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An Oscar-winning Frances McDormand is on incendiary form as a grieving mother seeking justice for her raped and murdered daughter.

In this darkly satirical, blisteringly funny movie from writer-director Martin McDonagh, McDormand puts up a series of enraged ads on the giant billboards of the title in a bid to goad the local police chief (a sardonic Woody Harrelson) into finding her daughter’s killer.

Balancing caustic humour and heartbreaking compassion, McDonagh takes his film in some unexpected directions and reveals surprising shades to his characters, from McDormand’s ornery heroine to the blundering, bigoted officer played by Sam Rockwell (another Oscar winner).

Terrific stuff.