Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ★★

Ben Davis, oh boy, lemme tell ya. This guy... this is not my kind of guy. He shares Danny Cohen's affliction wherein he seems pathologically unable to pick a bold and decisive light source. This film looks as flat as the pancakes I ate for breakfast this morning and those pancakes were not my best. Usually they're pretty good; we were all out of mangos.

As for McDonagh, one can mostly get away with being obnoxiously self-satisfied if what they're writing is clever enough to justify its own indulgence; it is, however, a dangerous game. Here, it completely tanks everything. The stuff that this thing does well has been done better elsewhere, and that's to say nothing of stuff it doesn't do well. The acidic monologues and snipes, transparently designed for maximum "OH NO SHE/HE DIDN'T" transgressive gimmickry, are punishingly rote; this is a film that bets the farm on 'em.