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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Award-winning actress Frances McDormand (Fargo) delivers a stunningly powerful performance in this darkly comic drama that has been hailed as one of the year's best films.
Martin McDonagh
Frances McDormandWoody HarrelsonSam Rockwell
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Supporting actors
Abbie CornishJohn HawkesPeter Dinklage
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usesexual contentviolence
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.6 out of 5 stars

7967 global ratings

  1. 74% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Andrew T. DrefsReviewed in the United States on December 30, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Best movie of 2018? Are you kidding me?
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This film is garbage from the get-go with a never ending stream of mean, foul mouthed people. Was the acting good, sure it was, they all played their foul mouthed, pointless parts very well. Was there ever any resolution to anything though? No, there wasn't. The sheriff is dying so in order to spare his family from his coming decline he decides to shoot himself in the head. What a hero. Does the rapist/killer ever get caught? No, he doesn't, but the mother decides to take the law unto her own hands and drive cross-country to kill someone else who may also have been a rapist. And the one guy they try to convince us IS a hero is going along to help. This comes after he threw a guy out a window because he didn't like him and right after he broke his nose. What a guy! There are so many great, honest, decent true stories to tell and yet time after time Hollywood instead focuses on garbage like this. Truly awful waste of talent.
59 people found this helpful
pennameReviewed in the United States on March 14, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Seeking Justice with a vengeance . This film never stops surprising you
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Quick Story Recap: A woman whose daughter was raped and murdered does her best to try and find or force the police to find the murderer.

Acting was great. The casting department did a wonderful job getting the talent on this film. Frances McDormand was killing it in every scene. I enjoyed her work. But everyone looks the part too of small town people.

Wow - That's my visceral response while seeng the credits roll. I think the film does an amazing job with pulling you into the story from the moment you see what's on the billboards and keeps you with all the twists. I love that all the characters were well defined in their actions, reactions, and dialogue. The strength of the character motivations is the backbone of the film, if they weren't well defined none of the surprises and twists would have been effective. OK, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE FILM SPECIFICALLY SPOILER ALERT!!!!!! For most of the movie, I suspected and hoped the murderer was Dixon but I'm glad I got to see him sort of redeemed. This film does such a good job of making the audience sympathetic to each characters situation at some point in the film (It takes a while for any sympathy for Dixon, but i feel he gets there). And since you really understand each character and their struggle, you, as the audience member get easily torn into which side would you be on, and I admired that the movie could make me feel conflicted especially in the moment of the billboard discussion on the swings between Mildred and Sheriff Whelliby. .

I'll admit there were some unrealistic things, seems like Mildred would be been in prison for arson I don't think cops would just let her off especially given her comments to the chief following the billboard fire he would have so much reason to think she did it. I can't believe Mildred kicked not one but two students in the groin!! haha! Yes, in reality that would have been more problematic for her too. Hard to say if Dixon would have had jail time for his assault of Wellby - in reality we still have a hard time convicting cops who shoot unarmed people so I don' t know what would have happened there besides maybe a lawsuit and a payout to Welby.

While I wished for Mildred to get justice I'm glad the movie doesn't, I think they made the right choice even if I had hope the bar guy was it. I loved former Officer Dixon's las few lines of the film, "who else would have?" it added a needed moment of levity that drew a laugh and helped the final moments of the film for the audience to know Mildred and Dixon weren't really going to murder someone --- while Mildred and Dixon have both done terrible things in the course of the film, This moment capitalized that they aren't really bad deep down. I loved this film and plan on buying the DVD.
49 people found this helpful
KTKTReviewed in the United States on March 31, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Cannot say enough about the greatness of this film
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The best movie I have seen in a long time. The performances were great. It did not have that contrived cheesy ending that out mainly Aristotelian society craves and loves. I knew this film would be great when the small town I live in only had it in the theaters for a week or so. That is usually the sign that the film might be a worthwhile cinematic journey, which it delivered on all counts. The acting and the characters were great. Others I recommended it to thought there was something wrong with me after they saw it. But, they found nothing funny about it whereas I did. Then again, I was reminded that I laughed at Heathers and told them to watch that also.
26 people found this helpful
R. BittonReviewed in the United States on December 1, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Depressing movie about extreme Rage and it's consequences
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The movie is very dark and depressing, not even one pleasant moment in it. The main character suffers from extreme rage over the rape and murder of her daughter, and the fact that the Police hasn't managed to solve the crime, and in addition rage over the fact that her middle age husband left her for a 19 years old girl. So she expresses her rage through profanity, yelling, beating up people, burning down buildings and even contemplating killing someone she suspects of the crime. The writer and director presents her rage as justified and therefore all her actions of revenge are justified as well. I don't agree! She could have benefited from a support group or therapy to resolve her grief and anger issues. Violence directed at anyone and everyone is not the answer. It would not bring her daughter back to life or her husband back to her, it only inflicts pain and suffering on innocent people and perpetuates the cycle of misery.
12 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on March 11, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
sad, depressing (there was some funny moments) But there ...
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totally engrossing...yes, intense, sad, depressing (there was some funny moments) But there were messages of humanity, compassion and a few of the characters wrestle with those emotions...Incredible acting by Frances M. couldn't take my eyes off her ! Sam R. amazing, too. There was some controversy with the racism- of course it was racist ...should we ignore such a realistic portrayal ? could it not make us examine the issue more ? Think of all the other movies that have been made that addresses the issue- should they not have been made ? Think: Twelve Years a Slave, To kill a Mockingbird, Roots and many, many more...???
14 people found this helpful
lilychrystieReviewed in the United States on March 3, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
People love, hate, care, and change... and the darkest moments are leavened with martini-dry wit.
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Martin McDonagh is a drama master: the stakes are high in this story (that encompasses several stories), action rises, and 'transformation' abounds. People love, hate, care, and change. The darkest moments are leavened with martini-dry wit, which makes bearable (if not pleasurable) the entire journey. The casting and performances are superb. He should have been nominated as a director, no two ways about it.
17 people found this helpful
M.A. KleenReviewed in the United States on August 22, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
Martin McDonagh needs to write an ending to this otherwise stellar film
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A woman seeks justice for her daughter by battling indifference in a small Midwestern town in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), written and directed by Martin McDonagh. This dark dramedy was enormously successful, raking in over $157 million worldwide on a $15 million budget. It goes to show what can happen when first rate actors play well-written characters in a compelling storyline.

Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) is a grieving mother whose teenage daughter, Angela (Kathryn Newton), was brutally raped and murdered. Local Police Chief Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) has yet to make an arrest after several months. Frustrated with lack of progress in the investigation, Mildred rents three abandoned billboards and posts: “Raped While Dying”, “Still No Arrests?”, and “How Come, Chief Willoughby?”

The billboards quickly divide the town. Chief Willoughby, while sympathetic, is suffering from terminal cancer and feels Mildred is unfairly targeting him. He fails to restrain an alcoholic and abusive police officer, Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell), who retaliates against the billboard owner, Red Welby (Caleb Landry Jones). Mildred is also under attack from her ex husband, Charlie (John Hawkes), another abusive alcoholic, who blames her for their daughter’s death.

Events quickly spiral out of control, but nothing is resolved in the end. Jason Dixon is the only character who grows or has a change of heart, which is usual because he’s definitely not the protagonist. Mildred remains unnecessarily mean to everyone around her, including James (Peter Dinklage), who is just trying to show her some affection.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was “inspired by true events” when Martin McDonagh drove past several similar billboards along Interstate 10 near Vidor, Texas, just outside Beaumont. In real life, it was a grieving father who put them there after his daughter was allegedly strangled by her husband. He blames local police for dropping the ball and never charging anyone for the crime.

This is a sad commonality in the U.S. In 2015, NPR reported the average national clearance rate for homicide was 64.1 percent, down from 90 percent in 1960. “Clearance” just means someone was arrested for the crime. Last year, Chicago’s murder clearance rate was only 20 percent. At least 200,000 murders have gone unsolved since the 1960s.

So Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri likely stuck a chord with friends and family of homicide victims, equally frustrated and wishing they could act out like Mildred Hayes. McDonagh created Mildred’s character because he wanted a “strong female” role, and he succeeded if by “strong female” he meant “raging psychopath”. During the course of the film, she tortures her dentist, firebombs a police station, and contemplates murdering a man because someone overheard part of a conversation.

Although Mildred Hayes’ revenge is not as extreme as perpetrated by characters in vigilante films like [[ASIN:B001D07UK4 Death Wish]] (1974), [[ASIN:B0013AESMM The Brave One (2007)]], and Law Abiding Citizen (2009), she personifies our primal desire to inflict vengeance against those who wronged us. While, in real life, we have to wait for the justice system to take its course, we often wish we could just “do something,” even if it’s to rage at everyone around us.

I wish Mildred’s character wasn’t so one-dimensional. I wish she came to terms with the fact her daughter’s murder may never be solved, that she found forgiveness, made peace with her ex-husband, or started a new life with James—something that gives us a glimpse of hope for the future. Instead, it was like Martin McDonagh didn’t know how to write an ending, so he just stopped filming. It was a very disappointing and anticlimactic conclusion to an otherwise stellar film.
5 people found this helpful
Erin WhitmanReviewed in the United States on November 15, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Horrible movie, dark and unsettling
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Intensely dark movie, with an ending that leaves you stunned and annoyed. I only watched it because it has my town in the movie and scenic parts of Black Mountain, NC. Wish I could remove this one from my memory.
13 people found this helpful
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