• R, 2 hr. 1 min.
  • Western, Drama
  • Directed By:
    Tommy Lee Jones
    In Theaters:
    Feb 3, 2006 Limited
    On DVD:
    Jun 6, 2006
  • Sony Pictures Classics

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The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Reviews

Page 1 of 8
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Three Burials is just a cluster of symbols, and what they symbolize is this: a director who has seen too many European art films.

| Original Score: 1.5/4

December 16, 2005
Matt Pais

It's a disorganized journey of redemption and a wandering study of prejudice and promises.

Full Review Source: Metromix.com | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 2, 2006
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

An excruciatingly boring morality tale with poorly developed characters and a big spiritual finale that sputters.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5

December 2, 2005
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Three Burials is finally a little smug -- Jones, despite a Best Actor nod at Cannes, undergoes no Ethan Edwards corruption-of-the-soul, no ambivalence, no ordeal by rectitude.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 13, 2005
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As satire, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada isn't funny or illuminating, and as a drama it has only a few scattered moments.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

February 3, 2006
Stephen Metcalf
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For a movie about the policing of borders, couldn't this one have maintained a firmer one, between credulity and incredulity? Between seriousness and self-seriousness?

Full Review Source: Slate

February 9, 2006
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

The essentially sanctified Melquiades...is the least developed character...Jones and Arriaga instead focus on the redemption of Estrada's white neighbors.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

December 16, 2005
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly

A messy drama that digs up a made-to-order villain (the racist U.S. authorities) and a dead hero (an illegal Mexican immigrant) ... Jones doubles-back on the story repeatedly, running roughshod over his characters to shovel in his political points.

Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 10, 2006
Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly

I wanted to scream at the screen, 'Just bury him and be done with it!'

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

March 9, 2006
Josh Larsen
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

Melquiades ... is meant to function as some sort of potent symbol, but `Three Burials' is too oblique to give his presence -- buried or otherwise -- much significance.

Full Review Source: Sun Publications (Chicago, IL) | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 3, 2006
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada can at least rest on its laurels from Cannes.

Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 22, 2006
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What, exactly, is the devil in Mr. Jones?

January 30, 2006
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A smug lesson posing as a Peckinpah deathfest.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C

December 15, 2005
Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette

This, despite the brutality and diversions [two of the most boring sex scenes this year], this is well worth a look.

| Original Score: 2.5/5

December 17, 2005
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A literally slow-moving western that plays out as laboriously as its title.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

December 21, 2005
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

Crash by way of Cormac McCarthy.

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 1.5/4

January 26, 2006
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Behind the hype lies a banal morality tale told in needlessly jumbled flashbacks and gorged with gruesome atrocities out of a Sam Peckinpah flick.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

February 3, 2006
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit

New filmmakers are often told "don't mistake motion for action." This is why.

Full Review Source: Movie Habit | Original Score: 2/4

February 4, 2006
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News

Gives us little information about Pete and Mequiades, but plenty about the loathsome border patrol guy.

February 10, 2006
Lawrence Toppman
Charlotte Observer

Burials barely has one plot: Grizzled Texas cowhand Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) wants to give his pal proper internment in Mexico and make his killer pay.

Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer | Original Score: 1.5/4

February 24, 2006
John Powers
October 18, 2008
Stuart Klawans
The Nation
November 11, 2006
David Ansen
Top Critic IconTop Critic
November 1, 2007
Peter Keough
Boston Phoenix
April 23, 2009

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic
February 25, 2006

Baltimore Sun
March 11, 2006
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