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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Crime | 115 minutes
3,87 2.236 votes

Genre: Crime / Drama

Duration: 115 minuten

Country: United States / United Kingdom

Directed by: Martin McDonagh

Stars: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell

IMDb score: 8,1 (553.872)

Releasedate: 1 December 2017

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri plot

After becoming increasingly frustrated at the police's inability to find the person who murdered her daughter, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, erecting three billboards leading into her town with a controversial message directed at Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing's law enforcement is only exacerbated.

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Very audience-friendly film. A bit of humor, a bit of drama, yes, that gets the job done. In Kriterion there was a lot of laughter on Friday evening in K1, the main hall. The man next to me gave off an unpleasant smell, but that was not the main problem. I had a shawl with me, I could press my nose into it.

No, the problem, of course, was that it was all pretty flat and easy. The humor was sometimes quite nice and subtle, but more often you could see the jokes coming from afar. Worse was the sentiment (that deer!). And of course the one-sided exposure of the poor American. The redneck, white trash, I don't even know a normal name for it, it's that bad. Racism, sexism, we no longer do that (and rightly so), but we can put the deplorables on their numbers with impunity. Nicely constructive.

I spent some time in outdoor advertising. I'm deeply ashamed of that, but that doesn't matter right now. Well this: if a billboard is destroyed, that is of course a problem for the operator, not the advertiser. Well, interesting too. Silly movie, quickly forgotten.

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avatar van Macmanus


  • 13726 messages
  • 3632 votes

Great movie.

Fortunately, the film often struck the right chord. Somehow, if you watch the film very strictly, I can understand that the film is sometimes a bit easy. Rockwell is a bit dopy. Still, I want to make a case here that the film is much more than that. It's never a movie that wants to give you the realistic vibe. The film works in extremes but manages to slow down at the right moments so that the impact is very present. For example, Harrelson's death works great, and Rockwell's reaction is strong both cinematically and impactively. That's where the film is at its best. Because, just like last year with Hell or High Water, it is a film that tells a story in a small village that refers to the large scale of the entire world. That's not how the dark man saves the case. The police officer is only fired, for those acts he should also be allowed to go to jail, but he does not change that system in America either. Of course there is a certain amount of sympathy for McDormand but that her actions are not good and lead nowhere is also clear. Some people seem to have missed the nuances here. In that respect I like this form more than the contemporary Coens who often extend it slightly to absurdism, which I often find a bit weak. McDonagh is more daring imo by never placing it too far outside our reality. Coen movies lately want to have more emptiness because it has a non-urgent opinion.

A fine film that deserves to be in a nice recent list of indie US films.

4 stars.

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avatar van Film Pegasus

Film Pegasus (moderator films)

  • 30493 messages
  • 5204 votes

Besides the great Frances McDormand in the lead role, for me the script and the development of the characters are the big asset in this film. The film starts out as a modern answer to Mississippi Burning but gradually shows characters who are not necessarily bad or good but who are human. That behind many actions there is an underlying motive. That things that are well-intentioned can sometimes have bad consequences. And vice versa as well.

While the film seems to be a standard drama, it just avoids all the clichés. However, it doesn't seem like that in the beginning, so the film shows nicely that appearances can be deceiving.

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