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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Updated on June 27, 2020

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) review

This is an amazing film, from beginning to end. As long as you don’t mind a lot of profanity, that is. This film throws you into a crime drama in a small rural town. A true character piece, this movie shows the stress of having to remain within the confines of the law when justice doesn’t seem to be being served. Movies like this don’t come around very often and are a rare treat.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) was written, directed and produced by Martin McDonagh and stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell. Mildred Hayes (McDormand) is a grieving mother in the small town of Ebbing, Missouri. She is unsatisfied with the investigation into the rape and murder of her daughter. She decides to rent three billboards and has them pose a question as to why the police chief (Harrelson) hasn’t made any arrests in 7 months. The result of this action sends a shockwave through the small town where everyone loves and supports their sherriff. Only trying to seek justice, Mildred may have started a war.

This is an example of what happens when a brilliant script meets very skilled and seasoned acting. The detailed glimpse into a small modern rural town made the feel of the movie very down to earth and real. The writing was brilliant, and I found it interesting how Martin McDonagh got the idea for this film. Apparently he was driving through the southern United States when he came across a couple of accusatory billboards about an unsolved crime in Vidor, Texas. The messages stuck in his mind and this incident, combined with him wanting to create a strong female lead, led him to write this screenplay. How fascinating that a random occurrence could spark an entire film.

The acting in this film was brilliant. The three main characters were all very intense roles and they had to be played by the most seasoned actors. The casting in this film was perfect, with McDormand, Harrelson and Rockwell truly showing their full potential.

This movie was very worthy of every accolade it received, and it received many. I would recommend this to anyone who hasn’t seen it and doesn’t mind an overdose of profanity.

Film trivia

  • This film had a budget of 15 million dollars and a worldwide gross of 160.1 million dollars.
  • This movie was released on December 1, 2017. It was produced by Blueprint Pictures and distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
  • This film was shot in North Carolina.
  • Sam Rockwell won the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and Frances McDormand won for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.
  • There is no town in Missouri called Ebbing.
  • This was the first feature film written and directed by Martin McDonagh not to star Colin Farrell.
  • McDonagh wrote the the screenplay with McDormand in mind for the lead role.
  • In addition to gaining weight, Sam Rockwell wore padding to make his character appear chubbier.


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