I was initially hesitant about all the positive buzz around this film because while I liked In Bruges, from writer/director Martin McDonagh, I thought his last outing, Seven Psychopaths, was a masturbatory, meta-pretentious mess. Thankfully, McDonagh has written and directed one of the best films of the year in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. The film is a sweeping southern story about a woman named Mildred Hayes (Francis McDormand) who buys three billboards outside the eponymous town to shame the police, specifically its chief (Woody Harrelson), into solving her daughter's gruesome murder, which has since turned into a cold case. Hayes takes the police and town to task while they attempt to get her to remove the billboards through both legal and extralegal means.
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