It takes really smart writing to create such deeply dumb and interesting characters. The trio of McDormand (Fargo, Almost Famous), Harrelson (No Country for Old Men, Zombieland), and Rockwell (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Green Mile) brings acting perfection with some of the most underrated actors of our time. After Fargo, it seems as though McDormand had been forgotten for a while. Yet, her portrayal of Mildred is spot-on with the dark tone of McDonagh's direction. After the death of her daughter, Mildred has a hardened heart and is looking for her own definition of justice. One of her targets is the police chief of the town, played by Woody Harrelson. Harrelson brings the only respectable character to life with twists and turns that will surprise first-time McDonagh-ers.
While Harrelson and McDormand are great in their roles, my favorite part of the movie would have to be Officer Dixon (played by Sam Rockwell). Rockwell is fantastic in his role as the dumb and conflicted officer. His character is relevant to modern news stories, and is a portrait of many issues with America's police force. Without going into too much detail, I will say that there are a lot of interesting aspects on this character's journey.
Of course, it wouldn't be a McDonagh movie without a thin balance between darkness and comedy. While the script-writing is not quite as solid as In Bruges, it is damn-near close. One-liners often dominate the film, creating an uncomfortable awkwardness in the theater. Personally, I love when directors drag audiences into an uncomfortable tone. Good filmmaking does not have to be happy and joyous, as long as the audience is able to ponder what they are watching and the message being sent through the medium.
The Bottom Line: So far, this is my favorite film of 2017 because of the solid screenwriting and intriguing tone portrayed by every single character.