Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 1.0 stars

Movie poster

Synopsis

Writer-director-producer Martin McDonagh’s (Seven Psychopaths) presents the story of a heartbroken but otherwise rarin’ to go woman (Frances McDormand, billy-club blunt) who plasters the titular roadside ads with a direct question to the local police chief: why haven’t you caught the guy who raped and killed my daughter? She’s gotta do something to stave off the feeling that “there ain’t no God and the world’s empty and it doesn’t matter what we do to each other,” and the billboards are close at hand. It doesn’t matter that the chief (Woody Harrelson, laconic) is a good man who is dealing with cancer, or that a violent man-child cop (Sam Rockwell, alarming) is out to stop her. She’s suffered to the point where suffering holds no more terror for her. Yessir, shit gets real. Or does it? For starters, McDonagh works way too hard to inject nearly every scene with his patented solution of acid wit and dark-roast comedy: go ahead, laugh in the face of horror, I dare you. It’s jarringly effective until it starts to feel like shtick, at which point it works only as a numbing agent. For another, his fondness for the outlandish and over-the-top doesn’t mesh well with his effort to tease out the ordinary humanity in his creations. And finally, there’s a serious over-reliance on coincidence and under-portrayal of consequence. Good acting, though.

Matthew Lickona

Length: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Rated: R

View trailer

Showtimes

Movie showtimes are subject to change. For possible updates to this schedule, please call the theater.

AMC La Jolla

8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, San Diego. 888-262-4386

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    9:50 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 7:10 p.m., 9:50 p.m.

AMC Otay Ranch

2015 Birch Road, Chula Vista. 888-262-4386

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    2 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    2 p.m.

AMC Plaza Bonita

3050 Plaza Bonita Road, National City. 888-262-4386

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    1:20 p.m., 4:05 p.m., 6:45 p.m.

Angelika Film Center

11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego. 858-207-2606

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    9:25 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:05 p.m., 6:50 p.m., 9:25 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    10:55 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:05 p.m.

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego. 858-768-7770

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    10:20 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    11 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:10 p.m., 5:35 p.m., 7:05 p.m., 7:55 p.m., 10:20 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    10:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 4 p.m.

Cinépolis Del Mar

12905 El Camino Real, Del Mar. 858-794-4045

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    12:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 9:15 p.m.

Cinépolis Vista

25 Main Street, Vista. 760-945-7469

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    11:55 a.m., 2:35 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 7:50 p.m., 10:25 p.m.

Edwards Mira Mesa

10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego. 858-635-7716

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    10:25 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    11:55 a.m., 3:45 p.m., 6:20 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    11:30 a.m., 3:45 p.m.

Landmark Hillcrest

3965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego. 619-298-2904

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    9:40 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    1:25 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    1:25 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

  • Friday, Dec. 15

    10:40 a.m., 1:25 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

  • Saturday, Dec. 16

    10:40 a.m., 1:25 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

  • Sunday, Dec. 17

    10:40 a.m., 1:25 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

  • Monday, Dec. 18

    1:25 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 19

    1:25 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 20

    1:25 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 21

    1:25 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:40 p.m., 9:40 p.m.

The LOT

7611 Fay Avenue, La Jolla, CA. 858-777-0069

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    11:30 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    11:30 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m.

Reading Cinemas Town Square

4665 Clairemont Drive, San Diego. 800-326-3264

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    10:15 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    10:35 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 1:10 p.m., 2:10 p.m., 3:40 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 6:35 p.m., 7:35 p.m., 9:15 p.m., 10:15 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    10:35 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 1:10 p.m., 2:10 p.m., 3:40 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 6:35 p.m., 9:15 p.m.

  • Friday, Dec. 15

    11:35 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7:25 p.m., 10 p.m.

  • Saturday, Dec. 16

    11:35 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7:25 p.m., 10 p.m.

  • Sunday, Dec. 17

    11:35 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7:25 p.m., 10 p.m.

  • Monday, Dec. 18

    11:35 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7:25 p.m., 10 p.m.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 19

    11:35 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:40 p.m.

Reading Grossmont Center

5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa. 800-326-3264

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    9:55 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    11:40 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:20 p.m., 9:55 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    11:40 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:20 p.m., 9:55 p.m.

Regal Carlsbad 12

2501 El Camino Real, Carlsbad. 844-462-7342

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    9:50 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    1 p.m., 3:50 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:50 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    1 p.m., 3:50 p.m.

Regal Rancho del Rey

1025 Tierra del Rey, Chula Vista. 619-216-4707

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    9:25 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    12:35 p.m., 3:25 p.m., 6:25 p.m., 9:25 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    12:35 p.m., 3:25 p.m., 6:25 p.m.

Regal Rancho San Diego

2951 Jamacha Road, El Cajon. 619-660-3483

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    3:10 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 9:05 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    3:10 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 9:05 p.m., 11:50 p.m.

Regal San Marcos

1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos. 760-471-3734

  • Tuesday, Dec. 12

    9:25 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    12:10 p.m., 3:05 p.m., 6:20 p.m., 9:25 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    noon, 2:50 p.m.

Vintage Village Theatre

820 Orange Avenue, Coronado. 619-437-6161

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13

    2 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 8:30 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14

    2 p.m., 5:20 p.m.

Comments

Day-um Lick, can I One-Stare movie have good acting??? Acamando liked it, but to go by her reviews is fifty/fifty.

It certainly can have good acting. One star means there is something there to admire, but not enough for me to call it a successful movie. It will certainly hit certain critics' sweet spots. But the wiseassery left me cold.

I'm guessing the real reason Mr. Lickona gave the movie one star was due to the main characters scathing indictment of a catholic priest in the film comparing the catholic priests to the crips and bloods. Just another gang culpable for the actions of it's more degenerate members making them complicit in the actions certain preachers have committed against altar boys. I find it odd that someone who is a devout catholic and has written a book on the subject would leave that part of the film out of his review. Except that it might more easily display his real motive for giving an excellent, subtle, complex, hilarious, and deeply human film a one star review. The "wiseassery" may have left you cold but your review that dismisses all the subtle nuance portrayed in this film, the volumes of things felt and said in an actors face without a word (good acting, though) leaves me cold. The movie never "feels like shtick", when things start to feel like the characters will continue to perpetrate yet another eruption of violence you see them start to grow and learn and forgive. I'm honestly not even sure what film you were watching.

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