Ashdoc's movie review---Three billboards outside Ebbing , Missouri


Senior Member
Jul 21, 2010
Country flag
Review has spoilers

A woman approaches the businessman who has the rights to three Billboards outside Ebbing in the state of Missouri in US . She pays real money to have them painted with words provocative to Sheriff Willoughby ( Woody Harrelson ) . The words ask him to take action on the case of the rape and murder of her daughter , because nothing has been happening in the case after some investigation which reached a dead end . One of the billboards says 'raped while dying' .

The sheriff is outraged , his deputy is outraged , and indeed the whole town is outraged . That's because the sheriff is respected locally and also because he is dying due to cancer . But that is not going to deter Mildred Hayes ( Frances McDormand ) . When the local priest tries to coerce her into removing the billboards , he gets blasted off by a tirade by her about churchmen screwing altar boys . The leftists' opponent ( the church ) thus gets a lambasting , and God is brushed aside as nonexistent .

Earlier when deputy Dixon ( Sam Rockwell ) of the police station tries to get Mildred remove the billboards , he is shown his place by Mildred with taunts of being a black hating racist . From this point one has to assume that the rapists of her daughter must be white , even though they are not yet found ( and are not ever found in the movie ) . For it is obvious from the movie's tone that it is going to be politically correct and that demands a white rapist . Sure enough , a white suspect is found but he is not the daughter's rapist . Never mind , Mildred and deputy Dixon then set out to kill him instead because the deputy has overheard him boasting about a rape when drunk .

Participation in this killing is part of the redemption of Deputy Dixon ; redemption for being a black hating racist . We have to presume that he is racist due to verbal accusations flung on him mostly by Mildred . But scenes of him actually practising this racism are not really shown . That would have tarnished his image beyond redemption . But his violence is shown in a scene where he throws the guy who owns the billboards from the first floor after he has heard news that Sheriff Willoughby committed suicide by shooting himself by a gun .

At first we definitely sympathise with Mildred while seeing the movie . The lady is feisty and has tough words for anyone who tries to strike a verbal duel with her , or even anyone who doesn't . The dialogues in the movie are sharp and laced with dark humour that keeps in splits even in grim situations . But later her persona goes out of control by burning down the police station with petrol bombs after it has closed down in evening . She does not know that Dixon is there , but he escapes only to help her later even though he has got burns on his face due to the attack .

The director could have chosen to have a conventional ending by showing the man overheard boasting about rape as the real culprit . But the real culprit is never found , and the movie is thus about the effects of the rape on a very active mother and how she manages to shake up things in her town when she does not get justice .

There is some violence in the movie and foul language ; cuss words are regularly used . There is no denying that the proceedings are gripping . Background music and photography are decent , but it is in acting and dialogue delivery that the movie scores .

Verdict---Good .

Three stars out of five .


Designated Cynic
Jul 12, 2014
Country flag
So american libtards are now encouraging people to take law into their own hands, is it? That too without having to take into account of conscience of whether they are actually right or wrong.

Up until 80's most of the american movies were about corrupt politicians and cops.
in 90's, they were about FBI being the solution to every problem in america.
in 2000's, they were about glorifying American military and it's personnel.
in 2010's, they were about glorifying superhero vigilantes who work with american Govt.

Hope they are not entering 80's storylines again.


Regular Member
Jul 20, 2009
Country flag
I watched it a month and this movie is good as I like small town subtle dramas but I had a lot more expectation with it because of the the hype associated with this movie.

I really liked the acting of Sam Rockwell and he has always been an excellent but underrated actor and he really deserved the Oscar award for supporting actor.

Frances McDormand was also very good but, Was it an oscar worthy performance? I am not sure!

Latest Replies

Global Defence

New threads