Martin McDonagh Offers Up Another Serving of the Darkest Comedy He Can Cook Up with “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”


Admittedly, we went into watching this movie wanting to already like it. It’s not objective, but humans still work here at TCB and we happen to be big fans of Martin McDonagh. If you follow us closely, you know that we have a penchant for very dark comedy, which part of the reason we were looking forward to seeing Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri.

As we suspected might happen, we laughed heartily throughout watching it this Thanksgiving weekend. 

Between In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, and the latest, Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, writer/director/playwright Martin McDonagh has his dark comedy formula figured out with his favorite players including Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage, etc. There’s a sense of a morality tale on the surface, but there’s often no nicely packaged moral to be had at all and all the characters involved lose in some fashion. In a It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia sort of way, we really enjoy that dynamic, which runs throughout Three Billboards

There’s a bit of “deus ex machina” in setting up the big comedic and uber-dark set pieces, but, we guess, that’s where our expectations overlooked a few janky plot devices. 

With so much anger and vitriol that’s present in everyday life now, seeing hate play out with no clear winners (as an integral part of the human experience is being flawed in some way) was oddly calming, which was what we really needed for Thanksgiving.