Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: A man is shot and quickly buried in the high desert of West Texas. The body is found and reburied in Van Horn's town cemetery. Peter Perkins (Jones), a local ranch foreman kidnaps a Border Patrolman and forces him to disinter the body. With his captive in tow and the body tied to a mule, Pete undertakes a dangerous and quixotic journey into Mexico. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. 100
    In an era when hundreds of lives are casually destroyed in action movies, here is an entire film in which one life is honored, and one death is avenged.
  2. Tommy Lee Jones steps behind the camera to direct himself in the most impressive directorial debut the American cinema has seen in some time, a contemporary western both rough and poetic, laconic and passionate.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Outstandingly realized on all levels.
  4. If Jones were a more accomplished director, and if the relationship between Pete and his captive wasn't so schematic, this movie might have been worthy of Sam Peckinpah.
  5. 75
    Its social consciousness aside, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is really a simple love story between men set in the American West, although unlike "Brokeback Mountain," this love is purely platonic -- nothing more than the bond of brotherhood between two dear friends, a classic Western theme.
  6. Jones and Pepper are no Eastwood and Wallach, but the fact that one even thinks to make such a comparison speaks highly of the work here.
  7. Writer Guillermo Arriaga earns most of the blame. He played similar games with narrative in the vastly better "Amores Perros" and "21 Grams," jumping back and forth in time to show relationships among subplots and characters. But "Burials" barely has one plot.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 46
  2. Negative: 8 out of 46
  1. 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 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
  2. 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 high regard and recommend it to those who do not require lots of action to enjoy a film. Expand
  3. 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 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. Collapse
  4. 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!! Expand

See all 46 User Reviews

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