Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ★½

I'm gonna rent a billboard that says "JUSTICE FOR ABBIE CORNISH"

Weird to see this being lauded for supposedly being in tune with contemporary American issues when there is so little sense of the systemic nature of racism, police violence, miscarriage of justice, or of the community McDonagh tries to paint as a microcosm of small-town America, which never seems like more than a petri dish for Big Themes. Why be so specific about the setting when it could just as easily take place in Anytown, USA? Does anyone live in Ebbing besides the ensemble cast? This achieves the rare feat of coming off both naive and cynical, and McDonagh's formal choices are not strong enough to compensate for the rickety mechanics of his screenplay, which mistakes long-winded monologues for depth of character and simplistic cause-effect plotting for a nuanced exploration of moral consequences and culpability.

Alex liked these reviews