The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2006)



Critic Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut is both a potent western and a powerful morality tale.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A man is shot and quickly buried in the high desert of west Texas. The body is found and reburied in Van Horn's town cemetery. Pete Perkins, a local ranch foreman kidnaps a Border Patrolman and forces him to disinter the body. With his captive in tow and the body tied to a mule Pete undertakes a dangerous and quixotic journey into Mexico.more
Rating: R (for language, violence land sexuality)
Genre: Western, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Guillermo Arriaga, Guillermo Arriaga Jordan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 6, 2006
Box Office: $4.9M
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


Tommy Lee Jones
as Pete Perkins
Barry Pepper
as Mike Norton
Julio Cedillo
as Melquiades Estrada
Julio Cesar Cedillo
as Melquiades Estrada
Dwight Yoakam
as Sheriff Belmont
January Jones
as Lou Ann Norton
Levon Helm
as Old Man With Radio
Melvin Rodriguez
as Captain Gomez
Josh Berry
as Border Patrolman
Rodger Boyce
as Salesman
René Campero
as Don Casimiro
Lupe Campos
as Sands Guy 2
Uriel Chavez
as Cowboy 2
Montserrat de Leon
as El Toston Woman 2
Jordan Henderson
as Mary, Soap Opera Gi...
Karen Jones
as Dog Lady
Victoria Jones
as Immigrant Girl
Raul Molinar
as Radio Announcer 1
Lonnie Nelson
as Gravedigger
Juan Pareja
as Sands Guy 1
Paulina Reyes
as Piano Player
Sergio Rodriguez
as Radio Announcer 2
Brent Smiga
as Deputy Antonio
Spike Spencer
as John, Soap Opera
Maya Zapata
as El Toston Woman 1
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Critic Reviews for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

All Critics (148) | Top Critics (40)

In The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, there is heartbreak, loss, and adultery, all of it general and all of it far more affecting than any self-righteous ethics or anachronistic western codes.

Full Review… | March 5, 2014
Stop Smiling

An offbeat, tonal take on the Western, Tommy Lee Jones' The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is best described as soulful and creative, if scattered and overambitious.

Full Review… | June 14, 2010
Film and Felt

Exerts considerable, groggy power

Full Review… | August 30, 2009

Tommy Lee himself must be mentioned, as he pulls a nuanced role with a craggy, sunburnt face that's impressive to behold. He's at the top of his game in this flick, all the more remarkable as he's literally wearing many hats on the production.

Full Review… | June 21, 2007
Film Scouts

Part character study, part Peckinpah-esque border Western, part mystic epic, Three Burials traverses its uncharted territories with a humour and humanity that lighten the burden of its sadness.

Full Review… | June 15, 2007

Breathtaking tableaus, colorful characters, and a moving message about redemption end up overshadowed by wanton insanity one might normally associate with a sadistic snuff film.

Full Review… | May 31, 2007

Audience Reviews for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut fits right into his oeuvre, sometimes even feels like the brother of one of his masterpieces, "No country for old men". It tells the story of a ranger trying to solve the murder of his illegal Mexican worker, who was on the verge of becoming a real friend, and a special journey he's taking with the perpetrator. That's beautifully filmed, but very slowly told. The fact that the vigilante and the killer hardly ever speak, and probably realistically so, makes the final act a little less believable but still a pretty decent ending. Worth seeing and a brave attempt, but certainly not an easy film to consume.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

This is one of Tommy Lee Jones best films. About a Mexican hand he hires who is murdered and what he goes through to prove his killer and to gets revenge. A very long movie one reason it didn't get much airplay. a 5 star independent film.

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


Thought this was a western not sure what you class it as, quite an odd film.

Dean King

Super Reviewer

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada on our Movie forum!