There are only two people in the entire world whose film critique I admire and respect. When both of them gave stunning reviews of this film, it was hard to keep my anticipation in check.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is directed by the guy who also directed “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths”, Martin McDonagh. I have seen and enjoyed both of those movies, but neither of them come close to how absolutely phenomenal Three Billboards is.
A summary in 20 words or less:
Mildred decides to purchase three billboards that she uses to antagonize the local police who haven’t found her daughter’s killer.
What follows is an absolute crazy experience as one woman takes on the authorities of a small town, and by extension, the small town itself.
Every single scene in this entire movie was either fascinating, exciting, shocking, intense, hilarious, or disturbing. The movie instantly sucks you into the world it has created, and it is almost impossible to predict where exactly the story is going to go next.
Francis McDormand leads in what is most likely the best performance of 2017. It is extremely difficult for a film to use every single scene to layer a character, but Three Billboards somehow found a way to do it. She absolutely commands this role to the point of complete submersion. Mildred, her character, was such an unquantifiable entity, and it was wholly intriguing to see what she was going to do next.
Woody Harrelson was fantastic as well. Sam Rockwell gave, in my opinion, one of his most memorable performances I have ever seen. Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones, and pretty much everyone else is also amazing.
Pretty much the only weak link was Lucas Hedges. His performance, much like Manchester by the Sea, was only good half of the time, and weirdly held back the other half of the time. He wasn’t bad enough to damper the final product, but his performance didn’t really do much for me.
There will likely be some scenes in this movie that will be considered “preachy” to some people. And even though I typically detest preachy film scenes, the reason for why anything is said by any character was solely because of their character, and not necessarily because the director wanted to make a point. Therefore, it did not bother me.
Every single element in respect to the filmmaking is fantastic. The camera work made every scene even more interesting, and the lighting often did wonders for the tone of the entire film. The soundtrack was beautiful and helped every single scene it was used in.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri honestly blew me away. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I enjoyed nearly every single character in this entire movie, whether they were great people or unlikable scumbags (many characters were both). Every single character in this movie was layered. Every single part of the narrative was riveting.
The movie is five minutes shy of two hours, but the entire time flew by because of just how fantastic it was, and honestly if the film was even longer, I probably wouldn’t have minded. This is the first film of 2017 that is getting a perfect score from me, and considering this year only has less than two months to go, Three Billboards will likely be a shoe-in for my Best Film of the Year.