This Week's Review: "Three Billboards" and "Coco"

I did manage to catch two films during the Thanksgiving weekend: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “Coco.” Both dealt with death, but in very different ways.

“Three Billboards” is a very dark revenge film set in a small Missouri town. Frances McDormand is excellent as a bereaved mother determined to track down the murderer of her daughter. To do so, she becomes a modern nemesis willing to destroy anyone who seems to be in her way. Woody Harrelson is very good as the sheriff she blames for a slow investigation; Sam Rockwell is also very good as a deputy who embodies almost every misbegotten prejudice that can afflict modern police officers. This is definitely an “R” film; your nerves will be stretched to the breaking point, and it will not fill you with holiday cheer.

“Coco” is Pixar’s version of “Dia de Muertos,” and it is an extraordinary example of modern animation. The plot is more complicated than the usual animated film, but the twists and turns keep it interesting. I saw the 2-D version, but I wish I had seen the 3-D version. I am sure the visual effects would have been even more startling. Very young children might be bothered by the skeleton images, but nothing is in bad taste. Some characters do die before the film is over, and that might be unsettling for very young children.

If I had had time, I would have stayed for “The Man Who Invented Christmas,” but time did not allow that. I am saving my energy for “Darkest Hour,” and, of course, “The Last Jedi.”