Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ★★★

For about an hour, I was thinking, Wow, I'm actually going to come out of this as one of those 'Who thought this was uneven?!' moviegoers.

Then, came the fishing-trip scene with Willoughby and his supermodel wife half his age and their two Kewpie doll daughters.

And then came the "development" of Peter Dinklage's character.

And then came the ...

Oh, never mind. I don't want to spoil things; you too should experience the bizarre changes in direction of this thing. Three Billboards shoots itself in both feet and then smashes a Molotov Cocktail on its own head. And, at the risk of mixing my metaphors the way this movie mixes its subjects... it didn't just throw me overboard: it broke apart and sank.

But this gets a very rare 3-star/Like rating from me here, because I'm glad I saw it for McDormand and Rockwell and Harrelson, all of whom found some true, resonant moments in spite of the movie's lapses in storytelling judgment.

I gotta say, I lost so much trust in this storyteller that I actually believed, in the film's final moment, that the station wagon was going to hit a deer. And if you've seen the movie, you know just how awful that would have been.

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