Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ★★★

Expiation through sarcasm seems to be McDonagh's motto as a filmmaker, and the result can be quite uneven. Whether what comes off can be read as offensive or insightful, no one can deny that he builds interesting and complex characters.

The main problem with the film is that, in order to delineate those characters' dramas and flaws, some strange, clunky and lazy script decisions stand out: cancer as a redemption story for a racist cop? A woman (who happens to be black) appears smiling and carefree after being unjustly incarcerated? A young woman gets raped literally moments after her mother said "I hope you get raped"?!

These moments, among others, spoil the flow of the narrative and feel forced - all done to emphasize the weight of the main characters' decisions. Still, the performances are on point, especially an outstanding McDormand.

Just one thing: can we please stop having Abbie Cornish playing the role of THE WIFE in every film? It's as if nobody saw what she can do in "Bright Star"!

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