7.5/10
34,369
199 user 171 critic

Three Burials (2005)

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (original title)
Trailer
1:53 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.

Director:

5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Homesman (2014)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.

Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer
Crime | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Ray Winstone, Guy Pearce, Emily Watson
The Missing I (2003)
Adventure | Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1885 New Mexico, a frontier medicine woman forms an uneasy alliance with her estranged father when her daughter is kidnapped by an Apache brujo.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A retired military investigator works with a police detective to uncover the truth behind his son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Director: Paul Haggis
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Jonathan Tucker
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A detective in post-Katrina New Orleans has a series of surreal encounters with a troop of friendly Confederate soldiers while investigating serial killings of local prostitutes, a 1965 lynching, and corrupt local businessmen.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard
The Hunted (2003)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An FBI deep-woods tracker captures a trained assassin who has made a sport of hunting humans.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Connie Nielsen
Open Range (2003)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

Director: Kevin Costner
Stars: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Diego Luna
The Sunset Limited (TV Movie 2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two men in an apartment with their opposing beliefs.

Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones
Appaloosa (2008)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow.

Director: Ed Harris
Stars: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger
The Good Old Boys (TV Movie 1995)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An aging cowboy must choose between his desire to remain free and the responsibilities of maintaining a family.

Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Terry Kinney, Frances McDormand
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Director: Andrew Dominik
Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Chief Dan George
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Melquiades Estrada (as Julio César Cedillo)
...
...
...
Rachel
...
...
...
Rosa
Ignacio Guadalupe ...
Lucio
...
Mariana
Irineo Alvarez ...
Manuel (as Irineo Álvarez)
...
Juan
...
Border Patrolman
...
Edit

Storyline

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. Pete Perkins, 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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody is beyond redemption. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 February 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 3 Burials of Melquiades Estrada  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$759,792 (France) (2 December 2005)

Gross:

$5,023,275 (USA) (2 June 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (TV)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Much of the movie was shot on Tommy Lee Jones's own ranch. See more »

Goofs

When Pete and Mike are in the ruins at 'Jiminez' a crew member can be clearly seen crouching in a corner as the camera pans past him. See more »

Quotes

Border Patrolman: How many got away?
Mike Norton: Three.
Border Patrolman: Well, someone's got to pick strawberries.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title of the film and the various title cards are in both English and Spanish. See more »

Connections

References Lonesome Dove (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wonder Who'll Turn Out The Lights (In Your World Tonight)
(2004)
Written by Mack Vickery (as Vickery) / Wayne Kemp (as Kemp)
Performed by Bobby Flores
© Sony / ATV Tree Publishing
(from the Bobby Flores album "Festival Favorites" on Yellow Rose Records)
Drums: Jim Loessberg, Bass: Jake Hooker, Piano: Randy Reinhard, Steel Guitar: Dicky Overbey,
Guitars, Vocals: Bobby Flores
Recorded at B.G.M. Studio in San Antonio, TX.
Recorded for Yellow Rose Records, LLC.
Exec. Producer: Al Michalczak,
Produced by Bobby Flores, Mixed by Bill Green & Bobby Flores
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Bring me the body of Melquiades Estrada
14 February 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada(2005) ****

Tommy Lee Jones steps up to the plate and takes a big first swing with 'Three Burials.' This is a movie that captures the old Peckinpah-esquire style of the rugged west and combines wonderfully with Guillermo Arriaga's moody and alienated script. This is a film that could have took a political mood and dealt with the issues of border security and the like, but it smartly refrains from doing so and instead focuses sharply on the heart of society itself - people.

Tommy Lee Jones plays Pete, a rancher who has few friends with his closest friends being a woman from town, and a man from Mexico. The woman is the wife of a local diner owner, Rachael (Melissa Leo). She also happens to be extremely bored and engages in extramarital affairs. Pete loves her, but she loves her husband. And possibly the sheriff, and possibly Pete. The other emotional connection in Pete's life, the Mexican, is Melquiades Estrada (Julio Cedillo), an illegal immigrant who finds work and friendship with Pete. Pete loves him like a son, or a brother, or friend, or a combination of all three. Barry Pepper plays Mike, the new border patrolman in town. He is brutal. Perhaps by nature, or not. He is bored; he passes the time sitting outside of his jeep looking at dirty mags. His wife, Lou Ann (January Jones), is also bored. She feels isolated and separated from her husband. She spends her time at the local diner and befriends Rachael. While she sits at home, her husband, the rookie border patrolman, makes a stupid mistake and tries in vain to hide it. The whole town is bored, even the police and the border guards. They find out, the police find out, and in a small town people talk, but more importantly people listen because they have nothing else to do. Pete finds out about Mike's mistake and sets out to carry out Mel's last wishes and bury him in his home town back in Mexico.

The story has its characters and connects them in ways that we don't always suspect they will connect. No one is a cardboard cut out. Even better, no one is simple. Each character is complex and has their own distinct feelings. A major theme is that of alienation. The characters are alienated not only from each other, but from themselves as well. Earlier i stated that he film took the right road and avoids making a blatant political message. The movie still carries a message though. It is a commentary on life and society.

The story has parallels to Peckinpah's 'Bring me the Head of Alfedo Garcia.' It has a very Peckinpah style, and features a man who makes a long journey with a dead body. He cares for it and tries to preserve it, even talks to the body sometimes. The film has some great cinematography as well, and the score suits it perfectly. The acting is wonderful, and I have to say that Tommy Lee Jones has rarely ever been better than he is here. Barry Pepper also gives a solid performance. This is Tommy Lee Jones first directing credit in major film and he knocks this one out of the park. Jones clearly has a strong control of his movie and this should go down in history as one of those rare first time wonders.

4/4


95 of 114 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why was there no Jimenez and why the fake family picture? decflatte
Why didn't he shoot? mastholte
Pity For Mike (Pepper)? muse83
The most heartbreaking scene ever.... thirtymiles
Tommy Lee Jones's Spanish TheFlickChick
Manslaughter or murder? albertoribas
Discuss Three Burials (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?