Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ★½

This is hands down the worst screenplay of the year in my opinion. I went in with an open mind, but absolutely hated it. I typically always want to see a film through no matter how much I dislike it, but there were multiple points here when I wanted to get up and leave, and I really would have had I not been with a co-worker who inexplicably was eating it up.

Later, when I confessed I didn't like it, she told me it was just because I don't like dark comedies. This isn't true. I didn't enjoy the film because it belittled and demeaned its female characters (especially the murdered young woman at its center) and asked us to feel sympathy and see the good in unsuccessful cops who are either prone to racism, homophobia, and violence or who tolerate that behavior in others in their police force. Not to mention it's messiness and complete mishandling of the film's serious, emotional premise with an attempt at humor that's more disrespectful than funny. In trying  to cover so many big issues (domestic abuse, police brutality, racism, violence against women, family dynamics, and cancer(?)), it didn't actually engage with any of them.

This failed as a portrait of grief, a critical look at local police, a murder investigation, and, most certainly, as a comedy.

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