*** (out of 4)
WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
This year’s award for Most Misleading Movie Marketing Campaign goes to whoever was put in charge of publicizing Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. If you were just going by the trailer, you’d think you were in for an inspiring “social justice” movie about a sassy, badass woman (played by the redoubtable Frances McDormand no less) who takes on a group of racist, image-obsessed cops who don’t care about her daughter’s murder. Thanks to the apt insertion of a few images of burning buildings, fistfights, and defenestrations, moreover, McDonagh’s work almost comes off looking like an only slightly less flamboyant spin-off of Kill Bill.
The real Three Billboards is many things – but badass and inspiring certainly aren’t among them.