10Feb11:05 amEST

Saturday Night at Market Chess Cinemas

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) received critical acclaim upon its release, and has since been nominated for and won several awards. 

Unfortunately, I do not share the view that this is an exceptional film, nor a particularly good one. 

Instead, I believe that too many critics and viewers simply gave the benefit of the doubt to writer/director Martin McDonagh, as well as to the esteemed leading actors, Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson, in lieu of viewing the film objectively. Simply put, this is not the best work for virtually anyone associated with the film, and there are indeed many talented people in the cast and crew. 

While the film does make a valiant initial effort to tackle some serious issues which have been in the headlines over the last few years, there simply is not enough substance to match those ambitions. The plot is filled with gaping holes, and much of the character development seems hollow and incomplete. 

I will say, however, that Sam Rockwell turns in the most impressive performance of anyone in the film. And I would not be surprised to see him win Best Supporting Actor early next month at the 90th Academy Awards. 

Mind you, I typically love just about anything Harrelson does, and I am have enjoyed prior films starring McDormand.

Therefore, instead of simply leaving you with a negative review tonight, I will suggest other, better films which the cast and crew have made.

A better film written and directed by Martin McDonagh is In Bruges (2008), worthy of a viewing. 

A better film starring Frances McDormand is Fargo (1996). 

And a better film starring Woody Harrelson, which you may have not seen, is The Messenger (2009). 

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