This movie reminds me yet again not to judge a movie by its title. The title for this movie is long, oddly specific, and not very intriguing at first glance. It was only when I looked at the cast that I convinced Joel to go, we'll see just about anything with Sam Rockwell in it. What we found was a movie that is gritty, raw, and unflinchingly honest. We meet the main character, Mildred, a mother grieving the loss of her daughter from a horrifying murder. She is so angry with the town's police force for their seeming inaction in the case that she puts up the titular billboards.
This confrontational act sets off a wildfire of rage and speculation in the small town - a town where everybody knows everybody. I loved the depth we see in each of the main characters - the raging, heartbroken mother; the conflicted, guilt ridden chief of police; and the racist a-hole cop played by Sam Rockwell. None of them are caricatures or archetypes as they so easily could have been. Each of them grow and change over the course of the movie which is one of my favorite reasons to watch a movie.
I cried, I laughed more than I expected, and then I cried some more. This movie is well worth seeing, and a timely reflection of current events in our society. It's nice to see them play out on screen in a way that we don't always get to see in real life. I left wanting to know more about these characters and where their lives would take them, a sign that I became truly invested in the story.