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Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut is both a potent western and a powerful morality tale.
All Critics (146)
| Top Critics (40)
| Fresh (124)
| Rotten (22)
| DVD (6)
As an actor Tommy Lee Jones rarely makes a false move. A master of understatement, he conveys a sense of enormous power held in check. The same could be said of his first feature as a director, Three Burials.
This isn't a film that demands to be enjoyed in order to be remembered -- one way or the other, it will stick with you.
With all due respect to that important, quasi-controversial, most-honored film of last year, this is the best Western of 2005.
[A] long, kooky, immensely absorbing picture, which forges the elegiac cruelty of a Cormac McCarthy novel with the two-fisted machismo of a Sam Peckinpah movie, and comes up with an altogether new brand of Western mythology.
Funny, tough, filled with cut-to-the-bone moments and bleached in the heat of the Texas sun, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is a movie that sears itself into the viewer with uncompromising vision and stark approach.
It boasts genuinely and uniformly fine performances -- a credit to Jones the director and the actor, as well as his costars -- some stunning cinematography by the great Chris Menges and a uncompromising script by [Guillermo] Arriaga.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada has the grandeur of a morality drama enriched with the impassioned bewilderment of true tragedy.
Despite the occasional gruesomely gleeful tone of this film, (you may find yourself laughing in inappropriate places) it has an odd dignity, most of which comes from Tommy Lee Jones.
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.
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.
Exerts considerable, groggy power
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.
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.
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.
Thought this was a western not sure what you class it as, quite an odd film.
Exceptional screenplay plus a great directorial debut for Tommy Lee Jones.
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