credited with this absolute gem of a film, as deeply emotional and wild and crazy as it is.

A special mention to the editor, John Gregory. Without great editing, a possible great film can fall on its knees. No chance of it happening with this one. Highest quality from opening to ending.

Top marks.


  1. This quote comes from another film with wild characters that give true emotion.

    Grandma Mirabeau: [to granddaughter Maine] “I'm not asking you to be a normal child, 'cause that's not the Mirabeau way. I'm just asking you to be a little smarter about your crazy side, okay?”


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