The balancing act of black comedies can be difficult to judge but writer-director Martin McDonagh manages to tread this line impressively. Following a five-year gap, he returns with his third feature Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The crime drama centres around Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand), a mother grieving the death of her daughter who was raped and killed seven months prior. Taking matters into her own hands, she targets Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) with billboards asking why there have been no arrests. This sparks a hostile reaction from Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell) and the rest of the community, and the fallout leads to significant consequences for the town.
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After criticising the lack of originality in Hollywood, Max Landis’ latest screenplay intersperses the rom-com with the crime genre in Mr Right, directed by Spanish filmmaker Paco Cabezas. The plot follows wacky Martha (Anna Kendrick) who, after catching her boyfriend with another girl, goes on the rebound with mysteriously madcap Francis (Sam Rockwell), who charms and, quite literally, dances his way through life. What she doesn’t know is that Francis is a morally warped hit-man who instead of taking out his targets, kills off the people who hire him. What he doesn’t know is his former colleague and mercenary Hopper (Tim Roth) is hot on his trail, and on the hunt for the large bounty on his head.
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