Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

In the rural town of Ebbing, a murdered girl’s defiant mother boldly paints three local signs with a controversial message, igniting a furious battle with a volatile cop, and the town’s revered chief of police.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox – 2017
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 115 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek
Written & Directed by: Martin McDonagh
Music by: Carter Burwell
Region Code: A

Release Date: February 27, 2018

“There Will be a Reckoning”

My Take:

After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command, Officer Dixon — an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence — gets involved, the battle is only exacerbated.

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri is a masterfully drawn character study. The narrative, like its characters, is complex, filled with wonderful subtext, that I see as a series of moments, that, taken as a whole, meaningfully underscore the film’s central plot about a mother pushed to the edge by her daughter’s unsolved murder. The story takes the audience on a trip into small town America, exploring themes of division, anger, and morality.

At an hour and fifty-five minutes the pacing is taut, allowing every element of the film’s tension, darkly infused humor, and marvelous interplay, to be fully realized. I saw Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri with my wife, in the theater on opening weekend, and we both came away feeling as though it made a lasting impression. As we sat, and watched it again, we gleaned even more from its wonderfully balanced and biting story, that is fueled by a host of terrific performances. Frances McDormand, and Sam Rockwell, each won Golden Globes, and are nominated for Academy Awards, for their outstanding performances. Woody Harrelson is equally deserving of praise, as his portrayal of Chief Willoughby solidifies the other two.

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri is up for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It is justly deserving of every accolade it receives, and is one of the best films of 2017.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, language throughout, thematic material and some sexual references.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): 

UHD Presentation: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color & WCG:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8 Mbps.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. This appears to be a faithful video rendering that matches the film’s theatrical presentation. Color reproduction is consistent, with primaries like blue and red, and earth toned greens, appearing richer, and more delineated when compared to the 1080p video. Secondary hues look great as well, imparting a warm, vivid essence that I found natural and complimentary. The increase in resolution is noticeable, especially in the wide-angle shots of the town and its rustic surroundings.

Generally speaking there aren’t eye catching specular highlights, save for the sequence involving the fire at police headquarters (which looks great). Exterior sequences offer the slightest hint of added punch, appearing quite natural, while highlights in the films low-lit/nighttime sequences have appreciable dimension and resolvable detail. Fleshtones are reproduced with slightly warm, but natural tonality.

Viewing Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in Ultra HD was a gratifying experience that added an enriching element to the enjoyment of the film. It’s not destined to rise to the top of the demonstration discs of discerning videophiles, but it looks solid, and shines on the format.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio mix handles this predominantly front oriented soundtrack with uncompromising competence. While the bulk of the audio is reproduced by the front three channels the surrounds are used effectively to produce a rear sound field rich in immersive ambience. This isn’t what I consider to be an aggressive soundtrack as dialog and music play more of a role than room engaging dynamics, although there are one or two solid moments. Clarity and detail are exemplary which reveal lots of subtle nuance in the recording. Vocal reproduction is crystalline with discernible intonation and descriptive character. Carter Burwell’s beautifully crafted music sounds smooth and airy with a deep room filling quality that is engaging.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri looks quite good on Blu-ray. Images onscreen exhibit plenty of fine rendering and crisp definition that on occasion rises to higher levels especially during close ups which can be very revealing. Long range shots appear resolute with good dimensional depth and notable object detail. The beautiful geographic locations and vista views look great in high definition. Bright exterior segments are punchy with crisp dynamic whites and appreciable texture. Colors vary with the mood of the scene, ranging from sullen/soft, to vivid and eye catching. Fleshtones are tonally divergent and appear lifelike in depiction. Blacks are respectable, and shadow detail is quite good, revealing plenty of visible delineation in dark backgrounds and low lighting. I didn’t detect any deleterious artifacts or other video related anomalies.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Blu-ray
  • Crucify ‘Em: The Making of Three Billboards
  • “Six Shooter” – Oscar Winning Film Short from Martin McDonagh
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Photo Gallery
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Written & directed by Martin McDonagh Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a wonderfully crafted film that is made all the better by terrific casting/performances. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in the Ultra HD Combo Pack featuring complementary, and faithful video quality, crystal clear lossless sound and a middling supplemental package. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri received seven Academy Award Nominations, including Best Picture. I am most definitely a fan, and highly recommend it on Blu-ray.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems