Movie tip: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Movie tip

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Frances McDormand propels this film with the sheer force of her fierce performance. She’s a mother who is grieving the death of her teenage daughter, who was raped and set on fire. The assailants haven’t been identified, and she decides to shame the police force into investigating the murder, which they seem disinterested in doing. Woody Harrelson brings an unexpected gravity and wry humor to his police chief role. Sam Rockwell, though, goes too broad with his characterization of a brutish dolt of a cop (whose persona shifts in an implausible way). “Three Billboards” is written and directed by Martin McDonagh, bringing his patented mix of dark comedy, ribald language and bursts of violence to the proceedings. When it comes down to it, though, it’s McDormand’s movie.

 

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