'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' - Movie Review

Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) rents the three abandoned billboards along the road to her house to accuse the sheriff of her small town of making no progress on the rape and death of her daughter several months prior. The town is inevitably severely split over the harshly worded billboards.

Martin McDonagh wrote and directed - as he also did on "In Bruges." If you've seen that movie, you'll have some sense of the comic twisted discomfort awaiting you in this movie: brilliant, funny, unpredictable, and nearly as good as "In Bruges" ... and that's a major compliment as that was an outstanding movie, possibly the best of its year.

My measure of a good movie these days requires good acting and good writing, but equally importantly, unpredictability. And I don't mean crazy stuff for the sake of crazy stuff, I mean twists in the plot that make sense but that I couldn't predict. There are tropes, ideas, and expectations about plotting so embedded in our society that predictable "twists" are standard fodder in the vast majority of films. Happily, McDonagh doesn't subscribe to that. Not as eminently quotable as "In Bruges," but McDormand is outstanding and gets excellent support from the rest of the cast.