If you were passing through the fictional town of Ebbing, Missouri, you might spot these three billboards standing, like almost everything in Ebbing, in tall weeds just off the road. They seem to be the Easter Island stone men of Missouri.

These thin, wind-burned slabs of plywood once begged passersby to buy Dr. Pepper, Burma Shave and possibly votes for a segregationist mayor.

Driving slowly by, Mildred (Frances McDormand “Fargo”) gets an idea.

A delightful Caleb Landry Jones, so good he seems to have been cast right in town, sits in his advertising office, and in comes Mildred who plops $5,000 in small, crumply bills on his desk.

“Those billboards out on the road into town?” she asks. “I take it they’re for rent?” Ray can tell by Mildred’s stance, her mechanic fatigues and headband that she is no “lady” to refuse.

The next we see of these billboards, they are painted blood red and read, in capital letters, “Raped While Dying,” “And Still No Arrests” and finally, “How Come, Chief Willoughby?”

We soon learn that Mildred’s daughter Angela was murdered on the site of these billboards in a manner that Mildred cannot forget or forgive. In this swampy and mossy thriller, there’ll be fire, mayhem, karmic road rage and random swatches of forgiveness and redemption.

Welcome to Tennessee Williams country with Flannery O’Connor-ville and Truman Capote a little farther down the highway. But this is also Martin McDonagh country, and if you remember “In Bruges,” you’ll know everyone and anyone is capable of anything.

This is “Trump-ville,” so be careful.

The billboards were probably erected about the time Harry S. Truman was growing up on his family 600-acre farm in nearby Lamar, Missouri.

In McDonagh’s dark Valentine to love, passion, anger, revenge and karmic chaos, you will soon be introduced to Sheriff Willoughby (Woody Harrelson).

His crazy deputy Dixon (Sam Rockwell) and a slot of other characters appear: Mildred’s son Robbie (Lucas Hedges) and the amazing chameleonic actor Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) who is not above a touch of perjury to aid a friend.

The exceptional and extraordinary McDormand, who made “Fargo” the permanent icon for cult films, walks the streets of Ebbing like the illegitimate love child of Rambo and “Alien’s” Ellen Ripley, with eyes that can make men whimper, giving us her best role since “Fargo.”

Harrelson is strutting the screen world now in a series of major roles. Here, his Sheriff Willoughby is no stereotype cracker, and he will break your heart before the credits roll.

Rockwell is no stranger to movie fans, and here as the bottom-of-the-pile boy from the “holler,” he gives us a three-dimensional dropout with a badge and gun, what could possibly go wrong? But don’t walk away, he’s got a third act.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is an uneven, bumpy ride. For a while it smells, tastes and looks like a Coen Brothers movie, but that’s wishful thinking on McDonagh’s part.

McDonagh is not as good as the brothers, and as for his part, it’s not anywhere near as polished as his “Seven Psychopaths” or ” In Bruges.” As good as they were, neither were Coen-like classics.

But for my money, “Billboards” is too much fun to be missed.

J.P. Devine, of Waterville, is a former stage and film actor.