Martin McDonagh (who gave us the fine In Bruges) writes and directs this brilliant, bitter crime dramedy. Frances McDormand guarantees herself an Oscar nomination as Mildred, a permanently angry divorcée whose teenage daughter was raped and murdered. With no progress on the case in the last seven months, mom erects three billboards castigating the popular local police chief (Woody Harrelson) for his inaction. This sets off a chain of ugly repercussions in their tiny community. There are bursts of fine character-based humor (particularly from Sam Rockwell as a dimwitted police officer), but the overarching tone is one of ordinary, well-meaning people trying to do the right thing but doing the exact wrong thing.FULL REVIEW:Crime doesn’t pay and neither does justice in pitch perfect comedy-drama by Devin D. O’Leary (11/30/2017). 115 minutes R.