The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Reviews

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½ October 29, 2015
Absolutely adore Tommy Lee Jones' s debut work as Director! Love the script, too. Tommy Lee Jones has some very promising and intense and emotional acting as the lead character. The story itself may be about redemption and friendship and not completely light to watch but it does warm you somehow.
½ October 9, 2015
A different, innovative kind of Western. Beautiful film!
½ August 13, 2015
Modern day western with heart.A slow burn pot boiler very well acted.
½ July 21, 2015
Tommy Lee Jones starred in and directed this western. It isn't as exciting as many of the genre, but I liked the psychological dilememas presented.
Super Reviewer
May 14, 2015
An offbeat and odd morality tale that burns in your memory, Tommy Lee Jones' film nonetheless bleeds with all of the bullets and brawn masculinity exhibited in such Sam Peckinpah western classics as The Wild Bunch and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Two years before No Country for Old Men (which Jones starred in) gave filmgoers an instant 21st century classic, one of that film's stars nailed the same serio-comic tone and stripped bare violence in a similar tale of the American West. Topical on the subjects of geopolitics and the Mexican quotient of Mexican-American without being a tutorial, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada excellently pits the very U.S. of A genre of western in a very Latin American context.

In this R-rated modern western, Ranch hand Pete Perkins (Jones) looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico with the help of the careless man who shot him (Pepper).

From premise to fulfilling the protagonists promise, Tommy Lee Jones delivers an A-Level directorial debut. You can hear the pitch black humor and laid-bare honesty of Cormac McCarthy in dialogue that's exchanged like bullets in a shootout...but it's screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga and not the author of No Country for Old Men, All the Pretty Horses, and Blood Meridian, who's dreamt up this world that's at times stark and raving mad but never completely stark raving mad. Jones' Pete is a man of scruples, as is the actor's direction. He tames Arriagas rugged dusty landscape and nails a role that's just as much a scrupulous oddball.

Bottom line: All the Pretty Horsesense
October 31, 2014
How does tis movie have an 85 %?
October 6, 2014
An all around great movie that manages to capture Texas without turning it into another absurd Hollywood caricature.
September 24, 2014
Again... NOT a western
½ July 26, 2006
Does one ever know the truth about his friends?

140919: I've raised my rating from 3 to 3.5. Enjoyed this very unique film.
July 6, 2014
Great story, funny, man tough, and a strong portrayal of pride, loyalty, and companionship. The background of West Texas and the Mexican high desert is on full display. Thumbs-up!
½ May 25, 2014
I got bored and turned it off.
May 4, 2014
Some good acting and questionable morals. Tommy Lee gives a powerfully somber performance.
October 7, 2013
Great story, brilliant acting, amazing photography - you just need to be a little patient and accept the pace, because that's all part of the experience.....
September 30, 2013
Some great acting by Tommy Lee Jones, but the pace was too slow. The shifting of the time sequence is better suited for stronger plots, and seemed to be a stretch to add an artistic flair. Some of the side-plots were unnecessary. The ending was a let down in one respect, a good change of pace in another respect, but in an emotional aspect it was sad.
September 18, 2013
An odd film but also very moving. Tommy Lee Jones does an amazing job. Very beautiful in a stark kind of way.
August 12, 2012
Fine film, great screenplay.
August 30, 2013
I don't think I really have much to say about this movie but it is a well-written and incredibly well-acted movie. It features one Tommy Lee Jones' more understated and heartfelt performances as this man who's only trying to do right by his friend after he was unjustly murdered by a border patrolman. I think what the movie does well is that, while, Barry Pepper's character is kind of an asshole, at first, what happened really was an accident, as he's clearly haunted by the fact that he killed an innocent man. The film is particularly powerful when you're constantly reminded of Melquiades through the use of flashbacks and seeing how he and Pete develop a close friendship, that adds some depth to the movie. The movie also touches on themes of prejudice, obsession, redemption and morality. So it tackles a lot of issues and it does so in an intelligent manner. I was also surprised by the amount of comedy that is in the film. It's not like it's meant to be a comedy, but the are scenes here and there that keep the movie from feeling too serious. And I thought that was a smart choice. Again, it adds a little light touch to what is an incredibly dark movie. I also thought the ending, or the climactic act of the movie, which sees Tommy's character finding out that Melquiades lied to him about where he lived and about having a family and seeing how his denial leads to him creating his own little town in order to bury Melquiades. I thought this aspect of the film also added a good deal of mystery to the character that you grew so fond of throughout the flashbacks. You're not sure what Melquiades was up to in Mexico and what made him escape to Texas, so that adds a little twist to the film's story, which is already really good. I thought this movie was great. It has some excellent acting, special mention goes to Barry Pepper who did an incredible job, and a great storytelling. I'd definitely recommend this flick, it's certainly underrated.
½ June 25, 2007
Tommy Lee Jones proves with this indie western that he's just as good behind the camera as he is in front of it. Good first film that is slightly offbeat but avoids any cliche pitfalls.
August 10, 2013
An absolutely stunning film directed by Tommy Lee Jones, starring Barry Pepper as an over-zealous border patrol officer, Julio Cedillo as the title character who is murdered by the patrol officer, and Tommy Lee Jones as the dedicated friend who seeks to bury his friend in the man's hometown in Mexico.
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