Mildred Hayes is grieving the rape and murder of her teenage daughter Angela seven months prior. Angry over the lack of progress in the investigation, she rents three abandoned billboards near her home, which read, in sequence, “Raped While Dying”, “And Still No Arrests?”, and “How Come, Chief Willoughby?” The billboards upset the townspeople, including Sheriff Bill Willoughby and Officer Jason Dixon. The open secret that Willoughby suffers from terminal pancreatic cancer adds to their disapproval. Mildred and her depressed son Robbie are harassed and threatened, but she stays firm, to Robbie’s chagrin.
While Willoughby is sympathetic to Mildred’s frustration, he finds the billboards an unfair attack on his character. Angered by Mildred’s lack of respect for his authority, Dixon threatens businessman Red Welby, who rented her the billboards, and arrests her friend and coworker, Denise, on trivial marijuana possession charges. Mildred is also visited by her abusive ex-husband Charlie, who blames her for their daughter’s death.
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage