Martin McDonagh’s acclaimed drama is something of an oddity these days: An A-list, character-driven drama featuring an unwavering, deliberately unglamorous central role for a middle-aged woman. However, beyond the acting, not much about it works particularly well. There are far too many supporting characters that pop in and out of the narrative, functioning more like plot devices than believable characters, while the screenplay has an unfortunate tendency to overly rely on fate and coincidence to keep the story going. Frances McDormand is powerful and dedicated in the lead role, but beyond her colorful vocabulary the character remains an enigma to the audience; instead, the movie belongs to Sam Rockwell, whose insincere character arc is buried by his typically robust, magnetic performance.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)