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. KeithW.
    Feb 11, 2006
    10
    See this film immediately.
  2. 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. Collapse
  3. 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 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
  4. 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 this film is that Pete chose the wrong man to revere. Expand
  5. 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 Expand
  6. 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 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
  7. 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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