Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Review


Abby Sklar, Editor-in-Chief

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri tells the story of a mother, Mildred Hayes, who has recently lost her daughter to a brutal abduction, rape and murder. After months of no arrests, she rents out three billboards that read, “Raped while dying,” “Still no arrests” and “How come, Chief Willoughby?” Her signs create much outrage in her community, especially as Willoughby has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Tensions unfold in the police department where Willoughby’s protege, Dixon, decides to take things into his own hands.


This movie was not what I was expecting; it was so much better. I was prepared for an extremely heavy movie that had me crying for two hours. It was heavy; there’s no doubt about that, but I was also cracking up for most of the movie. There was a perfect balance of funny and serious that made this movie seem so realistic.


Frances McDormand, who played Mildred Hayes, made this movie. She was perfect for the part from her mannerisms to her commentary, and definitely brought authenticity to the film. None of the characters were very likeable, which was great. Even the mother, who is technically the victim in the story, does things that makes you kind of hate her. And the guy you hate the whole time, ends up kind of likeable in the end.


This movie is not always pleasant. The language used and the way they describe many groups of people often made me cringe, but it all added to the authenticity of the setting: a small town in the South. The humor is so dark and off color that it was often shocking. One particular story includes Hayes insulting the entirety of Catholicism to a priest. Hayes’ lack of tact and her rage makes for a mix of hilarity and despair.


This is one of the best movies I have seen. It was well put together and it never dragged. I thought that the movie would be about a mother’s sorrow, but it was the story of a mother’s rage. The deep beauty of this story was much more than I was expecting. I would rate this movie a 4.5/5.