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

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Reviews

Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
February 24, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
February 24, 2006
With all due respect to that important, quasi-controversial, most-honored film of last year, this is the best Western of 2005.
| Original Score: 5/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
February 24, 2006
[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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
February 24, 2006
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
February 24, 2006
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 23, 2006
Tommy Lee Jones' big-screen directorial debut might not be the easiest film to watch, but its payoff makes it one of the better trips to the movies of the past year.
| Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
February 23, 2006
Few films have ever captured the feel of the desert Southwest better than Tommy Lee Jones' The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
February 9, 2006
Without the wise and well-crafted words of screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, it's just so much posturing.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 9, 2006
Wily, sad, funny, and full of life.
| Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
February 9, 2006
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?
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
February 4, 2006
Three Burials still reaches the kind of pungency it seems to be seeking, and it touches on issues of alienation and distance very relevant to the reality of countless migrants.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
February 4, 2006
All this edginess, combined with the grandeur and sweep of a classic western, demonstrates that Jones clearly knows how to tell a story -- and how to confound us at the same time.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 3, 2006
Jones, directing his first feature, finds the right note in every scene, bringing Arriaga's elegant cipher to life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 3, 2006
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
February 3, 2006
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 | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
February 3, 2006
A wry and sometimes alarming contemporary Western.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
February 3, 2006
Jones, screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga and a crew blessed with pristine vision have delivered a tale of friendship and ethics worthy of Greek tragedy.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 3, 2006
Tommy Lee Jones makes his feature directing debut here, and the film is as weathered, subtle, and sympathetic as the actor's own face.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 2, 2006
[Jones has made] a rugged modern-day Western that evokes the spirit of Sam Peckinpah -- and reinvents it through his own perspective.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 2, 2006
The acting is so good throughout, and Texas native Jones does such a sharp, unforced job of directing a story dear to his geographical and spiritual heart, The Three Burials is the rare film that gets better and better as it goes.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
February 2, 2006
It is a brave look at the distortions created when an international border bisects what natural law intended to be a cultural melting pot.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 2, 2006
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada tells the kind of story that John Huston or Sam Peckinpah might have wanted to film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
January 30, 2006
What, exactly, is the devil in Mr. Jones?
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
January 26, 2006
Tommy Lee Jones makes a sure-handed feature directing debut and gives one of the best performances of his career.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
December 21, 2005
A literally slow-moving western that plays out as laboriously as its title.
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TIME Magazine
December 16, 2005
It's worth a wary look before it attains midnight cult-movie status.
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 16, 2005
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
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 15, 2005
Worth seeing as a hickory-smoke tale of contrition and redemption.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
December 15, 2005
Incisive yet supple, wrenching yet deeply pleasurable, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada easily ranks among the year's best pictures.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 15, 2005
A smug lesson posing as a Peckinpah deathfest.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
December 15, 2005
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada may not be a love story per se, but it is, for my money, the most deeply affecting portrait of cowboy camaraderie to be found on movie screens this season.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
December 14, 2005
A small movie that plays like a Western epic.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 14, 2005
As a vision of the American West and the wide country around it, Tommy Lee Jones's western strikes both fresh and familiar chords, most of them pleasingly dissonant.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
December 13, 2005
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.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 30, 2005
Sam Peckinpah lives!
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jim Emerson
RogerEbert.com
October 7, 2005
My enthusiasm for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada knows no bounds.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
September 9, 2005
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
May 24, 2005
Tommy Lee Jones' bracing bigscreen directorial debut, which copped acting and writing awards from the Cannes Film Festival jury, connects with both the head and the heart.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
May 24, 2005
Jones displays a firm hand at the helm -- you sense that he is well within his comfort zone in this environment -- and performances including his own are lively and convincing.