Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri movie review - Aussieboyreviews


In this dark and heavy crime-themed drama, you’ll find a very bleak sense of humour as expected from Martin McDonagh. This film is intense, gripping and exceptionally-made.


When the authorities fail to catch the person responsible for raping and murdering her daughter, Mildred Hayes decides to challenge the police officials to solve the case starting by hiring three billboards with a controversial message directed at police chief William Willoughby.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Release Date (Australia): 1 January 2018
Runtime: 115 minutes/1h 55m
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Crime
Country: USA, UK
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

The film contains verbal references of the rape and murder of a teenage girl, domestic violence, police brutality, acts of violence and suicide. A character is depicted committing suicide by shooting himself in the head and autopsy photos of a burned corpse are viewed.

Violence (M)

The film contains occasional scenes of violence, including a police officer beating another man, a dental drill being forced onto a man’s thumb and a depiction of a character committing suicide by shooting himself in the head, accompanied by blood detail and brief spurts of blood.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film contains strong coarse language, including frequent use of the word “f**k” and several uses of “c**t”, “s**t”, “bitch” and “**shole”.

Drug Use (PG)

The film contains a verbal reference to “smoking pot”.

Sex (M)

The film contains moderate verbal references to sexual intercourse.

mpaa rating

R (for violence, language throughout, and some sexual references)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Frances McDormand’s and Sam Rockwell’s excellent performances carry us through this dark, emotional and complex black comedy fixed phenomenally by the peculiar mind of Martin McDonagh. It’s an entertaining but dark story meant for captivating characters having bleak conversations around the topics of rape, murder, racism and a crippled police force, and the film has them deal with this subject matter through anger, sadness, lots of frustration, and even humour.

In Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which people can just call Three Billboards as a shortcut from its mind-numbing title, McDormand ferociously executes a mother dealing with grief and anger as she challenges the authorities who fail to catch the culprit of her daughter’s rape/murder. In the first 10 minutes, the film sets up the idea of some of the characters and pastes McDormand’s character’s controversial messages up on the three billboards outside the fictional town of Ebbing, Missouri. They read “Raped While Dying”, “And Still No Arrests?”, and “How Come, Chief Willoughby?”.

That happens in just the first 10 minutes, and then the film begins to surround the how these billboards have created controversy for the people and police force in the town its set in. This is not a film with a big priority on character development; instead, it trusts its remarkable performances, mainly from McDormand, to arrest our care for the story and the situation, and thanks to all of the acting, as well as the cinematography, writing, constructive pacing and shocking-black humour, Three Billboards will have your attention from beginning to end.

It’s extremely difficult to deny that the film is exceptionally-crafted, with just as much or possibly even more effort from writer/director McDonagh behind the camera as to what’s being shot. It’s worth noting that the film has some sequences of quiet shots accompanied by beautiful opera singing, as well as a very thought-provoking final scene and the whole plot being worth discussing. The big bummer are the plot holes, not necessarily to do with whether they’re frequent or not, but how big and convoluting they are.

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