IMDb > The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 53 | slideshow) Videos (see all 5)
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada -- Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada -- Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada -- Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada -- Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   31,482 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer (WGA):
Guillermo Arriaga (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 February 2006 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
Nobody is beyond redemption. See more »
Plot:
Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
4 wins & 8 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(158 articles)
User Reviews:
Bring me the body of Melquiades Estrada See more (197 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tommy Lee Jones ... Pete Perkins

Barry Pepper ... Mike Norton

Julio Cedillo ... Melquiades Estrada (as Julio César Cedillo)

Dwight Yoakam ... Belmont

January Jones ... Lou Ann Norton

Melissa Leo ... Rachel

Levon Helm ... Old Man with Radio

Mel Rodriguez ... Captain Gomez

Cecilia Suárez ... Rosa
Ignacio Guadalupe ... Lucio

Vanessa Bauche ... Mariana
Irineo Alvarez ... Manuel (as Irineo Álvarez)

Guillermo Arriaga ... Juan

Josh Berry ... Border Patrolman

Rodger Boyce ... Salesman
Edwin 'Bubba' Broussard ... Bubba
René Campero ... Don Casimiro
Lupe Campos ... Sands Guy #2
Ariel Castro ... Jorge

Diana Chavez ... Woman (as Diana Chávez)
Uriel Chávez ... Cowboy #2

Sonny Carl Davis ... Kruger
Montserrat de León ... El Toston Woman #2 (as Montserrat De León)
Jesse De Luna ... Miller (as Jesse DeLuna)
Richard Dillard ... Jim
Jorge Adrián Espíndola ... Cowboy #1 (as Jorge Ádrian Espíndola)
Jourdan Henderson ... Mary - Soap Opera Girl
Sean Hennigan ... Chuck
Karen Jones ... Dog Lady

Richard Andrew Jones ... Bob (as Richard Jones)
Victoria Jones ... Immigrant Girl
Raul Molinar ... Radio Announcer #1
Adrian Navarette ... Agustin
Lonnie Nelson ... Gravedigger

Juan Gabriel Pareja ... Sands Guy #1 (as Juan Pareja)

Terry Dale Parks ... Neil (as Terry Parks)

Gustavo Sánchez Parra ... Tomas
Hugo Pérez ... Man (as Hugo Perez)
Paulina Reyes ... Piano Player
Sergio Rodriguez ... Radio Announcer #2
Charles Sanders ... Doctor

Brent Smiga ... Deputy Antonio

Spike Spencer ... John - Soap Opera
Angelina Torres ... Adriana

Barry Tubb ... A. L.
Guillermo Von Son ... Chino
Maya Zapata ... El Toston Woman #1
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Elena Hurst ... Lorena (scenes deleted)

Tiki Davis ... Border Patrol Thomas (uncredited)
Jason Starritt ... Extra (uncredited)

Directed by
Tommy Lee Jones 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Guillermo Arriaga (written by)

Produced by
Luc Besson .... producer
Michael Fitzgerald .... producer
Tommy Lee Jones .... producer
Pierre-Ange Le Pogam .... producer
Eric A. Williams .... line producer (as Eric Austin Williams)
 
Original Music by
Marco Beltrami 
 
Cinematography by
Chris Menges (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Roberto Silvi 
 
Casting by
Jeanne McCarthy 
 
Production Design by
Merideth Boswell 
 
Art Direction by
Jeff Knipp 
 
Set Decoration by
Phil Shirey 
 
Costume Design by
Kathy Kiatta  (as Kathleen Kiatta)
 
Makeup Department
Jeri Baker .... department head hair
John Blake .... department head makeup
Chris Garnaas .... fabricator: Harlow Effects
Chris Garnaas .... finisher: Harlow Effects
Chris Grossnickle .... silicone fabricator: Harlow Effects
Chris Grossnickle .... silicone seamer: Harlow Effects
Joel Harlow .... special makeup effects creator
Rob Hinderstein .... special makeup effects creator
Clayton Martinez .... body fabricator: Harlow Effects (as Clay Martinez)
Clayton Martinez .... mold maker: Harlow Effects (as Clay Martinez)
Brian Rae .... lead body fabricator: Harlow Effects
Robert Ramos .... lead mold maker: Harlow Effects
Richard Snell .... makeup artist
Justin Stafford .... special effects hair: Harlow Effects
 
Production Management
Eric Bassoff .... production supervisor
Lily Flaschner .... unit manager: Mexico
Héctor López .... unit production manager: Mexico (as Héctor L. López)
Larry Madaras .... post-production supervisor
Eric A. Williams .... unit production manager (as Eric Austin Williams)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chris Castaldi .... second second assistant director
Cleta Elaine Ellington .... second second assistant director
Phil Hardage .... first assistant director (as Philip Hardage)
Katie Tull .... second assistant director (as Kathleen Tull)
René Villarreal .... first assistant director: Mexico
 
Art Department
T.L. Skeet Anglin .... propmaker
John Arszyla .... construction medic
Mark Lambert Bristol .... storyboard artist (as Mark Bristol)
Don L. Carr .... props (as Don Carr)
Dirk Clark .... propmaker
Jack Colmenero .... set dresser
Tim Dingle .... scenic
Derek Drewes .... propmaker
Doug Field .... props
Tommy Fine .... construction foreman
Karen Foster .... scenic
Sara Giustini .... art department production assistant
Mark Hanks .... set dresser
Jourdan Henderson .... art department coordinator
Ellen Lampl .... graphic designer
Christopher Martin .... greens (as Christopher T. Martin)
Pat Martine .... scenic
Tyler Noel .... utility
John Parker .... set dresser
Shane Patrick .... set dresser
Mary Saisselin .... assistant art director
Dana Sanchez .... scenic
Steve Sawhill .... leadman
Charles Seale .... propmaker
Joe Self .... propmaker
John 'B.J.' Smith .... scenic
Michael Smothers .... utility
Gay Studebaker .... scenic
Kara Sutherlin .... scenic
Byron Scott Thomas .... property master (as Byron Thomas)
John E. Townes .... scenic (as John Townes)
Tom Ward .... construction coordinator
Zac Ward .... utility (as Zak Ward)
Gary Wimmer .... lead scenic
Robert R. Wonson .... set dresser
Koen Wooten .... assistant property master
 
Sound Department
José Manuel Aguilar .... boom: Mexico
David Bach .... sound supervisor
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
Lahcène Ben Braham .... sound studio supervisor: Digital Factory
David V. Butler .... dialogue editor
Lawrence L. Commans .... boom operator (as Larry Commons)
Remi Desclaux .... re-recording trainee (as Rémi Desclaux)
William Edward Duran .... assistant sound editor
Robert Fitzgerald .... sound effects editor (as Robert A. Fitzgerald)
Loïc Gourbe .... sound recordist
Bruce Guerre-Berthelot .... studio manager: Digital Factory
Shawn Harper .... cable person (as David Shawn Harper)
Dominique Hennequin .... sound re-recording mixer
Toño Diego Hernández .... production sound mixer: Mexico (as Antonio Diego Hernández)
Mike Le Mare .... sound supervisor (as Mike Le-Mare)
David Marcus .... assistant sound editor
Gerardo Montaraz .... adr mixer: Mexico City
Chris Navarro .... adr recordist: Los Angeles
Francis Perrard .... consultant: Dolby (as Francis Perreard)
Jason Piatt .... foley recordist
Jack Saenz .... adr mixer: San Antonio
Karola Storr .... supervising foley editor
Eric Thompson .... adr mixer: Los Angeles
Véronique Toutain .... studio assistant
Christophe Vingtrinier .... second sound re-recording mixer
Frédéric Warnotte .... technical supervisor
Mark Weingarten .... sound mixer
Matthew T. Duncan .... sound recordist: M&E (uncredited)
Fabrice Sauré .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Gregory R. Kilmer .... special effects tech
Beverly McCord .... special effects tech
Michael E. Wilks .... special effects tech
Jeffery D. Woodrel .... special effects coordinator (as Jeff Woodrel)
Ben Bornstein .... special effects lab technician: Creature Effects, Inc. (uncredited)
Russ Herpich .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Mark Rappaport .... special effects (uncredited)
James Woodruff .... lab technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Jam Abelanet .... visual effects supervisor: BUF
Karine Binaux .... visual effects producer: BUF
Vincent Blanqué .... visual effects graphics artist: BUF
Antoine Carlon .... visual effects graphics artist: BUF
Lawrence Carroll .... visual effects supervisor: Digiscope
Thomas Clary .... digital optical coordinator: Pacific Title and Art Studio (as Tom Clary)
Alan De Castro .... digital artist: Pacific Title and Art Studio (as Alan DeCastro)
Robin Deledicque .... visual effects graphics artist: BUF
Antoine Deschamps .... visual effects graphics artist: BUF
Scott Evans .... digital artist: Pacific Title and Art Studio
Emily Fenster .... associate effects producer: Pacific Title and Art Studio
Mikael Genachte-Lebail .... visual effects graphics artist: BUF
David Geoghegan .... digital artist: Pacific Title and Art Studio
Lorna Gusner .... compositor: Digiscope
Jonathan Lagache .... visual effects graphics artist: BUF
Ladd Lanford .... effects producer: Pacific Title and Art Studio
Matthew Melia .... digital artist: Pacific Title and Art Studio (as Matthew Melis)
Danny Mudgett .... compositor: Digiscope
Loris Paillier .... visual effects graphics artist: BUF
Terron Pratt .... visual effects coordinator: Digiscope
Brennan Prevatt .... compositor: Digiscope
Charlotte Raffi .... visual effects coordinator: BUF
James Rim .... digital artist: Pacific Title and Art Studio
Ekkarat Rodthong .... visual effects graphics artist: BUF
Laurel Lyn Schulman .... visual effects producer: Digiscope (as Lauren Schulman)
Christopher Stack .... digital imaging: Digiscope
Mary Stuart-Welch .... executive visual effects producer: Digiscope (as Mary Stuart)
Hervé Thouement .... visual effects graphics artist: BUF
Kevin W. Wright .... digital optical coordinator: Pacific Title and Art Studio (as Kevin Wright)
Francis Yu .... digital artist: Pacific Title and Art Studio
 
Stunts
Clay Boss .... stunts
Richard Bucher .... stunts
Billy Burton .... stunt consultant
Ramon Frank .... stunts
Clifford Happy .... stunt coordinator
Sean Happy .... stunts
Thomas Rosales Jr. .... stunts
Richard Bucher .... stunt double: Tommy Lee Jones (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Octavio Alpízar .... lamp operator: Mexico
Troy Anderson .... company electric (as Troy K. Anderson)
James W. Apted .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as James Apted)
Robby Baumgartner .... gaffer
Matt Cowan .... best boy rigging grip
Víctor Hugo Cruz .... key grip: Mexico
David Galbraith .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Carlos Gris .... camera technician: Panavision, Mexico
J.W. Hall .... loader
Chris Hamala .... company grip (as Christopher Hamala)
Marco Antonio Hernández .... generator operator: Mexico
Rob Hicks .... rigging key grip
Edison Jackson .... best boy electric
John Johns .... playback: 24-frame
Dawn Jones .... still photographer
Tom Kalbfleisch .... company electric
Al LaVerde .... key grip
Jon Lindsay .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Jeff Magers .... company electric
Duane Manwiller .... camera operator: "a" camera (as Duane 'DC' Manwiller)
Chris Milani .... company electric
Mike Moad .... dolly grip
Danny Navarette .... company electric
Héctor Ortega .... director of photography: Mexico
Eric Pickett .... video assist
Phillip Renke .... company grip
José Luis Revello .... lamp operator: Mexico
Robert B. Reynolds .... company electric
Bruce Robinson .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Wally Rowell .... company electric
César Saldívar .... first assistant camera: Mexico
Antar Sandria .... grip: Mexico
Salvador 'Apache' Serrano .... dolly grip: Mexico (as Salvador Serrano)
Sérgio Suaste Guzmán .... gaffer: Mexico (as Sergio Suaste)
Fernando Sánchez .... video assist: Mexico
Ezra Venetos .... company grip
Aaron Atom Vyvial .... best boy grip (as Aaron 'Atom' Vyvial)
Sean Wright .... crane grip
Sean Wright .... dolly grip: "b" camera
Duane Manwiller .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Duane Manwiller .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Jo Edna Boldin .... casting: Texas
Kira Burns .... extras casting
Melissa Mercer .... casting associate
Yesi Ramirez .... casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Anna Abbey .... costume supervisor (as Anna M. Abbey)
Rocío Ceja Amezcua .... costume supervisor: Mexico
Leeann Radeka .... key costumer
Taylor Rierden .... wardrobe production assistant
Yvonne Wilburn .... costumer
Marcia Evers .... seamstress (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Susana Antunes .... post-production assistant
Deborah Dobson Bach .... post-production coordinator
Kenny Becker .... color timer
Georgio DeVincenzo .... editorial production assistant
Bob Hart .... negative cutter
Larry Madaras .... additional editor
Julien Rey .... making-of editor
Cooper Thomson .... post-production assistant
Clara Vincienne .... post-production assistant
Gérard Estival .... color timer (uncredited)
Sidonie Waserman .... post-production assistant (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Pete Anthony .... conductor
Marco Beltrami .... orchestrator
Lohengrin Braconnier .... assistant music mixer
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor (as Sandy De Crescent)
Greg Dennen .... scoring crew
Jérôme Devoise .... music mixer
George Doering .... musician
Annette Fradera .... music supervisor
Kevin Globerman .... pro tools operator
Richard Grant .... auricle operator
Jérôme Lateur .... music supervisor: EuropaCorp
Vincent Lebegue .... music legal coordinator (as Vincent Lebègue)
Elise Luguern .... music production supervisor
Jamie Olvera .... scoring crew
Dominique Pisani .... manager: music publishing, KHI Music
Samuel Potin .... music editor
Ryan Robinson .... scoring crew
Buck Sanders .... score co-producer
Dennis S. Sands .... music scoring mixer (as Dennis Sands)
Fabrice Sauré .... music re-recording mixer
Mehdi Sayah .... music production assistant
Richard Wheeler Jr. .... scoring crew
Mark Graham .... music librarian (uncredited)
Peter Rotter .... orchestra contractor (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Julio Ayala .... driver: Mexico
David Beard .... transportation captain
Paul Curtis Blair .... driver
Dwight A. Cary .... driver
Danny Castaneda .... driver (as Daniel Castaneda)
Eduardo Castro .... driver: Mexico
Greg Faucett .... transportation coordinator (as Gregory B. Faucett)
George E. Favors .... driver
Bill Gerard .... driver
Javier Gunther .... transportation coordinator: Mexico
Jeff Hair .... driver
Gustavo Hernandez .... driver: Mexico (as Gustavo Hernández)
Fermín Lara .... driver: Mr. Jones, Mexico (as Fermín Lara Hernández)
Joseph Lockwood .... driver (as Joe Lockwood)
Marvin Maxwell .... driver
Lonnie Nelson .... transportation captain
Alfonso Paredes .... driver: Mexico
Randy Pritchett .... driver (as Randal S. Pritchett)
Luis Fernando Ramos .... driver (as Luis F. Ramos)
Pedro Reyes Hernández .... driver: Mexico
Hector G. Rodriguez .... driver (as Hector Rodriguez)
Ernesto Rodríguez .... driver: Mexico
Jorge Sandoval .... driver: Mexico
Anthony Schmidt .... fuel/truck mechanic
Russell E. Scott .... driver
Robin Stilwell .... driver
Tom Bill Stilwell .... driver (as Tom B. Stilwell)
Fernando Sánchez .... driver: camera van, Mexico
Butch Themer .... driver
Linda Wilson .... driver (as Linda S. Wilson)
 
Other crew
Natalie Angel .... production coordinator (as Natalie S. Angel)
Deborah Dobson Bach .... assistant: Mr. Fitzgerald
Howard Baral .... post-production accountant: R.C. Baral & Company
Dominique Baran .... accountant: EuropaCorp
Steve Beeson .... production accountant
Ken Beggs .... animal wrangler: small animals
Steve Bland .... head wrangler
Bryne Bolen .... stand-in
Mark Brooks .... horse wrangler
Isabelle Broyard .... legal department: EuropaCorp
Arian Cabot .... set production assistant
Craig Carter .... horse/cattle wrangler
Doug Carter .... set production assistant (as Douglas Carter)
Abel Casillas .... representative: ANDA, Mexico
Yolanda Chavarria .... post-production accountant: R.C. Baral & Company
Michael Clossin .... stand-in
Bobbi Colorado .... animal wrangler: small animals
Véronique Cuilhe .... legal department: EuropaCorp
Francisco Del Prete .... assistant: Héctor López
Dominique Donovan .... post-production accountant: R.C. Baral & Company
Romuald Drault .... financial controller
Michel Dupuis .... accounting assistant
Joe Fiske .... key craft service
Brendan Fitzgerald .... making-of crew
Brendan Fitzgerald .... unit publicist
Kieran Fitzgerald .... making-of crew
Lily Flaschner .... location manager: Mexico
Cliff Fleming .... aerial coordinator
Cliff Fleming .... helicopter pilot
Cory Fleming .... helicopter ground coordinator
Joe Forlini .... craft service
Pam Fuller .... script supervisor
Carlos García Campo .... location scout: Mexico
Mike Gillespie .... key craft service
Penelope Glass .... legal services (as Penelope Glass Esq.)
Chris M. Jackson .... travel coordinator (as Chris Jackson)
Mark Jarrett .... assistant location manager: Odessa
Susan Jasso .... set production assistant
Cédric Landemaine .... publicist
David Long .... caterer: Locartions Catering
Cecilia Monterrubio .... production accountant: Mexico
Jean-François Montminy .... chef: additional catering, Ready To Serve Inc. (as J.F. Montminy)
Josh Moorehead .... chef (as Josh Morehead)
Daniel Norton .... catering assistant: Locartions Catering
Sean O'Neill .... production assistant
Wesley A. Oliver .... assistant: Mr. Jones
Henry Oshell .... outside catering coordinator (as Henry R. Ochel Jr.)
Jason Owen .... stand-in (as Jason M. Owen)
Brent Parris .... title coordinator: Pacific Title and Art Studio
John K. Patterson .... location manager
Grayson Paynter .... location assistant
Mark Pogachefsky .... additional publicist (as Mark Pogachevski)
Karen Ramirez .... production secretary
Ana Rebuelta .... script supervisor: Mexico
Tara Reimers .... production assistant
Valentina Reyes G. .... craft service: Mexico (as Valentina Reyes G)
Thomas Saunders .... horse wrangler
Jimmy Schwertner .... location assistant
Pete Sharp .... set production assistant
Leila Smith .... assistant: Mr. Le Pogam
Vincent Stevenel .... accountant: EuropaCorp
Raigen Thornton .... on-set paramedic (as Walter Raigen Thornton)
Adriana Vega Urquiza .... craft service: Mexico
Ana Teresa Garza Urquiza .... craft service: Mexico
Karen Wacker .... assistant production coordinator
Aaron Walrod .... payroll accountant
Steve White .... assistant location manager
Robin Williams .... second assistant accountant
Eric Carter Wilsford .... catering assistant: Locartions Catering
Allen Wong .... first assistant accountant
Dina Woodworth .... first assistant accountant (as Dina Anne Woodworth)
John C. Young .... assistant: Mr. Yoakam
Jimmy Zelinger .... title artist: Pacific Title and Art Studio
Ray Felipe .... script analyst (uncredited)
Tara Reimers .... assistant to cast (uncredited)
Kristy Ryan .... promotions manager: Australia (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Kay Bailey Hutchison .... special thanks (as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison)
Terry Leonard .... special thanks
Rick Perry .... special thanks (as Governor Rick Perry)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for language, violence and sexuality
Runtime:
121 min | Argentina:121 min (Mar del Plata Film Festival) | Turkey:107 min (TV version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:14A (Ontario) (Canadian Home Video rating) | Finland:K-13 | France:U | Germany:12 (f) | Iceland:16 | Ireland:15A | Netherlands:12 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:18 (2014) | Sweden:15 | Switzerland:14 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | USA:R (No. 42191)
Filming Locations:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The screenplay was written in Spanish by Guillermo Arriaga but was translated in to English by Tommy Lee Jones.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Pepper's hair doesn't change in length for the entire stretch of his kidnapping.See more »
Quotes:
[last lines]
Mike Norton:You gonna be all right?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Mujeres en el parque (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
9 Million PicturesSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
92 out of 111 people found the following review useful.
Bring me the body of Melquiades Estrada, 14 February 2006
Author: MacAindrais from Canada

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

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (197 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Estrada and the agent's wife vaifan777
Why was there no Jimenez and why the fake family picture? decflatte
The most heartbreaking scene ever.... thirtymiles
Pity For Mike (Pepper)? muse83
Script? rafael-martinez013
I don't speak Spanish justmeetee
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Babel Munich Brokeback Mountain Stop-Loss Giant
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Adventure section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.