User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 75
  2. Negative: 9 out of 75
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  1. PeterL.
    Mar 10, 2006
    10
    This is a perfect movie. I don't know which movie Peter F went to see, but he is wrong. The acting, the camera, the directing and the writing of this film is just amazing. A masterpiece
  2. ChrisB.
    Jun 6, 2006
    10
    Amazing in every way. A little confusing until you realise what Jones is doing in terms of storytelling, but after that it is amazing.
  3. MichaelH
    Dec 30, 2007
    7
    I was prepared NOT to like this movie because of the P.C. premise: good, poor Mexicans/bad gringo (with one exception). As it turns out the movie gets a lot more sophisticated in parts. (spoiler alert) The character of Melquiades turns out to have a "darker" side as does the Pete character. Still I think the border guard character was a little too cartoonishly bad or at least put into the I was prepared NOT to like this movie because of the P.C. premise: good, poor Mexicans/bad gringo (with one exception). As it turns out the movie gets a lot more sophisticated in parts. (spoiler alert) The character of Melquiades turns out to have a "darker" side as does the Pete character. Still I think the border guard character was a little too cartoonishly bad or at least put into the position of being the "bad guy" in a way that seemed too much told from an "undeclared" Mexican perspective. In the end the script "rights" itself a little, allowing for fuller character development. Expand
  4. [Anonymous]
    Dec 9, 2005
    8
    Love it.
  5. KeithW.
    Feb 11, 2006
    10
    See this film immediately.
  6. BillF.
    Feb 19, 2006
    10
    This is a not-to-be missed movie. Tommy Lee Jones turns in a 10+ performance as actor & director.
  7. CristinaV.
    Feb 5, 2006
    10
    This is the best screenplay in years. Guillermo Arriaga was robbed at the Oscars. He is the greatest writer of our time.
  8. TimO.
    Mar 13, 2006
    9
    Excellent plot and character development. Tommy Lee was great and the supporting cast was excellent.
  9. ToddO.
    Jun 10, 2006
    2
    I have no idea what the fuss is over this movie. The "77" rating is hilarious. THis movie was so Boring and made no sense or had any purpose.The only reason I didnt turn it off was I was think that the good rating had some great scence that I didnt want to miss...I was wrong. IF you like Ghandi's pace you will love this horrible film.
  10. CraigA.
    Jun 2, 2006
    9
    Difficult viewing, but well worth it. Watch for the twist.
  11. StephenS.
    Jun 5, 2006
    7
    This reminds me a little of Red Rock West (by John Dahl) or Lone Star (John Sayles). In between burials, we perhaps see a little more than we need to of Melquiade
  12. JimG.
    Jul 22, 2006
    6
    Old school western that keeps you engaged.
  13. giulia
    Feb 2, 2008
    8
    I liked that movie. Yes there are some sterotypes. But it doesnt matter to me. It has a lot of charme. But hey I also loved Amorres Perros.
  14. GregoryV.
    Dec 17, 2005
    10
    This is a masterpiece. Guillermo Arriaga is a genius, he is the best writer in the world. Tommy Lee is great, as Chris Menges photography.
  15. MarkO.
    Oct 2, 2006
    10
    An important film for Americans to see amidst today's heightened racial and class tensions...
  16. CarlG.
    Feb 10, 2006
    10
    Although superficially this film is about injustice and revenge, it lives within its subplot of transformation and transcendence. From the honestly but sympathetically portrayed racist squalor of a small Texas town, it moves to the grand vistas of the Mexican desert, while at the same time characters who are normally distanced by race and class come together under pressures that break Although superficially this film is about injustice and revenge, it lives within its subplot of transformation and transcendence. From the honestly but sympathetically portrayed racist squalor of a small Texas town, it moves to the grand vistas of the Mexican desert, while at the same time characters who are normally distanced by race and class come together under pressures that break those constraints and allow them to relate at a more fundamental human level. While it is common in a film for characters to be transformed, in this case the characters are illustrative of a broad set of dysfunctional relationships that afflict the broader society, and their transformative experience is something the director seems to think most of us could use in significant doses. This particular dose can be delivered in the comfort of a movie theater and is highly recommended. Expand
  17. RaulJ.
    Feb 13, 2006
    8
    clever, captivating, a little contrived at times but overall a really good and satisfying movie.
  18. JohnW.
    Feb 2, 2006
    10
    Brilliant film of humanity and compassion between disparaging cultures. Flawlessly cast including a smart performance by Levon Helm. Clint Eastwood's recent films pale in comparison.
  19. HeatherW.
    Mar 21, 2006
    8
    About half-way through this movie I realized that it's the Mexican "Crash," although it's better than "Crash" in several respects. For one thing it's less predictable. Full of twists and turns and unexpected epiphanies. It also contains one of the saddest, most moving moments caught on film that I've ever seen (the old man's request). An interesting meditation on About half-way through this movie I realized that it's the Mexican "Crash," although it's better than "Crash" in several respects. For one thing it's less predictable. Full of twists and turns and unexpected epiphanies. It also contains one of the saddest, most moving moments caught on film that I've ever seen (the old man's request). An interesting meditation on the nature of friendship and cruelity and how people never are who we think they are. My only gripe was the seemingly endless scenes with the corpse - especially the ant scene. If I hadn't already fallen in love with the movie, I might have got up and left at that point. Expand
  20. JayC.
    Mar 28, 2006
    9
    When a mistake with deadly consequences brings Tommy Lee Jones and Barry Pepper together, retribution is exacted in excruciating detail until not only is personal responsibility accepted, but a more humane and humble man is transformed.
  21. ChadS.
    May 30, 2006
    8
    [***SPOILERS***] In the motel room, it's not clear if Melquaides(Julio Cedillo) and Lou Ann(January Jones) loosened up after they danced, which makes us wonder if Mike(Barry Pepper) was in the right, and Pete(Tommy Lee Jones), is loco, when he drags his hostage across the prairie. There are scenes here funnier than anything in "Weekend at Bernie's". The ultimate punchline of [***SPOILERS***] In the motel room, it's not clear if Melquaides(Julio Cedillo) and Lou Ann(January Jones) loosened up after they danced, which makes us wonder if Mike(Barry Pepper) was in the right, and Pete(Tommy Lee Jones), is loco, when he drags his hostage across the prairie. There are scenes here funnier than anything in "Weekend at Bernie's". The ultimate punchline of this film is that Pete chose the wrong man to revere. Expand
  22. CristinaF.
    Jul 11, 2006
    10
    It is the best 'Mexico in America' movie i've watched so far. I admit it was pretty dull in the beginning but as soon as you realize the stoy telling back and forth you begin to understand and the movie takes it's role. For all of yous that say it is a waste of this and that, you should maybe get out of the closet and realize that stories have a real story behind them. It is the best 'Mexico in America' movie i've watched so far. I admit it was pretty dull in the beginning but as soon as you realize the stoy telling back and forth you begin to understand and the movie takes it's role. For all of yous that say it is a waste of this and that, you should maybe get out of the closet and realize that stories have a real story behind them. I strongly believe that this movie has and will reveal a hidden tragedy in some lives along the mexican border throughout the USA. The best movie ever! Definitely a must-see-movie! Expand
  23. SeanR.
    Jul 8, 2006
    6
    Despite the fact that I didn't like an aspect of the movie it was entertaining and worth the 4 bucks.
  24. BrianP.
    Dec 14, 2005
    10
    I saw this one at Cannes, and let me tell you it is great. It really is among the best films of 2005. The screenplay is amazing and will get nominated by an oscar considering Guillermo Arriaga was robbed twice for his great scripts of Amores Perros & 21 Grams.
  25. SuzenT.
    Feb 25, 2006
    10
    I loved this film. About death and the preciousness of life-how one's circumstances can change and then change again so quickly so quickly. What is sanity? (Susan Sontag-"sanity is a convenient lie.")
  26. CarlosR.
    Feb 25, 2006
    10
    Simply, the best film of 2005, so good it really is a must see!
  27. PeterF.
    Feb 28, 2006
    2
    I'm really not sure why everyone likes this movie so much. Here are my criticisms: 1) very preachy, 2) no character depth, 3) many cliches- the restaurant owner, the border patrolman, the cops, etc. 4) boring- the ride through the desert lasted forever, and 5) there were some weird inconsistencies- the timing of the shooting from the 2 different perspectives was way off. I also I'm really not sure why everyone likes this movie so much. Here are my criticisms: 1) very preachy, 2) no character depth, 3) many cliches- the restaurant owner, the border patrolman, the cops, etc. 4) boring- the ride through the desert lasted forever, and 5) there were some weird inconsistencies- the timing of the shooting from the 2 different perspectives was way off. I also couldn't help feeling like they were trying to copy the vibe of Kill Bill 2. Expand
  28. ShawnO.
    Mar 11, 2006
    10
    Some of these critics don't know what they are talking about. Not every movie can be a fast paced, violent, shootem up, phony movie, this one was beautiful, period.
  29. TonyL.
    Mar 15, 2006
    0
    Worst movie that I have seen in quite some time. A terrible waste of good actors. Avoid!
  30. LeeG.
    Mar 31, 2006
    10
    Best movie I seen in a year.
  31. Jolanta
    Jun 24, 2006
    0
    Worst movie that I have seen. A terrible waste of good actors. My time and money too.
  32. AdamL.
    Feb 24, 2007
    1
    Two hours that seem like four, consistently pedestrian writing, and a complete deficit of morality make this not only one of the worst films I have ever seen (and I've seen more than a few), but a dangerous one. The only thing saving it from a flat-out zero is the great acting by everyone involved. What a waste. Even Sam Peckenpah would be ashamed.
  33. CarlosC.
    Dec 13, 2005
    10
    A great film, makes you realize how good of an actor Tommy Lee Jones who gaves his best performance ever. Guillermo Arriaga is outstanding as usual with this wonderful script. Barry Pepper has all the posibilites to be nominated by an oscar. He is great. Tommy Lee Jones waited until his 50s to make his first feature, it was all worth it. This film might be the most under estimated film of A great film, makes you realize how good of an actor Tommy Lee Jones who gaves his best performance ever. Guillermo Arriaga is outstanding as usual with this wonderful script. Barry Pepper has all the posibilites to be nominated by an oscar. He is great. Tommy Lee Jones waited until his 50s to make his first feature, it was all worth it. This film might be the most under estimated film of the year, not because of the negative reviews but because of its distribution. This is a must see. Collapse
  34. RicardoR.
    Dec 13, 2005
    10
    Great Film, Great Performances, Great Direction. One of the best films of the year. The best western movie in years!
  35. MaguiH.
    Dec 28, 2005
    10
    Oh! god the surprise of the year! What a great film, IT MUST BE DISTRUBUTED WIDELY! Awesome Script, Great Direction, My favorite film of the year!
  36. AgatinoZ.
    Nov 29, 2006
    10
    It is so sad when a Wonderful film passes by almost unnoticed. The way this movie is structured, in fragments, that come and go according to the characters feelings and ethics is keeps the storyline original. The quiet acting, the vistas, the rights and wrongs. And the notion that a man like Pete Perkins has long disapeared from the face of the earth, says so much about how a society has It is so sad when a Wonderful film passes by almost unnoticed. The way this movie is structured, in fragments, that come and go according to the characters feelings and ethics is keeps the storyline original. The quiet acting, the vistas, the rights and wrongs. And the notion that a man like Pete Perkins has long disapeared from the face of the earth, says so much about how a society has lost touch with humanity. In Pete Perkins' care of the decaying body of Melquiades we find more respect for human beings than in any real life characters. Along with Eastwood's Unforgiven and Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, the West has moved into the sunset that the early films were anticipating. I congratulate Tommy Lee Jones, for he has created a modern quiet masterpiece. Expand
  37. MikeF.
    Jan 7, 2006
    3
    A horrible torture-fest in which the captive falls in love with his sadistic captor (as usual).
  38. Sayre
    Jun 11, 2006
    5
    Man was I disappointed. To get drug through all that and have nothing to show for it? Jones's character is a "romantic fool". One mistake lead to another, and with a shrug we ride off into the sunset. Crap. Read Ken G, Peter F reviews for more "insight" into this boring let down of a movie. They're onto it.
  39. SusanB.
    Jun 10, 2006
    5
    This movie could have been more interesting but I found it slow. It dd have some interesting characters and there were some moments of tension and irony but not enough to overcome the pace.
  40. Msic
    Jan 23, 2006
    5
    Certainly worthy, and unlike Arriaga's previous efforts, the flashbacks add poignancy rather than just formal flash. But there are needless caricatures and bits of side business (e.g. the blind man) that add nothing. Plus, TLJ the director is proficient at best. Peckinpah's legacy is safe.
  41. KenG.
    Mar 12, 2006
    5
    A beautifully shot film, and I like the performances, (escepially Jones) but a movie where the acting and the cinematography were alot better then the script. It is one thing for a movie to be leisurely told, but first half of film is so sputteringly told that it feels like it is actually going out of its way to be leisurely. That film is reaching about trying to find things to throw in A beautifully shot film, and I like the performances, (escepially Jones) but a movie where the acting and the cinematography were alot better then the script. It is one thing for a movie to be leisurely told, but first half of film is so sputteringly told that it feels like it is actually going out of its way to be leisurely. That film is reaching about trying to find things to throw in so it doesn't have to get on with its story. To much of this part of movie is filmakers trying to impress us with showing how they can fool around with telling a story, rather then them telling their story. A certain amout of this is ok, but they over did it. 2nd half of story is more straight forward, but it is very uneventul, which is ok, if there was some tension, but movie has a decided lack of underlaying tension, partly because there is almost no dialogue between Jones and Pepper. Expand
  42. ChristianW.
    Dec 26, 2006
    5
    After reading gushing reviews for this film I was disappointed and, frankly, bored as this surprisingly shallow modern western meandered to a conclusion that had me asking "is that it?". Good points were Dwight Yoakam's acting, though his character exited too early, and the films dark and slightly surreal atmosphere. Bad aspects include its slow pace, irrelevant encounters, hard to After reading gushing reviews for this film I was disappointed and, frankly, bored as this surprisingly shallow modern western meandered to a conclusion that had me asking "is that it?". Good points were Dwight Yoakam's acting, though his character exited too early, and the films dark and slightly surreal atmosphere. Bad aspects include its slow pace, irrelevant encounters, hard to swallow coincidences, Tommy Lee Jones' unconvincing character and lack of expression, loose ends and stereotyped characters. Some of the scenes with the corpse made me wonder ifI was watching the third "Weekend at Bernies" installment by mistake. Expand
  43. Feb 8, 2012
    2
    This is an offensively inept, amateur film with its heart in the right place. So many casual movie-goers like submediocre films like this because they're the kind of movies they'd direct themselves if they were into movies to any substantial degree, which they're not. This movie repeatedly left me dumbfounded and irate with its boundless inanity, its preadolescent writing, its loathsomeThis is an offensively inept, amateur film with its heart in the right place. So many casual movie-goers like submediocre films like this because they're the kind of movies they'd direct themselves if they were into movies to any substantial degree, which they're not. This movie repeatedly left me dumbfounded and irate with its boundless inanity, its preadolescent writing, its loathsome attempts at humor. Despite having made this crater of a film, Tommy Lee Jones is and will continue to be a great actor and a fascinating man; this movie's spectacular awfulness falls several feet short of unforgivable. Expand
  44. Apr 29, 2011
    7
    This film is extremely unique and very enjoyable. It creates a great atmosphere and Tommy Lee Jones character is particularly intriguing. However, due to there being little in the way of action, Three Burials sometimes loses impetus and drags. Despite being a good story that is very touching in places, the film is not one that I would rush to watch again, although I do hold it in highThis film is extremely unique and very enjoyable. It creates a great atmosphere and Tommy Lee Jones character is particularly intriguing. However, due to there being little in the way of action, Three Burials sometimes loses impetus and drags. Despite being a good story that is very touching in places, the film is not one that I would rush to watch again, although I do hold it in high regard and recommend it to those who do not require lots of action to enjoy a film. Expand
  45. Jun 28, 2013
    0
    An ugly, dirty movie. That has no purpose. It drags on and on, the movie was over 2 hours long and its about nothing! The movie was predictable, and worse of all boring!!
  46. Oct 24, 2011
    7
    Falls short of being a great western due to poorly executed non-linear storytelling and elemental directorial mistakes. The Tarantino-style cuts of the first third of the movie serve only to confuse; it feels like very raw cuts with no transition between each scene. In the last two thirds this is mostly abandoned and the movie vastly improves. There are also a couple of jarring scenesFalls short of being a great western due to poorly executed non-linear storytelling and elemental directorial mistakes. The Tarantino-style cuts of the first third of the movie serve only to confuse; it feels like very raw cuts with no transition between each scene. In the last two thirds this is mostly abandoned and the movie vastly improves. There are also a couple of jarring scenes where film crew invade the shot: a camera operator blatantly visible in the reflection of a car window and a dude in a t shirt not crouched down in the jimenez scene.


    Despite the confusing disjointedness of the first part of the film it becomes an engaging, compelling movie during the last two-thirds.
    Expand
  47. May 9, 2015
    9
    It takes its time, and I was unsure if the end result would turn out to be good or not, but Three Burials eventually emerges as a breathtaking contemporary road movie western tale of retribution and redemption.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. 88
    Sam Peckinpah lives! The rampaging spirit of the late filmmaker, known as Bloody Sam for films such as "The Wild Bunch" and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia," is all over this blistering modern Western from first-time director Tommy Lee Jones.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Outstandingly realized on all levels.