The movie begins with the discovery of a skull, a ring & a badge on a deserted rifle range. This prompts Sheriff Sam Deeds to investigate the matter. But from there on, the investigation takes the back seat. What follows is the story of the legendary Buddy Deeds, how his son Sam Deeds is over-shadowed by his great personality ("the story of his life" according to him), the love story between Sam & Pilar, some issues about the plight of Mexicans in Texas, then there's some Otis Payne,
I went for it thinking it's a murder mystery, but that's just a sub plot of several plots interwoven in a single movie here. Maybe it's the main plot. After all, it does open the closet of skeletons, so to speak. The murder mystery gets pushed into the background after the initial reels, but keeps popping up at long intervals to remind us that it's still there. And when it finally gets solved, it's hardly of any interest or importance. One fact that gets revealed due to this investigation might hold a shock value for some, but I saw it coming a long way before.
The main thing that I liked about this movie was the performances. Pointing out each & every actor's pluses would tend to get tedious & all the more repetitive. So in short, every actor, no matter how long or short their role is, have given their best.
Finally, I'd surely recommend it for its uniqueness even though it wasn't exactly my cup of tea. Had it not been for my ignorance of certain issues acknowledged in the movie, & my looking forward to it as a murder mystery, I guess I'd have liked it way better.