Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ★★½

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri absolutely repulsed me. Maybe I was too tired when I was watching it, but I think it's more likely that the poor script did me in. Mildred indeed is an interesting character, mostly due to McDormand's phenomenal performance. She's the sole reason this is worth checking out, making one of the many cartoon characters in the script feel heartbreakingly real. However, a spectacular performance does not hide the fact that the rest of this film is haphazardly made. McDonagh's direction matches his mediocre script.

However, the biggest insult is Sam Rockwell's character, Dixon. Rockwell gives Dixon the best performance possible, but the writing for this character fundamentally misunderstands how redemption arcs work. If one is a racist cop who beats up black people in custody, helping a woman find the person who raped her daughter has absolutely nothing to do with his racism. We're told at the beginning of the movie that he's deep down a decent person, and by the end, the only that's changed is he's more motivated to do his job. He's still a racist pile of feces, but hey, he can do his job better. It's insulting that this meant to be a progressive storyline for that character when, in fact, the character remains utterly loathsome throughout the entire film.

There are other problems to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It's not particularly funny and its tone never seems clear. However, what it does was Dixon is by far the most insulting thing about the film, and makes it a tough watch all around. Sure, technically it's alright and McDormand is fantastic, but the rest of the film is deep down ugly, and thus, hard to recommend despite smaller triumphs within it. Disappointing in the most disgusting sense.

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