9/10 This film is one of the most pleasant surprises of the year for me, especially after the underwhelming trailer that made me less excited for the film. Writer/director Martin McDonagh won me over with his debut film, “In Bruges” but four years later hit a sophomore slump with “Seven Psychopaths.” Five years later (he needs to have shorter gaps between films) his third movie more than makes up for the disappointment of “Seven Psychopaths” and is a step in the right direction. This film, like his other two is very crass and politically incorrect, which I love. The language is very colorful in the film and if you are easily offended you will want to steer clear but I applaud the balls that McDonagh had to write this script. This film also contains some of the best character development of 2017. Sam Rockwell’s character in particular has a terrific character arc and I think he deserves to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for how incredible he was in this very multi-dimensional role. Frances McDormand is also phenomenal and I can see her possibly winning an Oscar for Leading Actress for this role (it will come down to her vs. Sally Hawkins). Woody Harrelson and the rest of the cast do a great job and the ensemble acting is pretty flawless here. There are several plot twists in the film that surprised me and I did not see coming at all, which is always impressive. There is some great cinematography on display (when Sam Rockwell assaults Red) and the film’s soundtrack suits it well. There are a few over the top moments and the film is a bit heavy handed throughout but there are some really strong emotional moments for all characters that are spread out nicely. The mixture of dark humor and tragic sorrow is blended perfectly, as it also was in “In Bruges.” In a year with a lot of franchise sequels and terrible movies, this completely original film is a total breath of fresh air. I recommend all of Martin McDonagh’s films (even the disappointing “Seven Psychopaths”) but even if you haven’t seen his other work, this film is a great place to start. I can easily see some Oscar love hopefully heading its way.
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