Blu-ray: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

STUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Martin McDonagh | CAST: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Caleb Landry Jones, Kerry Condon, Abbie Cornish
RELEASE DATE: Feb. 27, 2018 | PRICE: DVD $14.96, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $19.96, 4K Ultra HD $24.96
BONUSES: featurette, Martin McDonagh’s 2004 short film Six Shooter
SPECS: R | 116 min. | Drama | 2.39:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

A mostly successful mix of dark humor and powerful, timely drama, Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri packs a wallop with its first-rate performances, snappy dialogue, unique characters and smart directorial moves. This third feature effort from playwright Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths) leaves one riveted and enthralled—until the last half-hour where things begin to unravel.

Frances McDormand (Hail Caesar!), a master of onscreen righteous indignation, plays Mildred Hayes, the frustrated mother of a murdered teenage girl, who places ads on empty signs on the outskirts of the titular town, calling out the efforts of an inept police department that has failed to find the culprit of the crime.

The local lawmen includes frustrated Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson, War for the Planet of the Apes) and patrolman Dixon (Sam Rockwell, Poltergeist), a racist momma’s boy whose lamebrained actions irritate his boss…and elicit some of the film’s biggest laughs. While there’s no denying Rockwell’s turn is an impressive one—a nifty balancing act between goofy and malevolent–his character’s motivations and behavior towards the film’s finale takes the movie into a questionable direction that has left some audiences scratching their heads.

Throughout the film, McDormand is on fire: angry, unsettled, driven. It could have been a grandstanding, cartoonish performance, but her fury is not only earned by her dire predicament but also anchored by her humanity and passion.

Along with McDormand and Rockwell’s performances, Three Billboards has been feted with many year-end awards and Oscar nominations (which, oddly enough, found McDonagh receiving a nod for original screenplay but not for directing). This can only propel the film to greater success in its post-theatrical life after a solid $50 million take in movie houses.

Buy or Rent Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.