Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A

I don't think I even noticed when this movie came out and I never got around to seeing it during its brief run at the local theater. But now with the Oscar nominations out, it has returned and I was able to catch my eighth of nine movies nominated for Best Picture (and probably won't see the last, Call Me by Your Name). That has to be some kind of record for me, all of them seen at theaters thanks to my super cheap local AMC.

There have been a lot of good movies this year, but nothing that has really blown me away and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 wound up at the top of my list. But Three Billboards really impressed me with a good story, great characters, and fine acting. A lot of the characters are just a little bit beyond belief, so they are mostly completely believable. I often complain about character development lacking from movies and this one definitely delivers on that as you get to know these characters and then watch them change as the movie wears on. Like a lot of other movies I liked this year, there is a good bit of humor in watching these people even while you still have a fairly heavy story to go with it. There are no big breakdowns and emotions are on the surface but mostly in check. Frances McDormand's part is made for her and she is great. I was surprised to see Sam Rockwell getting so much acclaim, but I have to admit he does a very good job too. Woody Harrelson is also very good, quietly bringing a lot of texture and complexity to his character as the chief of police. It seems like everything works and I enjoyed watching the whole movie, so this gets an A.