Ricto Ebbersley’s review published on Letterboxd:
Whether there was a fog outside my window this morning or it just felt like there was, I decided to try this again...
First time I saw it, there was excitement in the theater. As the movie went on, the audience kept laughing and I wasn’t. Not a criticism toward them, but it felt obvious that it wasn’t working for me. Yes, many of the scenes here are elevated by delayed context, but I found myself being confused by an inconsistent tone towards a dark subject. As I rewatched this alone, I found myself questioning what the film is trying to say, how it says it, and why I walked out the first time with those mixed feelings. Ultimately, finding myself breaking a simple basic rule for stories that was being challenged this time around.
Whether it has to do with maturing or more life experience since, I found myself less judgmental. Who can truly describe the emotional process to deal with hearing something this terrible happened to a loved one? This is mainly a question I raise to the pieces the movie lays out. The movie is chaotic and I’m sure that resonates with many of the characters emotions. Definitely goes to show you that ripple effect your parents used to describe to you when talking about the uncertain consequences that come with a single action. Here, one night affected months through a small whole town. We surely feel small, but it’s not until something in real life or this film spells it out for you, there’s just so much you’ll never know.
I appreciate it’s approach to painting the picture, just as it points out the inconsistency of character in policemen, not every small town holds the simple, good-hearted Mayberry mentality. But of course, we shouldn’t primarily rely on a film to instigate change, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri just arranges the issues through its story to ignite those conversations. It’s got a morbid and strong heart that asks us to suspend our disbelief to hear about a familiar and worn message. Can’t it be simple to find peace and justice? I don’t know, but this film surely explains how destructive it is when we ignore the first and personalize the second exclusively for ourselves.