Capsule Review (Minimal spoilers):
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is not your typical Hollywood fare, and is better for it. A woman, Mildred (Francis McDormand), pays to rent three billboards on a road to her town, and uses them to shame the local police for not solving her daughter’s brutal murder. Her hope is that something will be done. Of course, nothing is that simple.
This film is reasonably close to a Coen Brothers film. It’s a slice of small town life with some unpleasant sensibilities. It’s violent at times, and therefore not recommended for the faint of heart.
It is interesting, and worth a look if you don’t want the same old story, told exactly how you’d want or expect it. I recommend it for people who want something different.
Standard Review (with minor plot spoilers):
Mildred lives with her son, and is trying to get some justice. Most understand her anguish, but the police certainly do not appreciate her approach. Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) is frustrated, too, but he’s got his own issues to deal with. Deputy Dixon (Sam Rockwell) is a wildcard, has his own issues with rage and racism, and is specifically annoyed with what Mildred’s done.
The story is refreshingly unpredictable, which makes it even more satisfying, to me. There are a handful of supporting characters, and they all seem properly fleshed out – they don’t exist just to contribute to the main characters’ stories. There’s a reasonable balance of pain, sincerity, and uncomfortable levity, all of which humanize these people more.
The movie is best left discovered by watching, so I won’t speak more of the plot. I like this movie a lot, and if you’re in the right frame of mind to enjoy it, I think you will, too.