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Film Review: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Examines Our Violence

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO - Film is often an expression of our society, either as a depiction of how it really is or how it should be. Few films are as daring as Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which isn’t afraid to show us the state of our society and offer a realistic solution through a grim drama that is as humorous as it is devastating.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

The topics of rape and police incompetence are no laughing matter, but Martin McDonagh knows that to be truly impactful, the film needs moments of levity to keep it from becoming a deluge of depression. Much like his previous film, “In Bruges”, McDonagh presents us with deeply flawed and damaged people, only to later have us sympathize with even the worst of them. McDonagh paints a tragic, American pastoral scene about a complacent rural community. Most people we encounter in this community are simultaneously good and bad, doing the right things for the wrong reasons and vice versa. Everyone else falls into a morally gray area.

McDonagh puts his story in an American setting to comment on the state of the violence in our country. Every week there is a new mass shooting, violent action against a minority group, etc. He draws our attention to the racist actions of law enforcement against people of color by having a police officer who continually displays violent racist actions but is excused by his superiors and his actions written off as a “boys will be boys” apology. McDonagh recognizes how violence stems from police corruption, but at the same time doesn’t condone it. He also shows us how most of the problems plaguing this once quiet town are the direct cause of men, emphasizing the damaging effects of the patriarchy that protects its own and holds firmly onto their outdated beliefs.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” opened everywhere on November 17th. Featuring Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Caleb Landry Jones, Samara Weaving and Peter Dinklage. Directed by Martin McDonagh. Written by Martin McDonagh. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

3 billboards1
Frances McDormand plays a woman with a mission in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

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